LinkedIn has a reported user base of 467 million, so making yourself stick out in such fierce competition may not be the easiest walk in the park. On the other hand, if you do manage to heighten your exposure, you are going to do so before a potential pool of millions of users, and some of them could end up being your customers, employees, or business partners!
Just think of the visibility and real-life business results the latter could be getting you. Let’s get cracking on the essential LinkedIn profile optimisation tips that will make your LinkedIn profile stand out with flying colours.
1. Choose A Great, Professional-Looking Photo
No, a grainy selfie you took with your iPhone four years ago is not acceptable, nor is a photo in which you don’t look professional, neat, and friendly. It’s worth investing in a professional photograph, as it will affect the first impression people get upon landing on your LinkedIn profile.
You can also add a cover photo that will best express your professional identity, or a photo of your brand, products, etc. Richard Branson’s cover photo, for example, is one of a cloudy sky – which makes perfect sense given that he is the CEO of an airline company.
2. Customise Your URL Link
A muddle of random numbers, signs, and letters that comprise a default URL LinkedIn link can be easily substituted for a customised one. Edit the URL on your profile so it will read like your actual name, your company’s name, or a combination of both. It’s quick and easy, and yet it will make you look more professional instantly.
3. Write A Top-Notch Summary
You have a total of 2,000 characters to present yourself in the best light, which is key when someone whose attention you have yet to capture is skimming over your profile. Make it personal; touch upon your most relevant experience; and say what you’re good at, what unique skills you can bring to the table, and what future business endeavours you are looking to embark on.
Don’t forget to pepper it with your personality, too: “Résumés and CVs are factual and don’t offer the chance to insert your personality. Here’s your opportunity to do it”, writes Marcelle Yeager for US News.
4. Make Use Of Rich Media Content
When you want to make your profile stand out (and you do), it’s time to pull out the big guns. In social media terms, this means adding rich media content, that’s also known as the Portfolio: pictures, video, images, documents, slideshare presentations, infographics…if you can attach it or link it, put it here.
Although LinkedIn is a network for professionals, this doesn’t mean you should steer clear of interactive, visual content. Visual Social Media Strategist Donna Moritz is of the opinion that “things are not going to change – the shift to visual social media is here and any way that we can say what we want to say with imagery, will stand you in good stead across all social media platforms.”
5. Update Your Skills And Experience
Many firms are relying solely on LinkedIn for screening candidates, instead of CVs and cover letters. That’s why when listing Experience on your LinkedIn profile, you should take it as seriously as you were writing your resume. What positions did you hold and what did you do in these jobs? What kind of impact did your work have?
The Skills section is often overlooked, which is a great shame, particularly if you are on the hunt for a new job. How does it work? Basically, by adding tags which make your profile much friendlier to search engines (hence, those using the LinkedIn search through a specific skill will be able to find you much more easily!).
6. Aim For As Many Connections As You Can
Hitting that magic “500+ connections” title is something you should aspire to if you want to be taken seriously on LinkedIn. But to get to this point organically, you will need to roll up your sleeves and reaching out to people individually. The first phase is the easy one: Connect with people from your previous companies, schools, internships, volunteer activities, etc.
Secondly, connect your LinkedIn account with your email and phone contacts. The rest will come at a more gradual pace, as you deliberately build your network (both online and offline). Also, don’t forget to add the link to your profile on your business cards, email signature, website, etc. (Refer to step No. 2 in this article for this, it will also help).
7. Get Those Recommendations
Nothing speaks louder of your professional quality then a reference or recommendation from a trusted source. “Recommendations from supervisors, clients, suppliers, and colleagues affirming your skills, accomplishments and positive work style will not only enhance your profile, they will also show a hiring manager, at a glance, glowing references that attest to your candidacy for employment”, writes Alison Doyle for The Balance.
The best way to get one is to give one. In business circles, reciprocity is always key to building and maintaining good relationships. There is also no shame whatsoever in asking for a recommendation; just make sure you ask someone you know who values you and is able to elaborate why. A generic, copy/paste type recommendation is more likely to do you harm than good.
Final Words: LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Tips
LinkedIn offers plenty of opportunity for lead generation, sales, and more. However, it all starts with a great LinkedIn profile first. Use these LinkedIn profile optimisation tips and you’ll be sure to stand out amongst the crowd!
Need Personalised Help With Your LinkedIn Profile?
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