LinkedIn is the go-to social network for the professional elite; the best recruiters are 60% more engaged with its tools than average recruiters and 45% of the world’s top earners use the platform. Add to this the fact that 40% of users log in daily and you get a feel for the dominance LinkedIn has achieved. In short, it’s critical to use it right if you’re seeking professional development.
A killer profile will do wonders for your career, whether you’re looking for a new job or expanding your business network. But a few simple mistakes can at best waste your time with irrelevant job recommendations and at worst leave you at the bottom of the pile.
Here are five small changes that you can make today to power up your profile.
1. Include a call-to-action in your profile summary.
Every word in your profile summary is worth its weight in gold if used correctly. This is the place where you get to sell yourself in a few short sentences using your own voice. Potential employers and influencers will decide whether or not to keep reading based on what they read here, so it’s essential that you give it some love.
It’s also a place where you can steer the reader towards an action. Do you want people to look at your online profile? Tell them. Prefer that they drop you an InMail or invite a connection? Make that clear. This is your chance to set the direction.
2. Turn your headline on its head.
It’s tempting to use this space as a ‘summary of your summary’. Most headlines are simply a jazzed-up job title, a perfunctory explanation of what you do and your previous experience. However, this is a waste of precious space. Instead, use this as an opportunity to express the value that you have on offer. Tell potential employers what you can actually do for them – not what your job is.
For example, instead of, “I’m an experienced sales rep in the FMCG sector”, say, “Increasing your FMCG sales by combining 10 years of selling experience with cutting-edge sector knowledge”. This is infinitely more powerful.
3. Pick your ‘featured skills’.
LinkedIn’s desktop site was given an overhaul earlier this year, meaning that you can now list your skills in the order of your preference. Your top 3 skills are the ones people will see on your page, so make sure they are relevant to your current career aspirations. This is an opportunity to express what you believe your most valuable skills to be.
4. Add a video of you to your profile.
Adding a video of yourself giving a presentation or, if possible, performing in your job is a great way to show people what you can do. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise straight off the bat. For step by step instructions on adding video, check out this post.
5. Use rich media in your updates.
Including videos or images with your posts will notably increase their level of engagement. Updates with a video get an engagement uplift of 74%, adding a link can increase engagement by 84% and including an image will see your engagement soar by 147%.
LinkedIn provides a world of opportunities for those of us with career aspirations. But if used in the wrong way, it can instead become a time-sapping burden. Making a few simple tweaks to the way you use the platform can significantly improve its worth to your professional development.