Photo Credit: Google Images
Having an effective Linkedin profile signals that you are ready to jump into the ‘real world’ and are genuinely interested in your professional life. It is also the best way of creating a virtual profile with a professional focus, rather than a social one, like you may have on Facebook or Twitter. However, this doesn’t mean that any profile is good; a badly-written profile could easily create more harm than good so it is important to get it right.
Here are some tips to help you create a winning LinkedIn profile with the minimum of fuss:
Think before you do (brainstorm and gather the raw information)
Instead of jumping straight into it, take a few moments to look at some good LinkedIn profiles and some bad ones. Judge them by the quality of the content on their profile, number of connections, endorsements and testimonials.
Do a bit of copywriting work – write the best headline to suit your personal brand
Your headline works the same way as a headline would in advertising. It gets people interested so they want to read more. To have a good headline, it should say something about you that will entice people to want to find out more. These headlines are often most powerful when you articulate what you are looking to do and what you are offering rather than simply stating what you are.
Draft before you write
When listing your job experience, it’s not enough to just state your responsibilities and position at a certain company. We see this mistake in most profiles – people give information about their responsibilities, but not the results. What facts do you have to back-up your experience? Be sure to include some sort of quantifiable points, to make everything sound more powerful and convincing.
Write a killer summary
What you should write is a brief description of your best results in your most recent job, your professional aspirations and a hint about what you want to do next, professionally. You may also want to include a brief summary of your experiences to date if relevant and if they can be outlined concisely. Remember to close with a call to action – tell your audience what you want them to do or where they can go to get more information.
Showcase your work
LinkedIn allows you to add media files directly to your profile, yet most people don’t use this feature. By embedding images and video into your summary and your experiences you go from being just another graduate to being a candidate with a compelling personal brand and someone who has something extra. Again, refrain from uploading anything that could be perceived in the wrong way, as this could undo all of your good work elsewhere on your profile.
Think twice before choosing your profile picture
LinkedIn is the professional forum where you meet people online before you meet them in person. We all like to know who we are speaking to, so a photo allows you to put a face to the name. At SuperGrad, we have seen hundreds of inappropriate photos and in many cases, no photo would have been preferable to the one chosen. Save the selfies and holiday snaps for Facebook and choose a simple and professional photo.
Get external validation
It’s not just about what you say. Testimonials and endorsements are a big part of LinkedIn, so have a think about those people who could recommend you and validate your work. Ask for testimonials from your former employers or department coordinators and you should be at least two steps ahead!
See the full illustrated guide HERE for more useful LinkedIn tips!