With over 575 million users, LinkedIn is probably the most effective platform for connecting business professionals across the globe. So, how do you make sure you are using LinkedIn to your best advantage? Connecting with key people at your dream company, or influential figures in your sector is great but you want to make sure you’re making the best impression possible when they visit your profile.
From getting endorsements from peers to choosing the right photo, we offer some top tips for perfecting your LinkedIn profile.
Choose the right images
Your photo is the first thing people notice so make sure it presents you in your best light and sends the right message. Generally speaking, it’s best to opt for a picture that is corporate in style. It needn’t be stuffy or overly smart if that is not your personality but we’d recommend you wear clothing that is at least office casual and shows that you are serious about your career and making a good impression. Avoid bright or busy prints that could be distracting and choose a pose where you are looking directly at the camera or that shows you engaged in conversation. You could even choose an image of you presenting at a conference, or attending an awards ceremony, though perhaps before the drinks had been flowing too freely!
When choosing your background photo, make sure it really adds to your profile and shows your connections the things that matter to you - though, same as with your portrait, it’s best to keep it professional. You could opt for your company logo or branding, or images relating to your product or service. Perhaps a picture of your team winning an award or presenting at a product launch. If you live in an iconic city, you might go for a city skyline or a piece of architecture. If you’re really stuck, choose an abstract image or pattern in a color scheme that complements your portrait.
Optimize your headline
Your headline is the next opportunity to grab people’s attention. LinkedIn allows for a certain amount of creativity here so if you have something beyond your current job title to say, why not say it? If you’re currently unemployed, don’t simply state that in your headline. It’s important to include the relevant keywords to improve your chances of being found by prospective employers and to introduce yourself properly. A good example of this would be, “Experienced US-based Procurement and Supply Chain professional, currently seeking new opportunities”.
Feel free to mention relevant achievements, awards, or qualifications though be gracious when doing so. It’s OK to add in a few descriptive words to enhance your headline, too. Highly experienced, collaborative, creative, and so forth.
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Prioritize the information
Treat your LinkedIn profile as you would a resume and prioritize the information well. Assume your connections will have limited time to find about you. What do you want them to take away with them? What’s the lasting impression you want to give? This doesn’t necessarily mean listing your achievements right at the top, it means controlling your story and telling it the way you want to whilst making the maximum positive impact.
Your LinkedIn profile is more than a resume. It’s a way of really introducing yourself to the business community. Use the summary area to bring your skills and achievements to life. How do you make a difference to your employers and co-workers? What value do you bring and what is special about your approach and way of working?
Unlike your resume, it’s OK to speak in the first person, in fact, this makes it more compelling. Steer clear of jargon and standardized business-speak and make it meaningful, and honest.
Ask for, and give endorsements
Endorsements are the top trust indicator on LinkedIn so make sure you have at least a few on your profile from 1st-degree connections. These could include former employers, co-workers, and peers. Take a strategic approach to the people you request endorsements from. Choose some connections that can attest to specific technical skills and experience that you have and some who can shout about what a great team-player you are.
Requesting an endorsement is simple as you can see from this simple guide from LinkedIn. Make sure you contact the person in advance to check they’re happy to recommend you. You could even offer them an endorsement in return to sweeten the deal. You’ll be able to approve the endorsement before publication and you can even request amends from the writer.
Share or produce compelling content
Whether you’re a great writer with plenty to say or you simply know a lot about procurement and supply chain, you should make an effort to share content on LinkedIn. This demonstrates your knowledge of the sector and encourages connections to engage with your content. It can also introduce you to wider discussion groups and new connections. Share your perspective on recent industry events and drop in a line asking for your connection’s thoughts on the topic.
Try to make sharing content a regular part of your networking and LinkedIn activity. Showing up in a random fashion is unlikely to get any positive engagement. People need to get to know you, after all. There’s no harm in provoking discussion but steer clear of being too controversial unless you are 100% confident you can follow-through on your stance.
We hope these top tips for perfecting your LinkedIn profile have helped you get some ideas on how to enhance your presence on this powerful platform. Authenticity goes a long way, so make sure you are true to yourself and that you are respectful, inclusive, and credible at all times.
Don’t forget to share your own recommendations for networking on LinkedIn on our social media feeds, and if there’s anything you’d like to see covered in this blog or if we can help you with anything career-wise, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
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