Ten tips to help you create the perfect LinkedIn profile – part two
Looking to write the perfect LinkedIn profile? That’s easier said than done but if you stick to this guide you won’t go far wrong. Last week we gave you five nuggets of information to start you on your way. Now we’ve wet your whistle, here’s the final five so when you’ve worked your way through these you’ll be ready to unleash the brand new you on the world, for better or for worse.
6 Join the right groups and help out – it’s nice to be nice
There are various benefits to be had from joining the right groups.
Firstly, they show up in your profile and demonstrate your interests. Secondly, they are an ideal way to meet relevant people and strike up a conversation.
You might get help if you need it.
And, just as importantly, if you help people with their problems they will remember you, which often pays off many times over.
One obvious tactic is to join the same groups your colleagues join. That’s easy but it’s only a start.
We’d recommend you also identify groups your future clients or managers are members of, join them and try to add value – a great way to make a name for yourself!
Following companies you’d like to work for will also be an easy way to see blog posts, Twitter feeds or their latest news like jobs – choose the updates that suit you best.
7 Don’t just get connections and recommendations – review others
Having large numbers of connections can obviously look impressive but we’d recommend only connecting with people you know, who are relevant to your industry or you are likely to work with going forward.
Ultimately it makes sense to accept a connection if they are your friend or there’s a decent chance it will pay off at some stage.
Recommending other people is also a great shout.
When used well, it’s a chance to get your name and job title on the profile of someone well respected and well connected – and people might even recommend you back.
The more specific plugs your products and services get the better – not only does it look good, it will help you move up LinkedIn’s own search rankings.
However if you really want an insight into what makes someone tick, have a look at the recommendations they’ve handed out.
Knowing how to push someone’s buttons could be gold dust if they are a potential future client or employer so make this your default position if you are about to be interviewed for a job for example.
8 Your skills and expertise could get you hired. So don’t be shy
LinkedIn claim users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities than those without – and the skills section is often neglected.
You get the chance to add up to 50 skills to your profile so pick ones that have the most relevance to your target audience, as long as they are true of course.
And we aren’t just talking about skills in the workplace. The skills section is an opportunity to present yourself as a rounded person so they don’t all have to be work related – as long as you have a life outside work, which rules us out!
If various people are endorsing your skills it will obviously add to your credibility across your professional network.
Giving others endorsements is also another way to spark up a conversation and might lead to you getting a few endorsements yourself.
According to official LinkedIn figures the five skills that got people hired most in 2013 were: Social Media Marketing, Mobile Development, Cloud and Distributed Computing, Perl / Python / Ruby and Statistical Analysis / Data Mining.
So now you know.
9 Include contact information and relevant calls to action
One of the best ways to forge genuine and meaningful connections on LinkedIn is to position yourself as a problem solver and encourage people to get in touch.
Which means calls to action are a massive help.
As discussed in part one of this blog, adding “If you need help with XYZ, talk to me” often works well – as long as you provide various options for how people can get in touch.
We’d recommend something like that in your summary but you can leave a call to action pretty much anywhere on LinkedIn, just don’t go overboard.
And there are various types of calls to action you might want to use, from the downright obvious “download XXX document” or “watch XYZ video” to the also exceedingly obvious “go to my website” or “request a quote”.
10 Last but not least, pick the right pic: smart but friendly please
Apologies for stating more of the bleeding obvious but your photo is pretty much the first thing people will look at so it’s crucial you get it right.
You don’t need to hire a pro to take it as long as you’ve got a friend who is half decent with a camera and willing to take a few shots – but if you do go down that route set aside some time to do it properly.
Smile in a warm, approachable way and pick a head shot – your photo will only be small when uploaded so there won’t be room for much more.
We’d recommend a white or neutral background with nothing else in shot. Dress professionally and avoid sunglasses, over-the-top hairstyles, make-up or jewellery. George Michael – you have been told.
Strapless tops are also a no-no – it might give the impression you are naked and I’m guessing that’s not the image you are going for!
Summing up – these guidelines should help but do it your own way
OK that’s your lot. There aren’t too many hard-and-fast rules about how your LinkedIn profile should look but we hope these guidelines help.
Across the two parts of this blog we’ve outlined ten major ways you can make your LinkedIn profile work harder for you.
It goes without saying it’s up to you if – and how – you put them into practice.
Whatever you do, remember to avoid waffle and include plenty of relevant facts and achievements throughout, just like you would on your CV.
Proving how valuable you can be is still the name of the game but your LinkedIn profile also gives you the opportunity to outline your goals and tell the odd story where appropriate.
It’s your chance to speak to a new audience so don’t be afraid to add your own personal stamp on it.
Be yourself – just not too much George.