Are you on Linkedin? Would you be happy for your colleagues, friends or family to connect with you there? Moreover, what about the movers and shakers in your field?
If those questions give you a flippy tummy kinda sensation, you’d better read on.
Having a LinkedIn profile that truly represents our talents, values and personal style is something none of us can live without. Long gone are the days where jobs and projects were advertised in newspapers, journals and specialist jobs boards. Today, many people use LinkedIn to research who’s in the right field and can help out. Likewise, those publications aren’t the font of all new thinking and learning. LinkedIn’s shares, posts and influencers provide it in one ease to digest personal feed.
I’m going to go back to the fundamentals of the profile with this b-mail: starting with your purpose and then I want you to maximise your profile by walking down the page together.
Why are you on LinkedIn? I joined years ago to see what all the fuss was for and did little bar adding my job titles and employers. Now I use it to share great ideas, resources and a-has with my community and beyond through their engagement with it. I find new gurus and thinkers in my field, which gives me more to bring to my community. I seek to build a reputation as the change coach and trainer for anyone stuck in achieving the life and career they want.
What do you want your profile to do for you? For example, do you want to grow your network of peers, find out more about other organisations and roles or build a reputation in your field? Being sure of your response for this question means you have a benchmark to review against.
Got it? Good. Let’s take that walk.
Open your LinkedIn account and opt to view it as your connections do. (Later come back and review in public mode.)
The page starts with your business card, looking at each element:
- your photo: make it a head and shoulders shot, with you smiling. Don’t leave it blank or use a funny photo of your pet dog.
- your headline: make a descriptive concise statement of what you do
- your summary paragraph: Add some flesh to the headline – this should include any “wow” moments or achievements,key facts and demonstrate your personality.
- your employment history: list ’em out only, I’ll repeat that, ONLY if they are demonstrate relevant and transferrable skills, experiences, exposure and achievements for your future goals. I’d also keep it brief
- your extras: use the volunteering, projects, languages and certifications with care – put what’s interesting to your audience
- your public recommendations and skills endorsement: be bold and edit these down to a targeted list or you’ll end up with a random list chosen by others
- your education: consider how far back you think is necessary to convince people of your credentials. For most people, I’d say your first or second degrees are sufficient.
- your follows: make sure you are following the right movers and shakers, organisations that reinforce your brand and profile purpose – these need to inform your newsfeed and your readers of your interests and passions.
Phew, we made it to the bottom of your profile. One last thing, did you know you can reorder some of the segments? Put the most compelling and engaging segments higher up on your profile – don’t leave the jewels to the end, drag using the double headed arrows.
Don’t forget to ask someone else to proof your profile to avoid typo shame and to go back and check the public view for completeness.
How are you going to change your LinkedIn profile to build in your profile purpose? Link to your profile in the comments with your updates – show us your face 🙂 If you get stuck or you’d like a profile review, get in touch!
PS Are we connected on LinkedIn? I’m here.