In this article we explore how to write your LinkedIn Profile the best way to showcase the relevant parts of your professional story to attract and engage potential clients, recruiters or head hunters.
Your goals for LinkedIn will depend on your industry, experience, stage of career and whether you are looking for a new job opportunity or wishing to attract better clients. There are some fundamental differences to how I would write a profile for a job seeker versus a business owner, and there are features that are more suitable for some than others.
How to Write Your LinkedIn Profile the Best Way
Deciding what is best for you on LinkedIn will depend on your goals. Here’s what you first need to consider:
- What I want to be known for when people come across my LinkedIn profile?
- Who am I trying to get into conversations with when I am on LinkedIn?
Please take some time to consider your answers to these questions as they are the first step in writing your LinkedIn Profile the best way for your individual journey.
Maximising the Background Image on Your LinkedIn Profile
The background image of your profile is a great way to create visual impact. Here are some examples to help inspire you. Make sure you use copyright free images. For professionals who are not in active job search and lead a business or department, I recommend adding a background image that’s consistent with the imagery on your organisation’s website.
|In this example from my LinkedIn profile, you can see I’ve used imagery consistent with this website and included Think Bespoke’s logo.|
|In this example Suzanne Chadwick uses the background image to build her authority by showcasing media she’s been featured in.|
|In this example Fi Mims demonstrates examples of her work.|
Job Seekers: Activate the Open to Work Section of Your LinkedIn Profile
The Open to Work feature is suitable for job seekers (not consultants looking for clients) and gives you the option to let recruiters and your network know you are open to work. This is suitable if you are in active job search, or open to being contacted by recruiters. If you are currently gainfully employed and starting to think about your next career move, I recommend you let recruiters know you are open to work, but do not let your whole network know (LinkedIn gives you the option to choose).
Consultants & Coaches: Add Providing Services to Your LinkedIn Profile
If you provide services as a small business owner or consultant, I recommend you showcase your services via your LinkedIn Profile.
Maximise your LinkedIn Profile’s Featured Section
The LinkedIn profile featured section enables you to showcase posts, LinkedIn articles, links and documents on your LinkedIn Profile. This is one of my favourite LinkedIn Profile features because of how it allows you to feature content. The featured section changes the prominence a LinkedIn article now has on your LinkedIn Profile, lets you feature posts and does a better job of showcasing external website link imagery. Whether you are a business owner, consultant, freelancer, digital marketer or job seeker, I recommend you use the LinkedIn Profile featured section to showcase your professional brand on LinkedIn. For job seekers, do not attach your resume to this section. You resume is a document that should be tailored to each new role you apply for.
How to Write Your LinkedIn Profile Headline
You have 220 characters available to write information in your LinkedIn Profile headline. This is a very important part of your profile as it follows you around on LinkedIn when you like and comment on LinkedIn updates. There are a few ways you can approach writing your headline and my preference is to focus on your core competencies / skills and the industry sectors you service. I discourage you from including your phone number in your profile as this comes across as tacky and is quite transactional in nature. The image below shows how I write my LinkedIn Profile headline. In my LinkedIn Profile Essentials online course I show specific examples of LinkedIn Profile headlines.
How to Write Your About Section of Your LinkedIn Profile
The most common mistake I see people make in this section is to ignore it completely or to write about themselves in the 3rd person. For example, rather than write as if you are talking about themselves, some people write as if they are talking about someone else. I want you to imagine LinkedIn is a virtual room and your LinkedIn Profile is you! This means you should write like you speak and inject your personality into this section of your LinkedIn Profile. While there may be some industry exceptions, a well written LinkedIn Profile that’s written in the first person gives people a stronger sense of your personality.
If this part of your LinkedIn Profile is written the right way, the About Section is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and improve how you tell the story of who you are. Consider including information about your professional experience, highlights from your career so far, the type of things you are interested in (what do you care about?) and perhaps even the goals you would like to achieve as they relate to your professional focus.
This is the hardest section of your profile to write, so if you need a hand, I’m here. Browse our LinkedIn Profile Writing options.
How to Write Your Experience Section of Your LinkedIn Profile
Whether you are a job seeker or a business owner, what’s essential is that you use this section of your profile to shine a light on the experience and achievements in each role that are relevant to your goals for LinkedIn. Avoid cutting and pasting your job description. Instead, give people an overall sense of your responsibilities. It’s also good to highlight any key achievements.
You can also highlight particular skills you demonstrated in each role.
Need help with LinkedIn?
Browse Think Bespoke’s website library and knowledge base for helpful articles about LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn Marketing and Career Management.