It’s been a while since you’ve created your LinkedIn profile and been squandering a considerable amount of time going through searches and sending messages of intent. To your dismay, nothing has happened!
So, you ask yourself — is the platform still relevant or is it a wild-goose chase especially since you are being pitted against millions of other profiles? Can I still use LinkedIn to help me get a job or a career? How do I make my profile stand out?
Did you know that LinkedIn has been around since 2003? It is a widely accepted platform for businesses, job seekers, hiring managers, and potential employers. The professional networking site has amassed 600 million users and growing.
Well, this is probably the reason why you have a LinkedIn profile: you want to take advantage of its huge career opportunities. Believe it or not, LinkedIn wants you to get that job. It can perform wonders, if and only if it is used correctly and effectively. You need to be able to exploit the platform to your advantage.
Here are our 5 tips for your needed LinkedIn profile help.
1. Make Your Profile Photo “Right Swipeable”
Seems fairly easy, isn’t it? A “good quality and professional-looking” photo should be your most recent photo and should reflect how you look on a daily basis – hair, eyeglasses, and so on. Think about giving your potential employer a clear idea of how you look.
The ideal size profile picture is 400×400 pixels, this is often considered a high-resolution image. Also, make sure your face takes up about 60% of the frame. You can crop the photo from the top of your shoulders to just slightly above your head.
To smile or not to smile? It’s okay to look a bit serious in your photo but a smiling expression puts people at ease and therefore makes you look approachable. There’s a study that people will view you as confident, approachable, likable, and even competent when you smile.
2. List Skills and Objectives Thoroughly.
Be comprehensive and don’t leave anything out.
Your headline should show your main skills because this brief description appears right next to the user’s name in the search results. Some make the mistake of using LinkedIn’s suggested, very generic headline. Give it a little effort and customize your own because this will promptly set you apart from the others and provide a good reason for hiring managers to view your profile.
Here is an example of a good headline:
I help B2B startups and SMBs to generate more leads via LinkedIn and Email marketing.
You want to state what types of companies you work with and how you can help them.
Write a crisp, compelling summary, shooting for 200-300 words that should include specifics and verifiable accomplishments.
Coming back to the topic at hand, you should also indicate that you are, in fact, looking for a job. Use this portion as an announcement of your availability.
This is also the part where you need to include your value proposition. You can’t just label yourself an “excellent salesperson”…there’s just no value to it, besides, it sounds generic and boring! However, you can’t be too hyperbolic either. And although the words “expert”, “dedicated”, and “hard-working” apply to you, these won’t make recruiters interested. If anything, it’ll make you seem conceited or shallow. Think deeply about including the right mix of personal identifiers.
If you need help in this area, The Bauke Group can offer you guidance especially when you are overwhelmed on which titles to use.
3. Get Recommendations and Endorsements.
Yes, recruiters read recommendations and endorsements.
Profiles with endorsements generate 17x more profile views compared to those without. Actively reach out to past supervisors or work colleagues to get recommendations.
The more specific the recommendation, the better (e.g. ‘Susan and I worked together in a project which resulted in an increase in productivity by 112%’). This will really showcase your strength as compared to a colleague endorsing you with a “Dan did a great job!”
You will also fare better in search results. And because you are getting more profile views, you will have better opportunities to get in touch with people who are in a similar industry. The Bauke Group is big on strategizing opportunities and managing careers that would be invaluable to you as a professional.
When you have several endorsements to your name, don’t be afraid to pick which ones to show. It is your profile after all and should reflect relevant professional successes. There is an edit section where you can toggle to show or hide each one. We recommend showcasing at least five recommendations.
4. Customize Your URL.
Why? Because you have to have a top-notch resume, and this will immensely benefit you from a search engine standpoint.
Your public profile is your brand and should be aligned with your goals. LinkedIn will automatically assign any gnarly URL (Universal Resource Relocator) with a series of numbers in it if you do not take the simple step to customize it to your personal brand.
The random letters and numbers can’t be remembered so having a recognizable one is to your advantage. People can easily access your profile and endorse it. You can also use your customized URL in your email signature and consulting business cards.
Personalizing your URL isn’t as hard as you think. Just follow these steps:
- Log in to your LinkedIn account.
- Hover your mouse on “Profile”, which can be found on the top part of the screen, then click “edit profile”.
- Look below your photo and you’ll see your profile’s URL. Click the “edit” link next to it.
- Under “Your public profile URL” on the lower right side of the window, click the “customize your public profile URL” link.
- Enter your preferred URL name in the field.
- Click “Set Custom URL”
5. Build Your Network.
Connections are the backbone of an effective LinkedIn profile.
Your network is a representation of those you know and trust. Remember, it’s not just about collecting connections, focus on the quality of relationships and relevance to your most desired industry.
Some of the things you should consider when adding or inviting a contact:
- Do I know this person in a personal or professional context?
- Do I want to be part of this person’s network?
- Would I be comfortable to ask that person for an introduction?
- Would I be willing to introduce that person in return?
It also helps to maintain a visible presence on LinkedIn. This means regularly checking in, congratulating people for their accomplishments and work anniversaries, as well as posting an interesting article or status update. This is not Facebook or Instagram however, you don’t want to be over-posting. Several times a week should be sufficient – just often enough for you to be up to speed if there are important messages in your inbox.
To wrap it up, invest time to maximize career opportunities whether this is polishing your LinkedIn profile, adding more skill sets, or managing your career effectively. You can’t succeed without putting in the hard but necessary work.