Your LinkedIn profile should not be a copy of your CV and certainly not a shortened version. Beyond finding a job, having an outstanding online profile can help you to develop your professional network, add to your personal brand, increase your industry credibility and eventually leverage sales.
But, what makes a stellar LinkedIn profile? Here’s a short guide to optimise your profile in just two ticks.
Tell the right story to the right audience
No need to be a social media expert to create a great profile – who knows you better than yourself?
Your LinkedIn profile is about you. It is a place where you can display your strengths, successes, expertise and really sell yourself. Defining and understanding the goal of your profile is essential as it will help you shape your professional story and convey the right message to the right audience.
- Ask yourself who is your audience? What are you using your profile for?
Create a story tailored to your audience that will engage with it.
Adapt your language and showcase your relevant experience and skills.
Opt for a more authentic, informal writing style that will highlight your professional and personal capabilities.
It is also important to make yourself visible, using relevant keywords in your headline and throughout your profile, increasing your chance of featuring higher in searches.
Most common mistakes and why you should avoid them
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of recurring mistakes I see on LinkedIn – and how to avoid them.
The summary is probably one of the most important sections of your profile. It gives a more personal and deeper insight to your professional experience. Write about yourself: What have you achieved? Why are you good at your job? What are your interests? Think about what you want to tell people. Opt for a personal, informal writing style using the first person – I’ve read far too many profiles written as the third person and, ‘’she’’ doesn’t like it.
Lack of professional profile picture
LinkedIn is not Facebook, you need a good quality picture of you without your sunglasses or hat on and even though it may break your heart to part with them, without your better, half or pet! A professional headshot is always better but a picture taken by a friend on plain background can also do the trick. Remember, this is the image you are projecting to your business network – so avoid your latest Instagram selfie (even though you might look great in it!).
Work history out of date, not relevant or a lack of detail!
Your work experience supports the story you are trying to tell about yourself, your expertise and achievements. It is important to keep it up to date and relevant to your industry. A.K.A your future employer doesn’t necessarily need to know you were a bartender at Wetherspoon’s 20 years ago when he’s looking for an experienced field engineer. Essentially, add a brief description of your role and any key achievements or successes.
Too much detail VS not enough
As I said above, you don’t want to feature random information about your experience or yourself. BUT, no information at all isn’t the way to go either. Keep your profile as concise, relevant and clear as possible – use bullet points, media attachments to webpages, videos or presentations, why not?!.
Using unofficial pages for companies, university or school.
Make sure to use official pages when tagging your schools and companies, this will help you to become more visible and grow your network. This also shows you are a real person with a genuine experience, not a fraud.
Not informative, boring headlines
Your headline should always mention your current professional situation (job role, graduate…), where you work or what you are looking for and, your areas of expertise.Here’s some good examples of headlines to help you.
5 tips to takeaway with you
Make your profile work for you and remember to:
- Be consistent
- Be professional
- Be Relevant
- Go for quality over quantity
- Use a more authentic and personal tone of voice (or to shorten – be you)
If you want to know more about how social networks like LinkedIn can leverage your brand, marketing and sales activity – contact a member of our team!