Unfortunately, there’s more pressure to succeed on Linkedin than any other platform. What could be a great career tool and source of opportunity, when neglected, becomes the awkward elephant in the room. Ultimately, your online presence matters but you’re also time poor. What to do?
Thankfully, we’ve gathered these 5 quick fixes for your Linkedin profile to make it work for you. You’ll need 10 minutes tops for each of these small changes that’ll make a big difference in establishing the right impression on business associates and potential employers.
1. Who are you?
We’ve all heard the statistics that prove profiles with a public picture gain more views. What’s not spoken about enough is the quality of the image. What is your profile picture saying to current and future employees?
There’s a fine line between candid and unflattering, professional and unprofessional, friendly and over the top, young and inexperienced. Research proves that photos showing smiling (with teeth), unobstructed eyes and a head and shoulders composition create a better impression overall. Cats, other furry friends and other Facebook appropriate fun also doesn’t belong on a professional profile picture.
If you know your profile picture needs updating, then take five. Find a friend, a blank white wall and any decent camera. Then, take that picture! And please. No selfies. No freaky filters. No odd angles. A simple, smiling, well-lit photo of you will do the job, and may even help you get the job.
2. Customise that URL
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. It’s the little things that count.
That includes the difference between:
Okay, we are exaggerating a little with all of those numbers, but you get the idea. A unique URL is a simple branding exercise that makes it that little bit easier to find you online. What’s more, it’s much easier to fit a unique URL onto a business card, than that giant link full of numbers.
To grab your vanity URL, go to the section below your profile picture where there’s your profile link. Check the settings icon to find the page for editing your public profile URL. Don’t forget to hit save!
3. Skill up
The data says it all: Linkedin profiles with ‘skill’ keywords added get on average 13 times more profile views than the profiles that don’t. Your skills are your superpower, so why not show them off?
There are over 45,000 standardised skills to choose from! List as many soft and hard skills as you have, while taking care to prioritise first the skills most relevant to your ideal job.
4. Go specific with your job title
Profile picture, name, job title. These are the 3 things that often appear first or are seen first by any passerby. Have you optimised all 3?
If your job title hasn’t even been updated since you last moved jobs, then it’s time for a change! A clear job title matters a whole heap. For example, Joe Chernov from InsightSquared used to go by the title of VP of Content on Linkedin. After much deliberation, he changed his title on Linkedin to VP of Marketing (Content). Why? Because VP of Marketing is a title that makes more sense to more people, and is more commonly used. The Linkedin algorithm weighs title heavily, so it’s useful to consider “normalising” your title.
5. Rewrite your description, with your ideal employer in mind
While this last “quick fix” might not be the quickest, it’s certainly a necessary part of your profile. “An effective LinkedIn summary makes people want to know more about you and ultimately connect with you one-on-one”, so it’s time to get writing!
If you’re wondering what on earth to say, then ask yourself these questions:
- What is my ideal job? Who is the ideal read of my profile? How do I want them to feel?
- What principles do I stand by? What values and passions are an essential part of me?
- What action do I want the readers to take after reading my profile summary? Contact of course! Make sure to provide clear details for getting in touch.
Where to now?
Well that’s a wrap! Often it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. Ultimately, this is only the beginning of it all. Unlike the humble resume, your Linkedin profile is a living, breathing beast, that showcases your skills, highlights experiences and enables you to connect with people from all over. With a little love, you can make it work for you!
About the Author
Bernadette Mung is a Community Manager at Sydney based digital marketing Agency, You & Co.