Browsing through the “People You May Know” section on my LinkedIn page the other day, I was really taken aback at how many of the profiles were under-optimised and really poorly written. Some of these people are company CEO’s (true story).
As most of us are aware, our LinkedIn profile is the face we show to a world of potential clients. The last thing any of us want is for it not to be totally professional – as well as high-impact and engaging, of course!
So – what are some of the ways you can optimise your LinkedIn profile and get it working harder for you??
Your LinkedIn Summary. Don’t stint in describing your top skills and achievements; this is the place for it! (I highly recommend using Thesaurus.com for a wide array of fabulous adjectives).
As opposed to your resume, your LinkedIn Summary is a place where you can let loose and be more creative with your writing (yay!)
Don’t be afraid to get a little personal. Describe your passions- the quirkier, the better. I find it intriguing when I read a profile featuring someone’s passion for rock-climbing or sci-fi novels; this type of “sharing” really helps to humanise the person and maintains reader interest.
I loved reading the riveting summary of digital executive Mark Lazen:
This is a Summary written in a brutally honest, yet funny and highly creative fashion.
I want to call this guy, even though we work in entirely different industries – he sounds fascinating!
Regularly post LinkedIn updates on your Profile – be they your latest blog post or an article/news item of relevance. A short, insightful observation from you gives the impression of a serious contributor.
Follow relevant news, companies and influencers; these demonstrate your fields of interest and give your Profile more credibility.
Aim to be an active contributor in your Groups. Start discussions on issues of interest and participate in those of others, where relevant. This is a highly effective technique to get yourself on people’s radar, and to enhance your credibility (particularly once you hit the magical “Top Contributor” status.)
I’ve left the most crucial point for last.
You can have the most impressive Summary, be an active poster of blogs and news and an energetic contributor to Group discussions. However, a profile riddled with spelling errors and poor English expression is a major turn-off for those viewing your profile, and they won’t hang around long enough to be impressed by the amazing professional you are.
A few examples:
Contacts and potential employers will be totally turned off by these unfortunate errors (the third one in particular – eye-wateringly funny, yes. Is this person a serious candidate for my company’s next position? No.)
The quality of your profile reflects directly on you as a professional – can you afford not to look your very best on LinkedIn?