Why is your LinkedIn profile important? If you’re not in sales or looking for a new job, why do you need LinkedIn?
Well…try this: Google your name. What’s on the first page of results? I Your LinkedIn profile page is probably first or second. Now Google your employer. Same thing.
When potential clients are looking to hire a company, they will typically find your LinkedIn profile, which makes you part of the sales process. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to keep your profile up to date and make sure it portrays the best image of yourself and your company, even when you’re not job hunting.
LinkedIn is not just where YOU look for work, it’s where WORK looks for you!
Let’s start with your photo:
A photo is a must. It makes you appear more friendly and trustworthy and people are more likely to look at a profile with a photo. A good photo will also help you at networking events because it helps others recognize you. I’ve met people for the first time who know my name already because they’ve seen me on LinkedIn.
While a photo is needed, you should need to make sure it’s the right photo. It should be recent and look professional. This might be obvious, but don’t use a photo of you with your friends out drinking. I see it all the time — this isn’t Facebook!
Next, customize your headline.
By default it is your title at your current company, but you can customize it to whatever you want. I made mine “iOS App Developer” because that is what I want to be known for. You can even write a short sentence calling out specific skills, such as “personal chef specializing in gluten-free diets” or “social media expert driving successful campaigns on a shoestring budget.” Get creative with it!
The summary section is another opportunity for your profile to stand out. In my summary, I chose to get right to the point about what I do and how I can help:
You want to avoid a laundry list of acronyms and buzzwords that no one understands and instead focus on the few things that are most important. Try to include some keywords that potential clients might be looking for, which in my case are iPhone, app and mobile.
Below the summary is the experience section. The last time you were job hunting you probably copied and pasted your resume here and just left it, but there is much more you can do, including adding photos and links to your completed projects and portfolio examples.
By doing this, your profile stand out, allows people to easily view your work and it has a much bigger impact than a long list of bullet points.
Have interests outside of work? Those can be appropriate to add, but remember to keep them relevant and professional.
Now that your profile is up-to-date and interesting, how can we get more potential clients to see it? Stay tuned for the next post in our series to find out.