LinkedIn is a personal branding tool. It allows you to connect to people in your network.
It allows you to expand your network broadly but strategically. LinkedIn is a digital CV that can make or break your digital first impression.
Forbes outlines LinkedIn’s many benefits. They include its prime ranking in Google. Also, its membership (more than 225 million members, making it the world’s top professional network). It also has significant resources when it comes to connecting with experts, clients and potential partners. LinkedIn is a practical and efficient foundation on which to build a strong professional chain of contacts.
So how do you get a LinkedIn profile right?
One way is to incorporate our top 5 tips for getting a great LinkedIn profile.
Know What Employers Are Looking For
There are five major areas that interviewers are concerned with, according to Monster.com, 24% of which is the candidate’s first impression.
The same survey found that work experience makes up 36 %, education 12 %, professional qualifications 10 % and references 9 %. These are all outlined in your LinkedIn profile, so they are areas you must emphasise in order to create a great LinkedIn profile.
Get the right Perfect LinkedIn Profile Pic
One way to make a fantastic first impression is to appear physically put together. And the only way to do that online is through a professional profile pic. To take a perfect LinkedIn profile pic, consider the following information which was compiled by a study on profile pic likeability. Those who were found the most likeable had:
• Asymmetrical composition
• A smile showing teeth
• A jawline with shadow
• A squinch (slight squint)
• Unobstructed eyes (no sunglasses)
• Head-to-waist or head-and-shoulders composition
• Light-colored button-down shirts or dark-colored suits
Once you’ve taken the perfect photo, you can test it on your own little focus group via Photofeeler. This site cranks out unbiased opinions on which of your photos is the perfect LinkedIn profile picture through a voting system, where others rank your photo’s likeability, influence and competence.
Write The Perfect LinkedIn Headline
“LinkedIn headlines have the ability to portray the value you offer clients and a sense of what you do,” says Karen Rosenzweig, Social Media Coach at One Smart Cookie Marketing. “The job of your headline is to get people to click on your name and onto your profile, so they can learn more about you and how you might be able to help them.”
Writing the perfect LinkedIn headline is a must for creating a great LinkedIn profile. How important is your headline?
“Your headline shows up with your profile photo in several major places on LinkedIn,” says Rosenzweig, “search results, posting an update, giving a recommendation or asking someone to connect with you. It has a big impact on whether people will want to connect with you, and it offers a prime opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition.”
These 120 characters are perhaps the most important on your LinkedIn page.
Make Contacts on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is “linked” for a reason – it’s connecting you to various professional contacts and building your strong chain of influence.
According to Tina Hay at Direct Marketing Solutions, one surefire way to build a weak chain is to “send a connection request quickly followed by a ‘this is what I do’ copy-and-paste formula… it’s so impersonal.”
There are plenty of ways to network, seek professional advice and build a strong chain even without personally having met your links, all of which can be found in our making contacts post. Making contacts certainly an art form, but become skilled in this particular art, and your LinkedIn profile will be one of the best in the registry. You’ll also be able to empower your network, while sharing your own expertise.
Use the Digital Capabilities on your LinkedIn Profile
To get a great LinkedIn profile, you must use all the capabilities at your disposal. LinkedIn is set up for you to show off your accomplishments. Doing so is even easier in a digital format, because you don’t have to verbally brag or rely on word of mouth. Instead, you can upload images of an experience you’ve had that you’re proud of, PDFs of a written portfolio, or even video if you’d like your potential LinkedIn contacts to have a better idea of the type of person they’re connecting with.
So if you’re a published artist or author, post your work. If you’re an amateur pilot, post a picture. If you have a creative biographical video that is genuinely you, upload it. This is the place to boast without appearing pompous.