With nearly 775 million members, you’ve probably realized that LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s an essential platform for networking, job-searching, and advancing your career. But how do you build a LinkedIn profile that’s eye-catching, engaging, and effective? Read on to find out.
Create a Personal Brand on LinkedIn
The key to a good LinkedIn profile has a personal brand. Personal branding acts as a guarantee that you have something unique to bring to the table.
First, determine what your brand is authentic. Stay true to your values, and seek to share your vision, purpose, and passion in your brand. What makes you comparable to other professionals in your field? What makes you stand out from your peers?
Laying the initial foundation can be tedious, but the results are worth the hassle. You can start with your professional experience and build out from there. What special skills or talents can you provide? How are you different from the next guy?
Take Advantage of LinkedIn Aesthetics
On the Internet, everyone is vying for attention against the never-ending competition. However, humans are visual creatures, and user profiles and background photos will draw people to your page.
Your profile picture introduces you before anything else. Make an excellent first impression by choosing a clean, professional photo. Use an up-to-date image that shows you dressed professionally and focuses 60% of the frame on your face.
The second visual to add to your LinkedIn page is your background photo. It’s an attention-grabber and shows a bit more context about who you are and what your values are. Most importantly, a good background photo will show your individuality.
Write a Summary, Not an Info-Dump for LinkedIn Content
Frequently, people leave this section blank and miss out on the opportunity to share their stories even more. Go beyond a list of skills, job titles, or education. Include your values, strengths, and personality. Give more than just a timeline with your summary. Tell a story where your character can shine.
Another tip: don’t rely on buzzwords. Overused adjectives such as ‘specialized,’ ‘focused,’ and ‘innovative,’ sound hollow and meaningless. Of course, you can still have these words, but make sure to prove throughout your profile why you’re ‘creative,’ or ‘professional,’ or ‘experienced.’
Use your Experience as an Extension of Your Resume on LinkedIn
Avoid the temptation to cut-and-paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile. The experience section is a big, interactive resume version, so it’s in your best interest to take advantage of this new medium. You’re not constrained to the one-page rule of a resume, but you do have shorter attention spans to adhere to.
Under your resume section, make sure to include jobs relevant to the direction you want your career to go. For example, if you want a career in marketing, don’t waste space on your work as a journal assistant (unless experience from that job lends itself to your brand).
Two to four notable, impressive bullet points should suffice for each job you include. The goal is to demonstrate the impact you had in each position. Share results you promise to deliver to the next job.
Add the Finishing Touches to Your LinkedIn Profile
Go above and beyond by customizing your LinkedIn URL to your name or your name and field. Join a few specialized groups in your industry and network. LinkedIn is more than a virtual resume. It’s a social media site for professionals. Network, keep up with news from LinkedIn channels or post any interesting articles you come across. Upkeep such as this will show that you’re in touch with the world and your industry.
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