Yet how many of us are comfortable that our LinkedIn profile is as effective as it could be? Solve Legal Marketing regularly advises on how to write the perfect LinkedIn profile. In this article we share our top tips for creating or improving your presence.
Tell The Whole Story
Make sure that your profile is complete and detailed. Think of it as your online CV – the same principles apply. Your qualifications, skills and experience are important. The editing tool on LinkedIn will give you an indication of how complete they think your profile is. The more complete the better!
Show Your Face
Your photo is crucial. Your profile is all about you as an individual. Having a professional looking photo is vital. This should not be a holiday snap (save the one of you sipping a cocktail for another time!) but as long as it’s not overly casual you don’t have to be suited and booted either. A friendly open face and a smart neckline are all that is required. And remember that if you radically change your appearance you should update your photo too. Many people use LinkedIn to check out a contact before a meeting or a networking event – if your actual appearance is too removed from the one displayed on your LinkedIn profile (tempting as it may be to use a picture of a much more youthful version of yourself!) it can be off putting. Finally, facing the front or angling slightly to the left works best. Looking to the left angles your face towards the wording on your profile which looks professional.
Grab Your Reader With A Punchy Headline
Don’t forget the headline, because that’s right at the top of the page when someone views your profile. It’s good also to select an industry as it immediately places your expertise in that field.
Before you start writing or updating your summary, think carefully about the key things you want to get across and what order you’re going to list them in.
Remember that your profile may be being viewed on a desktop PC or on a mobile device. On a desktop it is the first 220 characters that are immediately visible, with the rest requiring a user to click on ‘view more’ to read the rest. On a mobile it is the first 92 characters that are immediately visible. So it’s crucial to make those characters work as hard as possible for you! Editing your profile down so that it is as succinct as possible is hugely beneficial.
Share Your Profile
Don’t forget to make your profile public – it might sound obvious but it’s an easy mistake to make and it means that no one can see your profile! Also, customising your URL will give you a link that’s easy to share. If your name is available, use it. For example http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname
Recommendations from people you have worked with or currently work with or have used your services carry a lot of weight. The best way to get recommendations is to give them. When you recommend a LinkedIn member you are attesting to their qualifications and people love being recommended. They will most likely reciprocate if you take the time to recommend them. It’s best to take the time to ask each of your selected contacts to recommend you personally – definitely not via a blanket email or LinkedIn messenger. Better to have a small number of recommendations from people you know well and genuinely respect than a whole list of half-hearted comments.
Skills And Endorsements
Research has shown that your profile is 13 times more likely to be viewed if it includes skills. It might look like just a list but it is very helpful in bringing the right people to your profile page as it features keywords which describe the skills and services for which you’d like to be known.
Should I Pay For Premium?
The answer is … it depends! Most people will be able to achieve the marketing results they need without paying for premium – but in some cases, perhaps for those in recruitment, it can be important to have access to the additional features available via the paid for service.