Is your LinkedIn profile in need of some spring cleaning?
As the air becomes warmer, birds burst into song, and flower buds begin to blossom, many are putting on their rubber gloves and commencing in the spring cleaning of their homes as a representation of new and fresh beginnings.
But while a thorough clean of your living space may be on the cards, it may also be time to dust off your LinkedIn profile and apply a fresh coat of paint.
This is especially the case if you want a profile that engages your audience and persuades them to contact you for business opportunities. Here are some tips to help you add a bit of sparkle and shine to your LinkedIn personal profile:
Scrubbing up the headshot
Your headshot is important seeing as it follows you all over LinkedIn, and is one of the first things a visitor sees. So, take a look at your headshot photo and decide whether it needs updating. If the photo was taken 10 years ago when you were a baby-faced graduate or one wild Saturday night in a dimly-lit club — update it.
You should aim to change your profile picture at least every three years, and choose one that features you looking professional, preferably against a neutral background.
Polish your headline
Your headline is the first glimpse people see when they receive a connection request from you or when LinkedIn sends a suggestion of people to connect with. With this in mind, it’s vital to come up with a successful headline.
Does your headline accurately outline what you do, and succinctly describe why you do what you do? Headlines which just blandly list your job title and company name will not do well in making an immediate impression on a reader. Make sure you make full use of the 120-character limit, weaving in keywords that can be used to search for you.
Make yourself available
It is important to make it easy for LinkedIn users to get in touch with you across all communication platforms. Include links to your Twitter, Facebook, email, blog, and website, making sure they actually work.
Creating a summary that shines
Your summary should be an engaging snapshot of yourself, much like the introduction of your resume. Your LinkedIn summary is an added window of exposure, giving you a fantastic opportunity to showcase your talent and capture the attention of decision-makers.
A strong summary provides a professional essence to readers, including information that makes users want to learn more about you and connect with you. What’s most important is being yourself.
Include details on:
- Your most important accomplishments.
- Your values and passions.
- Facts, figures and statistics about your achievements (i.e. “I can speak four different languages.”)
- Differentiation: Include details that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
Adding additional material to complement the summarization of yourself is also a great way to add a bit of sparkle and make for a much more engaging profile. For instance, short videos, podcasts, links, and PDFs.
Sharpen up the skills section
Many LinkedIn users make the mistake of listing their skills in a pretty general manner. A much better idea is to be specific. For instance, instead of listing “marketing” as a skill, think of including niche skills such as “social media marketing analytics”.
Does your experience section scrub up well?
In a nutshell, the experience section of your profile is an online resume, including details on current and past employment, education, and industry.
It’s important to really sharpen this section, including key details about the values you learned in each position and how you developed your skills.
Make sure the experience you include is up to date and relevant to your career. It is great to include volunteer work where you developed skills that would be attractive to a future employer- but the time you spent volunteering as a dog-walker in the summer of 2008 will not add much value to your profile.
Don’t let your profile build up dust
The last and perhaps most important tip is to have an active presence on LinkedIn. Completing the aforementioned steps are useless if you allow dust to collect on your profile.
Regularly post updates including industry-related, thought-provoking questions, LinkedIn blog posts, links to your website, video blogs, infographics, as well as sharing the content of industry leaders and influencers. This will make your profile far more engaging and attractive to LinkedIn users and possible business contacts.