If you’re a LinkedIn original, you might remember when the platform was primarily used as an online resume. Fast forward to now, LinkedIn has become the greatest networking tool and is not only a way to source work or find talent but also build a respectable personal brand.
However, you need to optimise your profile to make the most of this platform and allow yourself to stand out amongst the 850,000,000 users.
The results from our recent poll suggested that many of you had not optimised your profile, were unsure where to begin, or needed help. But don’t fear. We’ve put together a little guide below to talk you through all the steps to ensure your LinkedIn profile is set up for the best chance of success.
Choose A Strong Profile Picture/Background Picture
Your profile picture will likely be one of the first things someone notices about your LinkedIn profile. Use a high-quality, professional headshot with a clear background for minimal distraction for the best results. If you have no headshot access, ensure you are using a strong and clear profile picture. By showing your face, your network is more likely to trust you. For the best image quality and fitting, ensure your profile picture for LinkedIn is at least 400 X 400 px.
You can also adjust your profile’s privacy settings to choose who can view your profile picture. We recommend the option of ‘All LinkedIn Members’ or ‘Public’ to enable search engines to allocate your profile more easily.
While your profile picture is focused on just you, your background image allows you to tell viewers a little bit about yourself. Choose a good-quality background picture that represents your interests, passions, or the company you work for.
The optimal image size for your background image is 1584 X 396 px.
Ensure Your ‘About’ Section Has High Impact
The about section on LinkedIn allows you to tell your story in 2,000 characters or less. You should make this engaging, relevant, and concise to ensure you deliver the correct message. Include relevant keywords in your headline to make it easier for professionals in your field to find you.
The first 265-275 characters will be displayed before someone has to click “see more,” and therefore, you want to ensure this section hooks profile visitors. You should focus on telling the viewer who you are, what you care about, and your aspirations.
One current trend currently emerging on the platform is that people are beginning to focus on future goals and ambitions instead of just listing past achievements. Consider giving your network a glimpse of your future and what it would be like to work alongside you.
The summary section also gives the option to add high-quality media such as images, videos, links, and documents. It is wise to take advantage of this and add any relevant media to your target audience. This gives you a chance to show your expertise and talent.
Display a Relevent Career History
Avoid listing all of your previous jobs unless they are all relevant to your current situation. For instance, if you’re looking for a Medical Director role, it is unlikely to be appropriate if you have your first job as a sales assistant listed. Instead, focus on the workplaces and experiences that have benefited you the most, and list your most significant achievements and areas of expertise.
Try to remember to update your position when necessary as well. Often, people will only update their profile for a specific position once they have left and moved on to a new role.
However, as your time in a position progresses, you are likely to be progressing as well. If you have been promoted, increased responsibilities, or had involvement in any exciting projects, it is essential to update your current job experience to demonstrate your full capabilities.
Showcase Your Skills
Add any relevant skills, and request for your friends and colleagues to endorse you. Less is more when it comes to LinkedIn skills, it is more beneficial to list fewer skills and gain endorsements than to list a wide range of unrelated skills.
Make sure to keep this section updated, add any new skills you have acquired, or remove any you feel are no longer relevant.
While we’ve covered the basics, there are also some more technical steps you can follow if you really want to become a LinkedIn profile pro.
See below for some steps you might not have known about.
Customise Your URL
When you join LinkedIn, your URL is automatically generated and can often contain lots of random numbers and letters. In the upper right corner of your profile, you will have the option to edit your URL.
Use this opportunity to clean your URL and make it more easily accessible through search engines like Google and Bing. If your URL contains any special characters, consider changing these to more universal characters for greater SEO.
List Your Certifications
If you have completed any certifications, it is worth adding these to your LinkedIn profile to gain a competitive edge. For instance, if a talent scout was looking for someone who was experienced in Data Analytics, you can make yourself stand out by showcasing this certificate on your profile.
You can add the certificate to the certifications column and input the relevant certificate data. Make sure to add the certificate URL to the last column so people can check if they wish to do so.
Seek Strong Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are becoming increasingly recognised and respected. There are two ways to receive recommendations: sending a request to a connection or writing a recommendation for someone in the hope that they will write one back to you.
Perhaps the best way to go about this is to agree with a colleague to write recommendations for each other. The more precise and valuable your recommendation is, the better recommendation you can expect to receive back. You can locate the button to request a recommendation by going to your contact’s profile page and clicking the “more” button.
Write Articles, Share Knowledge
Having your own articles published on Linkedin is a good way to increase your professional credibility and demonstrate your viewpoints. Try and write a new article every few months, and activate your efforts with any breaking industry news that may be relevant to your audience.
This will give people a flavour of you as person, what interests you and what you are focused on.
If your profile is public, the articles you write will be indexed by Google, allowing people to find them through search engines.