LinkedIn is a fascinating social network. It remains the primary connection point for professionals online. It has some of the highest profile names in the business world associated with it. It is also growing more and more each year, and has led to many jobs that have changed people’s careers.
Are you hoping to be one of those who find the perfect opportunity via LinkedIn? Then you better make sure your profile isn’t boring your prospects to death. Here are 10 tips for making your profile more exciting.
Tip #1: Think Of Your Profile as a Portfolio
Too often I will come across LinkedIn profiles that link offsite for their portfolio or complete resume. Why put those who are looking at you through the hassle? There is a decent chance most never make it past that initial exposure, and bother clicking on the link you’ve provided.
Instead, you should put your portfolio/resume on LinkedIn. Not as a part of it, but making up the whole. If you are a creative professional you can show screencaps of your work uploaded as photos. Give a complete history of your working years. Talk about your proudest professional moments.
Your profile is your place to shine. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Tip #2: Make Your Text Even
This isn’t the most crucial of tips, but I have found it can help with the aesthetic of your profile. Let’s face it, LinkedIn isn’t the prettiest of social networks. You can help with that by making all of your text boxes approximately even in length per each section.
It will look better, more professional, and be easier to read. Plus, it gives it a little extra detail that makes it stand out
Tip #3: Don’t Skimp On The Visuals
Why do so few people put any effort into visuals on LinkedIn? It is so strange, because any other social network is all about pics, selfies and backgrounds. People will spend hours making the perfect ironic Facebook Timeline cover, and fail to even put a single image up on LinkedIn.
Visuals are just as important there as anywhere else. I saw a VP of Communications the other day that had four photos of her with her dog. And you know what? It worked! It made the profile more attractive, and humanized her. Alongside the professional image, it made her more likeable.
Slideshare (Linkedin property) is a great way to make your Linkedin page more visual.
Tip #4: Pay Attention To Your Headlines
Headlines are important because it is probably what visitors to your profile are going to skim through before deciding if it is worth really reading on. If you haven’t gotten their attention they will just skip to the next person and you will have missed a chance at a valuable connection.
Be descriptive and straightforward. Let your description get into detail, but let your headline deliver the punch. It is a way of introducing yourself, so put your best face forward!
Tip #5: Don’t Fall Into Buzzword Traps
Ugh, there is nothing worst that buzzwords on LinkedIn. Not only the pretentious ones like “synergize”, but the more insidious, average ones like “motivated”. Did you know the word motivated is statistically the most overused on the LinkedIn network?
Don’t fall into the buzzword trap. Say what you mean, and walk the line between personable and professional. No one is going to want to speak to you if you sound like a machine built to regurgitate marketing phrases that don’t really mean anything. That won’t impress anyone.
Tip #6: Act Like You Would In An Interview
How would you behave if you were meeting your future potential boss in an interview? Convert that to the digital, and you have your tone for your profile. You want to be pleasant, confident, show you know your stuff, and that you would be great to have around the office.
Sure, this isn’t actually an interview. But it is a professional place, full of professional people. You are there to make connections, to network, not to share cat memes. Act accordingly, and you will find yourself making the right impression in no time.
Tip #7: Aim To Exude Authority
I am in love with writing LinkedIn content. Not only do I know the right people are reading it (as in, people who are interested in the topic), but I know I am placing myself up as an authority on that subject. I try and maintain that same authority when I am commenting on other people’s work, keeping in mind that I am sharing with a community of others who know their stuff.
You should always be looking to show your expertise. Not faking it (if you don’t know, learn), but being genuinely helpful and exchanging ideas, tips and knowledge with others in your field.
Tip #8: Don’t Go Nuts On Your Invites
I hate getting random invites from people who don’t know me and have nothing to do with my industry. And you know what? Other people hate it, too. Going on a friending spree is transparent, and obviously a way to build your connections through automatic re-follows. I don’t even bother to give pity follows anymore, that is how annoying I find it.
You should be cultivating your connections carefully. Go for people you know would be interested in speaking with you, or who you really want to get to know. Stick in your industry, or in related industries. Always have a reason to add someone, don’t just do it because you can.
Finally, when you add a person, send them a message! Introduce yourself, say hello, show an interest. Don’t be some creepy ghost lingering at the edges of their connections lists. Show that you are going to provide a conversation, and a reason to connection with them. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Tip #9: Remain Consistent and Active
The most important tip for getting big on LinkedIn and having the best profile possible is just by being active. Too many users open a profile, fill it out to the minimum, then leave it. It is as though they think the magic Career Fairy is going to come down and grant them a wish just for filling in the Work History section.
Like any social network, LinkedIn gives back what you put into it. Speak to others, find connections, join groups, engage in conversation, post content. The minimum you should be hopping on and posting is twice a week, or you aren’t likely to get much from your profile.
Do you have any tips for making the perfect LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments!