Is your 5 year old LinkedIn profile uncompleted, unloved and generally uninspiring? Maybe you don’t have a profile at all. Fear not! Here you can find out how LinkedIn can help you build a presence in the professional world, helping you to stand out from the crowd.
- Over 225m professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities
- LinkedIn allows you to: stay informed about your contacts and industry; find the people and knowledge you need to achieve your goals; and control your professional identity online
- Lots of fantastic features include a profile, news feed, company pages, influencers messaging tools, company pages and community building, to name a few
- Hubspot says that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at driving B2B sales than Facebook and Twitter
LinkedIn is a great resource as it provides you with a full database of profiles at the touch of a button. The platform is a great way to network and stay connected with useful contacts, and can hugely enhance your credibility, helping to establish you as an authority in your industry, product or service.
Where to start?
The most important function is the personal profile – your shop window to the world!
Firstly, create a new profile (if you haven’t already). Next, set about populating as many of the information fields as possible:
A profile picture is a must! Ensure that it looks professional, personable and recognisable.
For consistency, make sure that you use the same image across all the online platforms you are using.
Found directly underneath your name, getting your header spot on is key! Many people simply add their job title to this field, which is absolutely fine. But to make a great impression, try adding something with a little personality. You have up to 120 characters to play around with so make the most of each one! Including keywords and location will make you more searchable so keep in mind what your audience is looking for when they search. For example, in place of “Marketing Manager”, you might use “Experienced Marketing and Communications Professional specialising in Social Media, based in London.”
Ensure that these fields are completed. Prospects want to know that you’re experienced!
A vanity URL such as linkedin.com/in/ZoeCairns gives a professional look to your link, which you can promote on your CV, Twitter account, website and other platforms. Amend this in the section directly below your profile picture.
Your summary should include interesting copy which talks about you and highlights what makes you/your company and products/services so special. Use keywords frequently and include a call to action such as “Get in touch for more information.” Avoid using large chunks of text. This field can also be used to list your specialities.
This field is where you can talk about your current role. Here you can provide detail of your day-to-day work. Make it engaging and include keywords specific to your service/product/industry.
This section allows you to promote your portfolio and serves to bolster your summary with real-life examples of your work. These could be factsheets, e-books, documents, brochures, images or videos. Be sure to caption each file with a short explanation.
When your profile grabs the attention of your prospects, you want them to be able to easily contact you and so it is essential to complete this field. Include details such as email address, work telephone number, address, work-associated Twitter account, company website or blog.
Detail your previous experience fully. Even if you don’t think it is completely relevant to what you do now, you’ll never know when a mutual interest might pop up. Don’t forget to explain any gaps in your career, e.g. travel, voluntary work or maternity breaks.
Volunteer Experience and Causes These humanise you and show your diversity as a professional.
Projects can be used to show an insight into your work. Update these often.
Courses are a great way of showing that you’re always looking to improve yourself and your prospects.
Skill and Expertise / Recommendations and Endorsements Skills are simply keywords that can be endorsed by others with just one click. You can list up to 50 skills. Recommendations are real written testimonials from your connections. Request them from clients or work colleagues on a reciprocal basis. Usually if you recommend or endorse someone, they are likely to return the favour.
Finally, do you work in a different language? Have you published essays, a book or a white paper? Are you a member of your industry’s governing organisation or any large networking groups? Have you or your company won accolades or awards? If the answer to any or all of these questions is ‘Yes’, you should list these in your profile.
Now check your search rankings!
Profiles are ranked in search according to keyword density, profile completeness and shared connections.
Type in the keywords you want to be known for to the search bar at the top of the page. Are you at the top of the list? If not – go back through your profile and increase the number of keywords in your copy!
Need help to perfect your LinkedIn profile?
For more information on how you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd, contact ZC Social Media. We provide a range of services specifically for LinkedIn, from individual profile overhauls, company pages and advertising to corporate consultancy sessions and training. Get in touch today to find out more!
Zoe Cairns | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.zcsocialmedia.com