Despite LinkedIn being 10+ years old for many professionals, it is still an undiscovered and under-utilized resource. If you struggle with LinkedIn, perhaps it is time to take steps to transform your LinkedIn profile from wimpy to robust.
Wimpy LinkedIn profile
- No LinkedIn profile photo
- Bad photo
- Wrong settings on your LinkedIn profile photo
- Company name and title only in your brand
- No summary
- Too short of a summary
- No details on employment
- Just the college name
- No creativity
- Unspecific skills
Robust LinkedIn Profile
- You need a well done headshot with good lighting, composition, and in professional garb
- Replace the bad photo with a well done headshot with good lighting, composition, and in professional garb
- After you have a great LinkedIn profile photo, make sure you set the photo settings found in the Edit photo area to Photo visible to Everyone in the drop down located by clicking the little lock graphic. You want hiring managers and recruiters to be able to see your profile even if they are not connected to you.
- If you work for a brand name company and have a great title, I suppose you could flaunt it. But for most people, you are better off using the LinkedIn profile headline area to describe your role and adding in some areas of your expertise: IT Project Manager | Process Improvement | Cross-functional Team Management | Global Change Implementation.
- Research methods of creating LinkedIn summaries and settle on one you like. I tend to write the summary in first person because people are more engaged when you personalize that section.
- The LinkedIn profile summary area has a limit of 2000 characters. While I am not of the school of thought that advocates using every possible character, I believe in telling the story. You would be surprised how quickly you can use all of those 2000 characters when you put something of substance in that area. One paragraph rarely engages anyone especially when it is a stiff statement that doesn’t capture your value.
- Name, rank, and serial number may be great when captured by the enemy but if you are using LinkedIn to help you market your skills as an entrepreneur, position yourself as a valuable asset to other companies, or provide information to help you connect with new networks, you need to describe your experience in more depth. While some LinkedIn profile writers believe you need to reinvent the wheel so your LinkedIn profile doesn’t look like your resume, I believe that resume content can be used except if there is confidential or proprietary information that shouldn’t be out in the public.
- Occasionally I find a LinkedIn profile with no degree listed even when the person has a degree. Make sure the education area shows which degree you earned, college is so expensive and this is one place you can put all that education on showcase. List the degree with the full name Bachelor of Science – Business Administration. List areas of emphasis and you can even detail some of the courses if your degree is recent.
- Creativity is welcome on LinkedIn. Do some research. LinkedIn allows you to link many forms of media to your profile: websites, documents, videos, slide shows, and more. Take advantage.
- Make sure you use the skills area and capitalize on LinkedIn’s database to add the words that fit you best. You can have up to 50 skills and order them according to your own priority.
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