What Makes a Strong LinkedIn Profile?
LinkedIn is the business social network that allows you to connect with other professionals. The first step to building great connections with others is making a strong LinkedIn Profile. This blog covers all the steps you need to develop a strong profile.
LinkedIn essentially enables you to create a public résumé, it’s an ideal platform for anyone and everyone regardless of your current position in your career. Whether a student, business owner or anywhere inbetween. If you have aspirations to build your professional network and open up more opportunities for your career, making a strong LinkedIn profile will benefit you.
So keep reading for a step by step guide covering;
- Profile & Banner Image
- Customised URL
- Skills & Endorsements
Profile & Banner Image
Including a good quality profile image can be a big determining factor as to whether or not someone checks out your LinkedIn profile. In fact, those that have a profile picture are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those without. So it is absolutely worth doing.
A few general tips on what makes a good profile photo on LinkedIn.
- Wear smart/professional attire suited to your industry.
- Get a professional image taken if possible, if not take an image in natural light. Either outside or in front of a window. This will give you the best chance of producing a higher quality image.
- Just go for a head and shoulders photo so that viewers can easily see your face.
- Particularly if you’re a business owner, try and incorporate one of your brand colours into the photo as it helps reaffirms your brand image and identity. It could be just a small element such as a tie or necklace etc.
An additional way to enhance your profile is by including a custom banner image. This should be related to the field or industry that you work within. It should provide a visual representation that emphasises the written elements of your profile. Many people don’t consider changing the default banner but it could really help you stand out.
Here are some basic ideas of visuals you could use;
- Clean and simple image of a work space
- Tools of the trade that visualise your role
- You working, this could feel a little staged but can illustrate the impact of your work
- Particularly if the location is crucial to your professional network, a landscape or architectural image can represent this.
Having a punchy headline is necessary to capture the attention of viewers in LinkedIn. On top of this you need to ensure you are utilising the right keywords within your headline. This will allow others to find you as LinkedIn is basically a search engine to find professionals.
The best headlines are specific and are descriptive, this helps viewers know exactly what you do and what your purpose. By doing so you eliminate potential questions and viewers become more likely to take the time to review your profile rather than moving on.
The Summary in your About section creates part of your first impression as it is one of the first things people see when looking at your profile. It is also the best place for showcasing your personality, particularly as the rest of the profile is likely to be more formal as it is a professional platform. The search facility also utilises the summaries to filter their results, so it is important to implement relevant keywords into your text.
Things to consider while writing your summary;
- LinkedIn will only show the first 3 lines of your summary before the viewer has to select to “See More”. Therefore, creating a compelling opening statement will be essential to spark interest for the reader to keep reading.
- Humanise your text by writing in the first person
- Highlight your biggest achievements
- Discuss why you are passionate about the industry you are in
- Express your motivations and goals
- Implement relevant keywords
- To show off a bit more of your personality, include some hobbies or interests near the end
- Use a call to action at the end. This could be a link to a website, imported media for viewers to engage with or a simple “Get in touch”.
Readers should be able to skim your summary in 30 seconds or less. So ensure your content is readable by using short paragraphs and bullet points to break up the text.
When you first set up your LinkedIn profile, the URL will just be automated and not necessarily look appealing. Customising your URL will help your profile be findable as well as creating a more professional look.
We recommend using a mixture of your name and your profession.
Make Your LinkedIn Profile Even Stronger
So far we have covered the fundamental elements that create a strong LinkedIn profile, however to enhance it even further ensure you fill in the Experience, Education and Skills & Endorsement sections. Some people tend not bother with these elements but they help show the full picture of who you are and what you are capable of doing.
When it comes to filling in your experience, it is up to you whether to include your full work history or just the relevant history. This is likely going to depend on your position on the career ladder as well as your previous experience.
If you are not sure, maybe think about if you were in a previous job that wasn’t necessarily in the same industry as the current direction of your career, was there anything you took away that would be relevant? Or if you only include the relevant history, would it display big gaps in your career?
It is ideal to include all your past qualifications, whether attained through formal education or through work. In addition to showcasing the foundation of your knowledge, it can help build connections particularly when first starting out on LinkedIn.
If you are worried that including dates will reveal your age and you consider this undesirable, it is okay to leave the dates out. This is down to personal preference.
Skills & Endorsement
Including your skills is particularly important for people wanting to advance their careers by looking for a new job. This is because listing your skills allows recruiters to quickly glance and develop an understanding of your range of skills. LinkedIn reported that including 5 or more skills can lead to 17 times more profile views and are 33 times more likely to be contacted by recruiters and other LinkedIn members.
Plus, if you list your skills others can endorse you, which backs up what you have claimed to be good at. This will always be a good thing.
Now You Have a Strong LinkedIn Profile, What’s Next?
If you have done all of that, good job!
However, as it is a social media platform to develop your network you will need to regularly update your content and publish posts.
When creating content to post on LinkedIn it is worth remembering it is a professional platform, so make sure you implement content that surrounds your industry. We have listed some ideas to get you started:.
- Share relevant industry or work life based articles
- Share links to your own blog if you have one
- Posts discussing fun statistics
- Content exploring industry innovations or changes
- Workplace updates
- Personal professional achievements