Whether you’re looking for work, want to network like a pro, or hope companies will hire you to do contract work, you’ll want to have a LinkedIn profile that boosts your credibility and creates interest. Here are 5 things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile:
1. GET A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
While selfies, family photos, or those pictures you took with your friends at the bar, work on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. Make your first investment in your career and put your money where your mouth is. Hire a professional headshot photographer to take a picture of your “money maker.”
A skilled headshot photographer will run you around $200. Once you’ve got several headshots in hand, run a few of your favorites past your friends, family, and colleagues to help you choose which one to use on your profile. Ultimately, it’s your decision of course, but the insight you get from people you trust is invaluable.
One final note, your LinkedIn profile picture is a marketing tool – you want this picture to look like your best self while still being recognizably you! No over-the-top glamour shots please – you’ll ultimately disappoint others when they meet you face to face.
Unsure how to find a photographer?
- Use Thumbtack to locate headshot photographers near you
- Please, please, please ask to see some of their other headshots your photographer has taken already
2. CREATE YOUR OWN LINKEDIN HEADLINE
Most professionals on LinkedIn leave their professional headline the same as their current work role – how completely boring and uninspiring is that? Remember, your LinkedIn profile is one of your most important marketing tools to launch your career into hyper-drive.
Instead, what you can do is craft a customized professional headline that fits your career objectives. For example, if you’re an independent contractor looking for work, you want to identify what your bottom-line value is to potential clients along with some of your personal brand – or how you prefer to do your work.
Some of my favorite LinkedIn headlines are from these folks:
3. WRITE A KILLER SUMMARY
Now that your headshot looks like something off of GQ or Vogue [okay – if you read that line without questioning it – you’d better re-read the first point] and your headline is intriguing, it’s time to right your killer summary.
Think about it. Most hiring managers and executives are looking at your profile on their mobile device – so you need to get to the point quickly and each line of your summary needs to be more compelling than the last. You want to keep these folks’ attention!
And while your personal interests may intrigue friends and family, remember that hiring managers and executives are looking for how you can help them or their company:
- Make money
- Save money
- Save time
4. ENDORSE & RECOMMEND OTHERS
LinkedIn ranks your profile based on many variables, one of them is the endorsements and recommendations that other professionals give to you. Okay, so you’ve decided that you want to get other people to give you endorsement and recommendations, how do you go about doing this?
The bottom-line here is that you get what you give. One strategy that you can take to increase the number of recommendations, endorsements and also improve your profile views and rank is to give endorsements and recommendations to others.
Login to LinkedIn and find those professionals who really enjoy working with and who provided a lot of value to you or your company. Take the time to not only click on the endorsements on their LinkedIn profile, but write a few sentences of a recommendation for their profile. Once you do this, send it to them and ask if they’d reciprocate – likely they will and both of your LinkedIn profiles will be better off!
If the colleague you want an endorsement from is an extremely successful or busy professional you can make their life easier by writing up a LinkedIn profile recommendation for them about you and send it to them to copy, edit, and paste on your LinkedIn profile as them. They’ll love you for doing this and you’ll win extra “easy-to-work-with” brownie points.
5. KEEP YOUR PROFILE UPDATED
Finally, remember that your LinkedIn profile is not a one-and-done. You wouldn’t dream of wearing clothes that are out of style or worn out to work, so treat your LinkedIn profile the same way. Regularly make updates to it. If you’re extremely busy and want to leverage your time, schedule a time on your calendar once a quarter where you re-read your LinkedIn profile and make adjustments.
Also, make sure you’re updating your LinkedIn profile with recent courses that you completed, certifications you achieved, new associations you joined, or new positions you landed. And please update your status every so often so that we know you’re still alive – once a week is plenty. Other professionals want to see what you’re reading, what you’re doing to grow, or what advice you’d give them.
For more helpful strategies and tips to launch you into the career you always wanted, book a free consultation with me here.