4 LinkedIn Tips for the Ultimate Profile
First things first—- do you have a LinkedIn? If you do not, you should make one. LinkedIn is a great way to extend your resume, network with people, and learn more about your industry. While some professions are more LinkedIn driven– like sales and marketing, it is still important to have one nonetheless.
LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members, and growing rapidly.” The people at LinkedIn have made it their mission to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
If you are brand new to LinkedIn, this post should help you build a stellar profile. If you already have one, be sure to read over these tips to ensure that your profile is up to par.
Tip #1: Profile Picture
Having a professional picture is key when it comes to building your profile. There are a few simple DO’s and DON’T’s you should consider.
Don’t use a photo that is 5-10+ years old. I know someone who is completely bald now, using a photo from 15 years ago when he had a full head of hair. This is confusing, misleading, and makes you look silly once you meet someone face-to-face.
Don’t use a photo where you are dressed inappropriately. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen women use photos from bachelorette parties, at a bar, etc.
Don’t use a selfie. Unless it is a really well done selfie where it is not obviously that you are taking it, this just looks unprofessional. Also, since it unfortunately needs repeating– DO NOT USE A SELFIE FROM YOUR CAR. I know, I know the lighting is always amazing from your driver’s seat, but please save that for Facebook, not LinkedIn.
Don’t use a wedding photo. Guys can get away with this, because usually they are dressed in a nice suit and do not look out of place. However, for a woman to use her own wedding photo is definitely a no-no, but even as a bridesmaid I would stir clear of that as well.
Do make sure that your face takes up the majority of the frame. Having a full body photo or far away shot is not what a headshot is for.
Do dress professionally, but don’t lose your personality. Many people hear headshot and think of wearing a white button down and black blazer. If this is your go-to style then go for it!
But, don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your outfit. This is your chance to show some of your personality, so take advantage of that– just remember to be professional. Blazers are great, and definitely a signature piece in my wardrobe, but for women we have a lot of options. You don’t have to wear a blazer– a nice top, sweater, or dress can work really well.
Do choose the right facial expression. Before my current profile picture, I had a photo of me smiling very wide and looking away. It was a SUPER CUTE photo, I had on an amazing suit, my hair looked fantastic. I thought this photo showed that I was a professional, but also stylish and approachable. What more could you want in a social media manager?
Here’s the photo for reference:
It was pointed out to me that this photo didn’t appear like I was someone to be taken seriously. While I was trying to look approachable and like I was a social, outgoing person, fit to be part of a social media agency– my photo was more so saying that I was trying to rely on those personality traits, rather than my background, education, professionalism, etc. It was suggested I used a photo where I was looking straight on to the camera, dressed the part, and didn’t give a full smile.
I went with this photo instead:
I am much happier with my current profile picture and feel that is it still showcases my personality, while also demonstrating that I am a confidence, career-driven woman who can be a part of a team.
Lastly, you do not have to have your photo done by a professional. iPhone are pretty good these days with taking pictures, just make sure you have good lighting and don’t go crazy on photoshop and filters.
Tip #2: Customizable URL
LinkedIn gives you the option to customize your URL. So, instead of having your profile read: http://www.linkedin.com/in/345fhjkhas-38jghsloe (as an example) it could read http://www.linkedin.com/in/thechicword (as an example).
Step by step instructions:
1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
2. Click View profile.
3. On your profile page, click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
4. Under Edit URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
6. Click Save.
Tip #3: Summary
Having a personal summary is a MUST for LinkedIn. It is your time to really showcase what makes you unique.
An effective LinkedIn summary should do 3 things:
1. Shows relevance
2. Differentiates you
3. Makes people want more
Crafting the perfect LinkedIn summary can be tricky. You want to be able to tell your story, share anything that sets you apart (that otherwise might not go on a resume or would get lost), talk about your passions, skills, unique experiences, and why you are important.
It’s helpful to draft up several copies and let friends, family, co-workers, mentors, etc. read over it to review. This can be very useful if you are someone who struggles to determine what makes you unique or great skills you have, that you often overlook. Another set of eyes may be able to remind you of those awesome traits or lead you in the right direction.
Tip #4: Add Skills
The skills section of your LinkedIn should NOT be ignored.
When you get endorsed for skills it shows people that someone other than yourself is saying you have demonstrated these skills. This can increase the strength of our profile and helps you be discovered for further opportunities related to the skills on your profile.
Last year, LinkedIn upped its practices when it comes to skills and endorsements. Before you could just add skills and anyone could give you an endorsement. You would see some people with over 500 endorsements for sales, when half of those people have NO IDEA if that person is actually skilled in sales. It became a practice of almost a “like for a like” or “follow for follow”. The hope was that if you endorsed someone, they would return the favor. It also was common for someone to connect with you and then leave an endorsement, almost as a way of saying “thanks for the connection”.
Now, LinkedIn makes you work a little bit when it comes to endorsements. When you go to endorse someone, they now ask several questions.
1. How good is this person at whatever the skill is?
2. How do you know about these skills? (They list several options, including: worked together on the same project, managed the person, worked at the company but not in the same department, etc.)
So those are my 4 tips when it comes to creating your LinkedIn profile. I hope that you enjoyed this post! I have a few more LinkedIn related posts in queue– so stay tuned.
Cheers & stay chic!