A strong social media presence is essential for all professionals, whether they are trying to boost their job prospects or looking for ways to develop their career. As the king of professional networks, Linkedin can help you achieve your career goals, which is why it’s important to invest in building a professional profile. Below you’ll find the 40 most powerful Linkedin profile tips that will help you establish your professional presence on this platform.
To help you out we’ve divided the list into four sections; building your profile, configuring your settings, boosting your presence and networking.
Stage 1: Building Your Linkedin Profile
1. Complete Your Profile
A complete profile can help boost your professional image and it can also increase your chances of getting found or noticed. According to data collected in 2016 "people who list skills on their profiles get 13 times more views" Linkedin will even suggest ways to make your profile stronger so simply follow its lead.
2. Choose Your Profile Picture Wisely
Apart from helping your profile appear more complete, a profile picture can also make you more memorable. As our brains tend to work better with visual stimuli, putting your face there will help people remember you. Make sure that your picture is nice and professional. A picture with you smiling will go a long way towards helping you create a positive first impression.
3. Add More Sections
Most people tend to focus on their education and work experience, but to make your Linkedin profile stronger you should also include some other sections as well. Languages, awards, certifications or even volunteering and causes you care about will deliver a more comprehensive picture of who you are as an individual.
4. Use the 1st Person
Even though you can use the 3rd person on your CV, you are advised against it when it comes to your Linkedin profile. Using the 1st person will make you sound more confident, and also help you establish a conversational tone that will make it easier for people to approach you.
5. Include a Current Job Title
When recruiters are going through profiles, they often filter by current job title which could hurt your chances of getting found if you are unemployed and don’t have a current job title. If you feel uncomfortable using a current job title when you don’t have a job, try to pick up a little freelance work.
6. Make Your Education Specific
As Linkedin pulls information from your profile to make suggestions, it’s important to be very specific about what you studied and where. It will suggest that you join your university’s alumni group, as well as recommend you classmates etc.
7. Add Your Contact Information
It’s important to make it easy for other professionals to contact you if they want to, so don’t forget to include your contact information. Make sure that you list your email address, phone number and links to other social media pages you are using for professional purposes , as well as a link to your website.
8. Proofread Everything
Grammar and spelling mistakes can make you look bad, so it’s important to proofread everything you publish. This includes, information about your background, as well as articles etc.
9. Make Your Headline Memorable
As your headline sits right under your name, it is your first method of communicating to others what you want them to know about you. As such, it should be interesting but not cheesy, while it should also help people understand exactly what it is that you do.
10. Write a Compelling Summary
To understand what your summary should include think of it as your answer to the ‘tell me about yourself’ common interview question. As such, it should highlight your accomplishments and focus on your goals.
11. Highlight Your Work Experience
Perhaps the best Linkedin profile tip is to see it as your online CV. The only difference is that instead of it being reviewed by a single recruiter each time, the online CV gets viewed by many different recruiters who might be looking for the same exact skill set you possess.
12. Make Sure Your Profile and CV Match
Whether you are found first on Linkedin, or the recruiter is simply cyber-stalking you after s/he’s received your CV, it’s important to ensure that your profile and CV match and that this information can be confirmed by previous employers, etc.
13. Avoid Buzzwords
To set yourself apart and show your unique skill set, you need to avoid buzzwords. Words like creative, strategic, responsible, analytical, motivated, etc. have been so overused that they have now lost all sense of meaning.
14. Talk About Your Accomplishments
In the professional world, we are nothing but the sum of our accomplishments and this is why it’s important to list them. Make sure you highlight your achievements, both in your job description and work experience etc. as the more prominent they are, the better are your chances of getting noticed.
15. Use Keywords
Whether you are job searching or are just looking to advance your career it’s important to include keywords in your profile as they will help you get noticed. Keywords mean that you know what you are talking about and this is how they help professionals boost their prospects.
Stage 2: Configuring Your Settings
16. Customise Your URL
Being detail-oriented is always a big perk in the professional world, and this is why you need to customise your URL. Each user gets assigned a number upon sign up and that number is used by the network to create your specific URL. Luckily, Linkedin allows its users to edit that URL and customise it to fit their needs. Generally speaking, a URL that includes your name, for example linkedin.com/yourname, is the best option.
17. Turn Off Your Activity Broadcaster at the Beginning
You should only do this when you are trying to put together your profile, and you should do it to avoid filling your connections’ feeds with updates about your first job, high-school information etc. As soon as you’ve finished building your profile, you can turn it back on so that people in your network can see what you are up to.
18. Include a Link to Your Website or Blog
It’s becoming increasingly important for professionals to have their own personal brand and nothing helps you build your brand more effectively than a personal website or a blog. Make sure to include a link to your website or blog on your Linkedin profile as this will drive traffic to your website. If you want to customise the generic ‘website’ or ‘blog’ that Linkedin will brand your link with, go to the ‘Other’ option and include your website’s title and link.
19. Use a Background Image
Using a background image shows that you’re a person who pays attention to detail, while it also gives you the opportunity to establish your personal brand. You can use a PNG, a JPG or a GIF so long as the resolution is 1400x425.
