How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

December 8, 2020

Shakir Saunders

Social Media has changed the world in so many ways. It gives you the ability to connect with millions of people across the globe and market services or goods 24/7. LinkedIn has given working professionals the power to build their own personal brand and tell their story.

This is something overlooked by many people because they are too “busy”, uncomfortable bragging about themselves, or they don’t see the reward in personalizing their profile. Others may believe LinkedIn is only for people who are actively looking for a job. When we choose to neglect personal branding, we sell ourselves short and miss out on hundreds of opportunities to better our careers. A LinkedIn profile is just as powerful as a resume.

These tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile, will not just open doors for your career, but can help you expand your professional network, and will also help your organization shine in the eyes of others.

Choose a Great Profile Picture-

Your profile picture is the first impression people will have of you. Here you want to aim for a more professional picture of just you. Look to avoid busy backgrounds, crop out others and don’t use selfies. Since your picture is the first thing people will see, put your best foot forward.

Don’t Forget Your Profile Background-

Your background picture is usually the second thing that people notice when they pull up your profile. This can be a little more creative and personal if you choose. You can use your company’s logo, the skyline of your city/town or maybe one of the generic ones that LinkedIn provides. Try not to go too crazy here but look for something that represents the current “you”. Try to avoid blurry or pixilated pictures that might hurt someone’s eyes when viewing your profile.

Create a Dynamic Headline-

A lot of times people look to default to their title as a headline. Look to draw someone’s attention by having a headline the quickly describes your abilities and what you are currently doing. Your title will still be visible on your profile, so use this opportunity to stand out from others.

Create a Summary of Your Story-

This is a key part to your profile. Your summary should be a quick story of the highlights in your career. What are some of the most important things you have accomplished? What do you want prospective employers to know about you? What are some key abilities that you possess and can bring to other environments? This is where you show how unique you are and the value that you bring to the table.

Focus on Buzzwords from Technology or Methodologies You Use-

There are many different thoughts on using buzzwords, but recruiters use key words to tighten up their search string. They are the important skills or technology that companies are looking for professionals to have for a specific opportunity. Only list things that you truly know. If it is something that you do not have a lot of experience with, avoid using or listing it.

Connect and Add to Your Network-

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is about connecting with other people. Who you know and warm connections will help get you in the door of new opportunities. Connect with as many people that you know from all aspects of your professional, personal, and academic life and have met face to face or virtually. These 1st connections will help expand your network and can introduce you to new faces. You never know where a close family friend might work or who they might know.

Give and Ask for Recommendations-

Recommendations are just like references. The more you have, the better. These are nice words that others can give about the work you have done while working with them. Because these will be listed on your profile, they are public references for all to see. People will get a better idea of the accomplishments in your career. And don’t forget to return the favor to others.

Share Relevant Marketing Material-

This one speaks for itself. Sharing relevant marketing material from your current role or things that speak to you, help you get noticed. Your news feed is full of articles and other written material that is designed to catch your attention (like this article!). After people click to read the shared material, it usually will draw them to the profile of who shared it. Sharing and commenting on the shared material will catch the attention of others. You can author content yourself or share your insights on content from other sources (just remember to give credit to the original author). The key is that people are always looking for current material to gain more knowledge, so share important articles that could be relevant to others in your network. Just like Thanksgiving Dinner, look to avoid topics around religion, politics, and conspiracy theories. As the common saying goes, LinkedIn is not Facebook.

These are a few quick tips to improve your LinkedIn and have it work for you. By incorporating these ideas, you should see an increase of views on your profile. Before you know it, opportunities will be knocking at your door. Start 2021 by doing something for yourself and/or your business. Who knows what opportunities are out there already looking for you? So, shine bright for all to see!

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