LinkedIn is a powerful platform to build your professional brand, win new business, manage relationships with existing clients, keep in touch with past colleagues and find your career’s next step.
Here are 8 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Look Polished and Professional.
Use a professional picture.
This one might seem a little obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people who, in the hurry to get their profiles functional, choose any old picture of themselves they happen to have on hand. You don’t need to go spend $500 on a professional portrait session, but if all you’ve got is last week’s picture of you at a friend’s BBQ, get an inexpensive headshot done at a department store or other studio. Try to get a picture where you have a genuine smile–smiles are inviting and infectious.
Make use of applications.
Applications such as WordPress, Slideshare and others are all available to use with LinkedIn. Syncing your profile with these applications allows you to add information such as pictures and blog posts easily, keeping the profile up to date or alerting your connections to new things you’ve accomplished or are doing.
Make your URL customized.
Similar to other networking sites, by default, LinkedIn includes some alphanumerical characters in your profile URL. You want to get rid of these because a simplified URL is much easier to remember and reduces the chances of accidental mistypes. You can find the settings for this by going to “Settings,” “Edit Public Profile” and “Customize Your Public Profile URL.”
Give more attention to your headline.
One mistake people often make with LinkedIn profile headlines is including poor keywords. Think critically about what others would type in to find you. Don’t use cliches or hyperbole if you can avoid it, and really think about how you want others to see you, keeping in mind that the headline is one of the first things people will view. Instead of resorting to just job titles, get creative and think of a new way to describe what you do.
Be more thorough in your summary.
The summary portion of your LinkedIn profile doesn’t need to be limited to a few descriptors and your current job title. It’s the spot where you can express not only your history and skills in a nutshell, but also your goals and personality. Focus on telling your personal story. You also can use it to link to more information, such as your company website, videos or work examples. If you imagine that the viewer isn’t going to see anything else but the summary, your content likely will be more on the right track.
LinkedIn does include an endorsements feature, but by all accounts, employers and clients who might be interested in your profile don’t pay it too much attention. Likely this is because a basic endorsement, despite showing that someone trusts you in a given area, doesn’t explain why that person supports you. Recommendations in the form of quotes do. Including just a handful of them can give your credibility a huge boost.
Be part of groups.
Your LinkedIn profile should give viewers a well-rounded view of who you are and what you do. Your choice of groups sends a very distinct message about your professional goals and interests. It also provides an excellent opportunity for you to connect easily with other individuals in your field or who might support your work.
Update, update, update.
When you let your LinkedIn profile sit unchanged for a while, viewers can wonder if what’s on it is still current and relevant. You want to show those who visit your page that you’re still active and that they can trust the information they see. Some experts say you should update at least once a month, but others say you should do it as often as daily. Having a blog or simply posting a status is an easy way to make this plausible.
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