20. Keep Your Profile Public
Unlike other social media platforms, Linkedin is not there for you to share moments of your life with others. It is strictly a platform for meeting and connecting with other professionals, and it’s important to keep your profile public. Remember that you want to be found and that you want people to see what you’ve achieved in your professional life.
21. Manage Your Viewing Profile Settings
Although it would be great if you could see information on who views your profile but not have them view your name and headline, it doesn’t work that way. There are three options to choose from when viewing profiles.
- Name and Headline: others will get to see this information about you when you are checking out their profiles and you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your profile as well.
- Private Profile Characteristics: you’ll be able to see restricted information about people visiting your profile and vice-versa.
- Private Mode: Private mode will allow you to view other profiles anonymously, but you will also not be able to see other people’s information unless you are a Premium Linkedin member.
22. Understand How You Rank
A great profile tip is to understand how you rank in relation to the rest of your connections. This will help you understand which areas you need to develop to make your presence stronger.
23. Keep Your Connections a Secret
Although the internet is all about sharing, it’s understandable if you don’t want to give away your connections. It’s probably taken you a long time to build your network, and if you are afraid of competition it’s ok not to share the names and job titles of the rest of the people in your network.
Stage 3: Boosting Your Presence
24. Make the Most of Job Listings
It’s not always easy to understand what recruiters are looking for, but one method is to include information contained in job listings on your profile. Take a look at the job listings of a few companies you admire and see what they include in the job description and work duties, then pull that information out and figure out how to include it in your profile.
25. Keep Your Profile Up to Date
As important as it is to build an effective profile, it’s also important to continuously update it. Any new skills or qualifications you gain should be included on your profile, while it’s also important to list new positions and work duties.
26. Publish Original Content
Content is very powerful; it can significantly boost your presence and help you establish your expertise. If you publish original content on your website choose to publish it on Linkedin every once in a while.
27. Include Rich Media
To make your Linkedin profile even more interesting, add videos and slideshares that are pertinent to your work. If you’ve helped put together a video, for example, make sure you include it, while if you’ve prepared an educational slideshow you should also include it.
28. Have a Daily Presence
It’s important for your profile not to look abandoned so try signing in for a few minutes on a daily basis. You can read and like articles, share something you found interesting or publish original content, whatever you choose to do, it’s important to be active.
29. Mention Projects You Are Working On
One of the best features of Linkedin is that it lets you mention projects you’ve worked on or are currently working on. Although you should be careful not to share too much, this is a great way to talk the rest of the people in your network information about your work.
30. Make Sure You Post Things At the Right Time
To ensure that people are going to see your posts you need to find out when the best day and time to post things is. Generally speaking, the best time to post things on Linkedin is morning to lunch as many professionals are active during work-hours.
Stage 4: Networking
31. Personalise Email Requests
To make meaningful connections, you should try to go past sending standardised requests. As Linkedin requests are sent to a person’s email address, try to include a note as to why you want to connect or who you are.
32. Ask for Endorsements
What makes your Linkedin more powerful than your CV is that others get to vouch for you quite publically. Through endorsements, people who’ve worked with you can say whether you possess a skill you claim to have or not. To make your endorsements section more powerful list the skills you care most about at the beginning and ask people to focus on them.
33. Connect with People in Your Industry
Another great feature of Linkedin is that it lets you meet people in your industry. Whether you are searching for specific job titles or companies, Linkedin will always make recommendations of other people you need to connect with.
34. Connect With as Many People as Possible
Needless to say that quality trumps numbers, but having 500+ connections gives you credibility and makes you seem involved with your industry which, in turn, can make it easier to achieve your goals.
35. Follow Linkedin Influencers
To make the most of your Linkedin presence, you need to understand what this platform can do for you. And apart from the wonderful networking opportunities Linkedin offers, it’s also a great channel to learn about trends in your industry. To do that, simply follow your industry’s influencers and pay attention to what they are talking about.
36. Nurture Relationships
Making connections would mean nothing if you don’t take the time to maintain and nurture them. To do that you can try simple techniques such as congratulating them on a new job or achievement. It really takes no time at all to do that and it can help you create some powerful friendships in the professional world.
37. Join Groups
With more than two million Linkedin groups available, you are bound to find one that is of interest to you. It’s important to note that your goal should not be to join as many groups as you can, but rather you should focus on joining as many groups as your time will allow you to be active on.
38. Gather Recommendations
Much like reference letters, Linkedin recommendations can help people understand what you are like to work with. Although not having recommendations will not hurt your career opportunities, having them could be that little extra boost that will help your career lift off.
39. Create Your Own Group
If you are looking for something to do that would take you the extra mile, consider creating your own group. Of course, you need to make sure that you’ll have time to open discussions etc., but it’s definitely worth the trouble.
40. Follow Up on Connections You’ve Made
As important as it is to personalise your invitation to connect, it’s also important to follow up on new connections, especially if you met them at a business event and are looking to create a more meaningful relationship with them.
No matter what your professional goals are, Linkedin can help you achieve them. These profile tips are bound to get you noticed so make sure you apply them sooner rather than later.
Do you use any alternative professional networks? Let me know in the comment section below!