Your LinkedIn profile is the most important fundamental to get right on LinkedIn. It’s important you understand that everything you do on LinkedIn begins and ends with your LinkedIn profile. So if you don’t have a great LinkedIn profile then you can forget about getting great results.
You can essentially think of your LinkedIn profile as a marketing tool, however, most people don’t know where to even begin to optimise their profile.
In this post, we’re going to show you step by step what the anatomy of a great LinkedIn profile looks like.
Our goal for you is that after you have finished reading this blog post, you will be able to start making changes to each of the relevant sections of your profile that will make the biggest impact.
You’d be amazed how many people on LinkedIn have a profile photo that makes them appear unprofessional or do their company any justice.
Here are a couple examples below.
INSERT IMAGES OF POOR PROFILE PICTURES
You wouldn’t believe that they are CEO’s of companies but they are.
If you don’t have a professional looking profile picture then it will create the impression that you’re not a professional and don’t take your work seriously.
And if you’re creating this kind of impression then you can be sure that it’s costing you opportunities for network growth and even business opportunities.
Background Cover Image
A customised background cover image is a great branding tool and instantly tells visitors what you or your company stands for.
If you’re looking to increase exposure for your company then get a cover image created that has your company’s logo on it and even a tagline.
This is a great chance to create some instant branding and further demonstrate that you’re a professional that takes pride in their work.
Your headline should succinctly explain what it is you do. That’s really it.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind to really stand out and make a great impression with your headline.
The first thing is to think about the kinds of things that your target audience on LinkedIn would be searching for when they run a search.
We recommend that you place at least a couple keywords in your headline.
For example, if you’re a CEO then you’d obviously put that. Maybe you’re also an experienced people manager, marketer, or something else. These are the kinds of things you’d put after your primary role of CEO.
Then you should try to make your profile stand out with a little personality. For example, if you’re a chocolate lover then write ‘Chocolate Lover’ in your headline but put it after your most important job titles.
Little things like this are guaranteed to make you stand out on LinkedIn and also more likely to show up in searches, which boosts your profile’s exposure.
You want to make it easy for people to contact you and they shouldn’t have to search everywhere for your contact information.
This goes at the top of your profile and should include your preferred email address, website, and if you have a personal blog, then even include that. If you have a profile on Twitter then you should also include your Twitter handle as well.
Also, include your work phone number as well.
Your summary section is your big chance to ‘hook’ visitors when they land on your LinkedIn profile.
Ultimately, this section should accomplish a couple of things immediately:
- That you’re an expert in your organisation and industry
- That there is a consistent branding strategy in your company
- That you are able to provide value to any organisation you’re a part of
There are two phases to a great summary section.
One starts off with some personal branding. This is where you want to talk about accomplishments you’ve had in your career.
You want to highlight your specific traits and characteristics that demonstrate you’re a valuable asset to any company.This is your chance to shine and show what is unique about you personally and what you can bring to a company.
In the next written phase, we want to look at professional branding. So if you work for a company then you want to make sure that your professional branding statement mirrors that of the company you work for. It should address what your company does and how they provide value to their clients or customers.
It should address the values that the company stands for. If you run your own business or are self-employed then this should be a reflection of what you stand for as a business owner or self-employed professional.
Rich media is also something you put in your summary section but you place it at the end after the personal and professional written branding statements.
There are different types of rich media you can use like videos, ebooks, case studies, guides, reports and more. If your company has a video that explains what they do then you may like to include this on your profile.
If you want to demonstrate that you’re an authority and expert then this is where you’d want to place ebooks, reports, guides, or case studies.
Ideally, you should use a mix of both company rich media and even personal rich media.
Ultimately, it depends on what your specific objectives are with your LinkedIn profile. Either way, you need to make the most of rich media and be sure you’re using it on your profile.
Create a great LinkedIn profile by making your experience section read like a story that logically flows from one work role to the next throughout your entire career.
Most people completely get this part of their profiles wrong because they make the mistake 98% of people make at this point, which is writing their experience section as if it were a CV. Robert Hellman has written a great post about the important differences.
Firstly, you start off with your present role or most recent role depending on your individual circumstances. Make sure include your job title and the name of the company you worked for plus how many months or years you worked there.
Next, you want to write a short blurb that summarises what you did in this role. It only has to be around two to three sentences to give readers an idea as to what you do.
The next part is where you write out the bullet points for each job you had. It’s crucial the bullet points address specific needs that your target audience has if you want to connect with them.
You want to essentially use your experience section to further demonstrate that you’re an authority and a valuable asset to a company by elaborating on specific objectives you achieved while working in that role.
We recommend that you include at least one project minimum. You want to structure this essentially like a very mini case study. So in describing the project, you’ll elaborate on what the key problems or issues were. Then you’ll elaborate on what you or your team did to overcome those issues and then get a great result for the client.
Again, the whole idea here to is create stronger position and authority within your organisation and for your target audience. It’s about showing key characteristics you have and roles that you played in helping achieve specific results.
Endorsements And Recommendations
One of the most powerful features you must take advantage of on your LinkedIn profile is the power of social proof via endorsements and recommendations.
List all relevant skills on your profile first. Then go out and message your connections and ask them if they would be able to endorse you for skills. This post by The Muse will give you some extra pointers. However, a more powerful feature than endorsements is recommendations.
Think about all of your connections and consider everyone that you have worked with in the past. Now reach out to people you have worked with on projects and see if they will send you a recommendation.
Try and aim for somewhere between 5 and 10 recommendations.
Awards And Accreditations
There is also a section lower down in each profile where you can include any awards you’ve won or specific accreditations of yours. All of this stuff matters and helps to influence the perception of others have of you on your LinkedIn profile.
If you completed any courses as part of your current or previous employment that are relevant then be sure to include these. Also, include anything outside of your employment that you may think will create a desirable perception for those that read your profile.
This section is self-explanatory for a great LinkedIn profile. You just want to include any universities or other educational institutions you’ve studied at and received a qualification for.
Conclusion: Your Turn To Create A Great LinkedIn Profile
Hopefully, this has given you an insight into the anatomy of a great LinkedIn profile.
Are you still not sure how to create a great LinkedIn profile well-optimised for more exposure and growth? Then click here and get started with a free LinkedIn Profile Analysis, which will give you specific recommendations you can implement immediately for improving your profile.