Part 1: Build your profile
I was looking for a new job at the end of last year and honestly didn’t know where to start. I, of course, navigated my way through the typical job advertisement pages and signed up for alerts.
Interestingly, I got a LinkedIn email and I thought ‘Oh! Better update my profile!’ I turned on the “Open to Job Opportunities” feature so only recruiters could see that I was looking for a job.
This opened up an entire platform for networking, which allowed me to connect with previous colleagues and leaders who could mentor me through the process. It also enabled me to showcase my skill set and work experience.
I was honestly so surprised that this one website could offer me so much.
I soon found that almost all companies advertise through LinkedIn and many use the sophisticated search functions in LinkedIn as an integral part of their process.
As I began to work with recruiters and started getting interview offers I was shocked to find that every single employer was clicking on my page before my interview! I was so underprepared!
I definitely needed a new and more professional photo, needed to quickly update my ‘About’ section rather than the generic one LinkedIn generated. Plus I really needed to start posting content to demonstrate my expertise.
Having secured a job, in the last 6 months I have worked hard to build my profile and my online presence to attract and retain customers in the competitive space of medical products. I have built so many connections with key people of influence across the globe that I never would have imagined possible.
I have even been fortunate enough to connect with LinkedIn trainers and coaches who have guided my success on this social media platform.
So what can you do to build a killer profile on LinkedIn?
Tip 1: Your Profile photo
The first thing you really need a professional photo. LinkedIn is a professional platform so ensure people can clearly see your face. You also need to make sure that your photo is actually visible!
There is an option to hide your profile until you’ve made the connection, by then it’s too late!
I learnt this when I was about to go for an interview in a hotel lobby and had no idea what the person looked like. It was a little awkward looking around trying to guess who looked like a person waiting for an interviewee!!
I was fortunate enough to have some training with Karen Tisdell a well renowned LinkedIn coach.
Karen added some more depth to the importance of having a clear close-up photo. She explained that people need to be able to look into your eyes so they get a sense of what kind of person you are.
It is so true!
We connect with people because we get a sense of who they are and what they’re like. If we have the ability to portray our sense of being through a photo then we need to take advantage of it.
Tip 2: Headline
There is some debate about what needs to be in your headline.
Some people want to appear catchy and interesting but to be honest, when I see a profile I just want to know what the person’s job title is and where they work.
I want to know who is looking at my profile and who I should send a connection request to and who will add value to my professional development.
It is also important to know that this is how people can search for you.
LinkedIn uses keywords to search for individuals so be specific about your job title and industry and leave room for some creativity at the end of your headline.
It is only 120 characters long so make each letter, number, emoticon count!
Tip 3: About Section
I’m definitely guilty of just copying and pasting the suggested LinkedIn ‘About’ section that was written by a robot.
Update, update, update!
Now, this doesn’t mean copy and paste your cover letter (this is what I did after removing the robot version).
I have since found that is just as boring! Future potential employers get a copy of your resume anyway so give them something a little more interesting on your LinkedIn page.
I have re-written this section to give a good summary of my career but also to engage the reader to want to connect with me. Here is my example:
You may have also noticed that I used emoticons in this section. This is something I never thought to do until I had a bit of coaching with Karen and read her article:
I feel it has created a point of difference for myself and helps me stand out in the crowd of millions of boring LinkedIn profiles and would keep me memorable in peoples’ minds.
LinkedIn is THE MOST underutilised business tool. It is definitely becoming the biggest B2B advertising platform and employment seeking site. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to connect with influential people on a professional level.
It is important to have an up to date profile that has involved a bit of thought because you never know who is looking and who your next viewer is – they could be a future employer, a collaborator, or a big client!
What methods do you use to stand out from the rest?
I would love to see your comments below!
Oh! and stay tuned for Part 2 where I show you how to post to maximise your engagement and views on LinkedIn.