The 6 Essential LinkedIn Profile Styles
Your LinkedIn profile is an important marketing tool and like any piece of marketing, it needs to have a clear purpose that you can run with. Creating another social media profile and trying to get views and build a network is a wasted effort if you aren’t getting attention from the right people.
Not all profiles should have the same features or emphasis. While a job hunter wants to show off all of their qualifications, the same approach might not be true if you’re trying to find new employees or show off your business.
Before you begin creating a serious LinkedIn profile, you need to ask why you’re creating your profile and who for.
To help you get started we’re going to look at six of the essential LinkedIn profile styles, what techniques they use to create their profile, and how they can help your brand or business.
1. The Job Hunter
Since LinkedIn allows you to show off your skills and connect with professionals it’s a natural platform for finding a new job or employer. A recent survey found that 92% of recruiters use social media to find the best candidates.
Even if you aren’t actively looking for fresh work opportunities, it’s important to know if that’s what you ultimately want out of LinkedIn.
Anthony Gioeli’s summary is simple and direct while managing to give a good insight into his skills and experience:
With this type of profile, you are trying to put the focus on you, rather than your current employer, and to establish your authority in the industry. Your profile needs to:
- Demonstrate that you understand what makes a good professional in your industry
- Cover the training and technical expertise you have
- Showcase important responsibilities from previous roles such as leadership or teamwork
Unlike a CV or resume, LinkedIn isn’t a place to simply list your qualifications. To create a Job Hunter profile, you’ll need to tell a story with your work history which shows how you’ve grown over time and use your LinkedIn summary to discuss your approach to your field.
An employer should come across your profile and not just think, “this person is qualified enough,” but instead, “this person could bring something new to my company.”
2. The Networker
With its groups and publishing platform, LinkedIn is a fantastic way to grow out your professional network. Creating content and introducing users to each other are two of the main ways of doing this, but you need a good profile to back up your efforts.
Simon Sinek’s summary is an excellent example of a well-written summary designed to generate industry authority:
As with a Job Hunter profile you want to tell a story and establish your authority in the industry, but your emphasis should be on the value you can offer other users on LinkedIn. Your profile needs to:
- Mention the high-profile organisations you’ve worked with and the projects you’ve worked on in the past
- Demonstrate that you have an interesting and unique perspective on the industry
- Prove your willingness to connect people and create new opportunities
The focus in your profile should be less on your technical achievements and the skills you’ve used in your previous roles, and more how you’ve acted as a facilitator for others and how your vision for the industry has evolved over time.
3. The Entrepreneur
If you’re looking to use LinkedIn to pitch business ideas, find investments, or discover innovations for your organisations, then you’re looking for The Entrepreneur style profile.
LinkedIn provides you with historically unparalleled access to connect and communicate with start-ups and innovators from around the world. You can share ideas and generate discussion with people working directly in the field – there are 3 million people sharing content every week to help you.
Landon Ray’s summary gives you plenty of reason to believe he is an entrepreneur worth watching:
Here, users aren’t looking to hire you so much as they want to team up with you to get help with their business ideas. Your profile needs to:
- Show how you’ve helped to improve different businesses and organisations in the past
- Demonstrate that you understand the value of getting in early and championing new ideas
- Prove you have the technical experience and skill to back up your ambitions
In your profile, you want to emphasise examples of how you’ve helped organisations in the past, to showcase tangible results you’ve achieved, and to tell a story of someone who is passionate about changing their industry.
4. The Headhunter
Just as LinkedIn is a great place to find a job, it’s also a great tool for finding new employees or talent for your organisation. You can follow someone’s career, verify their expertise early on, and ensure you mesh before hiring them.
It’s tempting to think that as the employer, that you don’t need to put much effort into your profile but securing top talent requires more from you and it’s best to start your work relationship on the right footing.
Claire Mason’s summary is very company-oriented but makes an excellent case for working with Disney:
Your profile will have a greater focus on the values of the organisation you work for and your history with them. Your profile needs to:
- Showcase what you’ve helped your organisation achieve in the past
- Establish you as an approachable and innovative leader
- Share your vision for the industry and how you want to achieve it
Make sure you work history tells the story of how you came to work for your current organisation and how you’ve helped shape its values.
5. The Freelancer
Now that many companies are establishing themselves on LinkedIn and posting jobs directly on the platform, it’s a fantastic place to find new customers and clients.
You can build rapport with potential customers, you can pay attention to developments that might be able to use your skills, and you have a perfect platform to quickly sell yourself to people.
Goldie Chan’s summary is a perfect example of using LinkedIn to find new customers and clients:
While this style has many similarities to the Job Hunter, in this instance you need to prove your skills upfront and you don’t need as much emphasis on your soft skills in previous roles. Your profile needs to:
- Provide clear examples of the previous projects you have worked on
- Demonstrate that you have the skills and competence to work on a project for a client
- Establish your authority in the industry with awards and achievements
Your work history and summary should tell a story which shows that you are trustworthy, that you are passionate about your work, and that you’re a serious freelancer who can carry themselves professionally.
6. The Pioneer
Thanks to its unique combination of professional networking and social media, LinkedIn is a great place to share your ideas and make yourself a bigger player in the industry. Your focus here will be on content creation and building your professional brand.
Jeremy’s summary is friendly, well-written, and paints a picture of a true influencer:
This profile is similar to the Networker, but you’re trying primarily to become an authority figure rather than to build up contacts. You want your profile to lend support to your posts and to position yours as a candidate for think tanks, talks, and guest posting opportunities. Your profile needs to:
- Set out a clear vision for how you feel about the industry and your role in it
- Prove why people should take your content seriously
- Show your evolution over time in the industry
Telling a story is very important with this profile style. It shouldn’t read like a CV and your skills and expertise should be self-evident in your work history and summary.
Conclusion: The 6 Essential LinkedIn Profile Styles
It’s important that you define what style of profile you want to have and discover what it is you want your LinkedIn profile to achieve. By doing this it will be much easier to create a marketing campaign and to effectively grow your profile.
Not everyone will fit into the styles in this list and many people will want to accomplish several things with their profile, but you should try to have a central aim and a target audience.
If you want help finding out what your profile style should be, then get in touch with the LinkedIn specialists at Gett Results for a free profile analysis.