Think of your LinkedIn profile as a career description, not a resume.
Resumes are more of a list of jobs, but your profile page is more of a “mini website”. It’s a place to show your expertise and be more personal and creative. Tell your story! That’s how to write a killer LinkedIn profile.
First, edit the top box on your profile.
Here’s an example:
Write a killer headline
Don’t be boring. The headline in your profile section is the first thing people see. It’s right under your name. (See above example)
To make it a standout, write it from the perspective of how what you do impacts others.
For example, “Getting companies noticed on Social Media” says a lot more than “Social Media Director”. Or, “Filming the truth to inform the world” is more inspiring than “Documentary film maker”. You get the idea. We’re not all copywriters! Enlist the help of a literary-savvy friend or colleague to make sure your headline is clear but interesting. The example above is clear in what she does, the checkmarks pop and she says how it benefits people to work with her.
A little linkedIn tip:
every time you update your job position on LinkedIn, it automatically changes your list in the headline area. Instead of what you’re currently doing, it’s best to encompass your career, not your current job title. Take the guesswork out and make it easy for recruiters. This will also help your search ranking when recruiters conduct searches in your field.
Show your face, in a good way
This is not Instagram. Don’t just snap a selfie and call it a day. Although you don’t need to hire a photographer and pay an arm and leg for a photo, make sure it is a professional looking picture, with nothing odd in the background. Adding a border helps your photo stand out.
That being said, if you’re in an alternative or creative field, you’ll want to post a picture that is well, creative. For instance: if you’re a designer, photographer or writer and want to work for younger, alternative brands, you may want to post an artsier photo, rather than a more traditional photo.
Conduct a quick search for your job title, and study photos that come up. The example above uses an interesting crop and the black and white jumps off the page.
Customize your LinkedIn URL
Your automated domain name for your LinkedIn profile may look something like this: NAME0383948. It’s not easy to remember and it definitely doesn’t look pretty on application emails. Customize your name by doing these three simple steps:
- Click on profile
- Click on edit profile
- Click edit right under your photo or under ‘your public profile URL’
Write a killer Summary
In addition to an attention-grabbing headline, you’ll want an attention-grabbing and easy-to-read summary as well. Here’s your chance to ‘elevator pitch’ yourself. To increase SEO, use keywords that you can find using Google’s keyword tool, so you will come up better in search results.
- How would you describe yourself as a brand to a stranger in a few sentences?
- What problems do you solve?
- How do you make people’s lives better?
- Think “you” not “me” when writing
Make a go of it and then be sure to enlist the help of a friend for an extra set of eyes.
Don’t be shy – ask for recommendations
According to a recent LinkedIn article, there is a suggested 10-15 good recommendations as an average on your profile. Reach out to your boss, colleagues or classmates in a polite manner about writing a quick recommendation – this definitely will set you apart from the rest. But first, pay it forward by writing one for them.
Publish, and more publish
There’s no better way to improve your profile than publishing. Write about what you know best. Think of a problem you solved today, and write about that. If you are interning, write about a day in the life. Showing people how you think in a story format is very powerful, and many people have been hired based on the articles they wrote.
Turn your article into a slide share presentation, write a short eBook or post a video tutorial. All media is good here. It expands your profile and shows your knowledge in a way that text just can’t.
Join LinkedIn groups
A great way to network is through connecting with others that you may or may not already know. Join alumni groups and groups in your career field. But also join groups where the people you want to work for belong. If you publish articles, post them in groups. You’ll get noticed for your expertise.
You’ll also find job openings, inspirational articles and build connections. Who knows, you could meet a potential new coworker, mentor or friend through the process. It’s also great to show that you are involved in your field on your profile. Hiring managers will take notice.