If you’re like most of us, you’ve been meaning to upgrade your LinkedIn profile all year. You know “Brand You” is important, but marketing yourself is awkward – and there’s always something more urgent to do than fiddle with LinkedIn.
However, you also know that if your career goals for the next year (or even the next five years) include a new opportunity, you can’t afford not to. Here are 20 easy ways to create a LinkedIn profile that says “hire me, and pay me handsomely”.
- Pick the right profile picture on LinkedIn
Your profile photo is your first impression. Make sure it’s recent and a good likeness, you’re dressed professionally for the job you want, and your face fills about 60% of the space – and “smize” (smile with your eyes).
- Set your background photo
Don’t ignore this element – it’s right at the top of your profile. Use it to grab attention and illustrate what matters to you.
- Go beyond your job title in your headline
Use the headline field to show what makes you tick, how you see your role and why you’re passionate about it. If you have colleagues in the sales department, look at the headlines on their pages for inspiration.
- Make your summary a plot summary for your story
Don’t skip the summary field, and don’t just use it to list skills – explain why they make a difference. Tell your story.
- Nix the buzzwords
Using hackneyed terms like ‘strategic’ ‘creative’, and ‘innovative’... isn’t.
- Grow your network
Sync your profile up with your email address book and LinkedIn will suggest new connections for you. And when you do connect with someone, follow up.
- Cherry-pick relevant skills
Quick win: scroll through the skills list and pick the ones that are relevant. Or if you’ve already done this, go through and delete ones that aren’t.
- Flag up your freelance services
If you’re a freelancer or consultant, fill out the Services section to get clients.
- Get endorsements
Reach out to contacts you respect and ask for their endorsements – or just endorse them, and they’ll probably return the favour.
- Manage your endorsements
Whoops… you got all your friends to endorse you, and now your top skills are art and creative writing, but you’re an accountant. Fortunately, if you go to the Skills section, you can choose which skills to show and which ones to hide.
- Take a skills assessment
Take a test on LinkedIn that nets you a Verified Skills badge for your profile, you’re 30% more likely to get hired. Don’t worry, you can retake the tests if you don’t pass the first time.
- Ask for recommendations
Check out the Recommendations section and hit the drop-down menu to request written testimonials. Make sure you personalise your requests for best results.
- Show your enthusiasm for learning
Take a course on LinkedIn Learning and go to the Learning History section of your profile to add the course certificate.
- Share content
If you produce marketing content, white papers, or case studies for your business, put it on LinkedIn to show your skills and commitment.
- Show you’re a thought leader with Publications
If you have any published work – a white paper, an ebook, even a blog post – showcase it in the Publications section.
- Share content from your LinkedIn feed
If you see something interesting in your LinkedIn feed, share it with your network to add value and keep you uppermost in their minds.
- Add comments
When you share something, give your own opinion. Just be sure to keep it professional, because you could attract a lot of readers.
- Follow influencers in your industry
Following relevant influencers will give you interesting content to share and show what you’re passionate about.
- Become an employee advocate
If your company uses LinkedIn Elevate for employee advocacy, get involved. 86% of employee advocates have experienced a career boost after sharing content for their business.
- Write long-form blog posts and use them to start conversations
The best way of all to establish your thought leadership on LinkedIn is to look for themes that keep coming up in your comments and in comments on your posts, and write whole long blog posts on them. With luck, people will comment, so be prepared to reply.
This list doesn’t have to take long. Even spending a few minutes on it could make all the difference to your new year.