Your LinkedIn Profile is certainly your first, and can be your last chance to make a positive impression to very important people online.
They're important if they're taking the time to look at your profile - whether it's hiring for a new position, looking for a new supplier or considering a strategic partnership. So what they see, and how it's presented, is very important.
Your profile is a combination of a sales pitch, a personal presentation, a business card, a brochure, a personal statement, a list of recommendations, a mini web-site, and a wave from across the room. It has a lot of work to do, and it only has a few seconds to either succeed or fail in doing that work.
So - how do you make it a success?
Take a few minutes to check over your profile in these following key areas to make sure that you're looking at your best...
1. Make your headline work for you
The headline next to your name on your profile as a default is your latest position's job title. But you can make it much more than that - make it a statement that explains your core expertise, the benefits you deliver, and also the areas you work in. With up to 120 characters, there's plenty of room, and remember it's important in terms of search visibility.
2. Are you in the right industry?
This is often overlooked. Are you working in the Internet industry, Computer Software, or Information Technology? It's worth browsing through LinkedIn's categories of industry to make sure you've chosen the most accurate and appropriate - check out your colleagues, competitors and customers for guidance.
3. Linked In is not your CV
Your profile should tell the story of you, how you got to here, where you are going, and who you are going with. Use the summary section to do this. Make it easy to read with short sentences, a concise paragraph length and bullet points. It's called a summary for a reason!
4. Invest in a good photo
Fuzzy shots of you glass in hand at a wedding don't impress anyone. Get a professional, uncluttered headshot taken, make sure you're wearing appropriate clothes, and just smile. Pay a pro, it's a worthwhile investment. If you can't pay a pro, get the background appropriate and uncluttered, make the lighting good, get the clothes and hair right, and smile. Don’t use the flash feature on a phone: it's a recipe for red eyes and flat features. Invest in making your first impression count, because you may not get the chance to make a second impression.
4. Include a summary
Adding a summary to your profile allows you to sum up your experience and share information quickly and efficiently. Everyone is busy, so this might be the only part of your profile they read. Make it count. Use the “sandwich” technique, start about you, filling / middle about your company, base finish about you!
5. Show me the benefits
Say why it will benefit a prospective contact to do business with you - precisely, exactly, measurably, and specifically. Add examples, testimonial or a recommendation from a real person who is also on LinkedIn. Having other people say why it benefited them to do business with you – brings a good amount of credibility to you and your profile.
6. Make it easy to contact you
Share contact details on your profile in plain text, so that people can contact you even if they are not connected to you. The summary is an ideal place. Make it easy for people to get in touch. Check your settings to make sure your profile is publicly visible so it can be found in search engines outside of LinkedIn.
7. Select the most appropriate skills
You can showcase up to 50 skills, and have connections endorse your for those skills. Make sure you choose the most appropriate, and edit the list to group similar skills together. It's often more effective to showcase fewer core skills - but remember that skills are now available as a variable in LinkedIn premium search.
8. Add multimedia to your profile
Add a link to a Slideshare presentation, a Soundcloud recording, a PDF document or a blog. A profile that's simply made up of text is not as appealing as one with multimedia - so add media to differentiate yourself as well as tell more about you and your expertise.
9. Be Human
When you request to connect with someone, don’t use the generic message, say why you want to connect and how you could work with them! If you don’t have a real reason to connect, don’t. Make sure your contacts list is a strong “black book” not just a list of anyone that will connect with you.
10. Be picky
Don’t just accept any old request to connect. As above, make sure your contacts list is a strong “black book” not just a list of anyone that will connect with you. If you are not sure to accept, ask why they would want to connect with you.
11. Be visible & be regular
Interact on Linked In, post comments on group discussions, share industry relevant news, start discussions, publish articles on Pulse. Become a “thought leader”, be the “Go to” person when your contacts have a question or someone that they whose comments they will take notice of and reads when they are posted.
Jose joined New Frontiers in 2000 working a variety of roles from recruitment consultant to in-house recruiter and staff trainer and now General Manager. Jose has a wealth of travel industry experience having worked in travel for 8 years prior to joining New Frontiers with roles in retail and for a tour operator.