Your LinkedIn Profile Really Matters – So Get It Noticed

Is your LinkedIn profile up to scratch? With so much focus on broader social media platforms, LinkedIn often fails to get the attention it deserves, but it’s still the most important place to make an impression if you’re looking for work. Even if you’re already in work, your ability to network matters, and you never know what opportunities it might bring your way. This article will help you to optimize the space that LinkedIn gives you and really show the world what you’re capable of.

Focus on your brand

What are you actually selling on LinkedIn? It’s not as simple as presenting yourself to the world – you need to show people the version of yourself that they’re going to get excited about. Think about what you have to offer that sets you apart from the competition. How can you bring your skills, experience, achievements and personality together into a cohesive brand? How can you put across an inspiring vision of what you’re able to achieve? The more clearly you can establish this before starting work on your profile, the better the impression it will make.

Know who you want to reach

Who is your LinkedIn profile for? The answer is likely to depend on what state you’re at in your career. It will, again, influence the way that you put everything else together. If you only have a handful of contacts and you’re looking for your first job, potential employers are more likely to reach your page through a referral than directly. If you’re already well connected and well established, it’s more important to appeal to the curious. Daversa Partners uses LinkedIn for headhunting, and professionals who stand out may find themselves receiving tempting offers.

Use the right images

The first thing that anyone will notice about your profile is your photo. It’s essential that it makes a professional impression, so invest in quality, but bear in mind that you also need to look engaging. Smile with your eyes and try to put across a bit of character. Your face should take up two-thirds of the image, but this doesn’t mean that clothes don’t matter, so wear something that’s appropriate to your profession but that you’re comfortable in. Don’t forget that you can also add a background photo to establish the tone of your page or even to illustrate your achievements.

Make your personal statement count

After seeing your photo, the first thing that a potential connection or recruiter will look at is your personal statement. This needs to communicate who you are and what makes you special, as well as putting across your passion for your chosen career path. It needs to do so clearly and concisely in language that really makes an impression. Consider accompanying your written statement with a video statement – this gives you the chance to talk to visitors directly. A professional-quality video that demonstrates your confidence in your own abilities will linger in the memory.

Focus on skills

Listing your qualifications and experience is important, but for most recruiters, it’s a secondary concern, just there to illustrate that you really have had the chance to learn what you say you can do. Before they decide whether or not to read through it, they will look at your skills. Every LinkedIn profile should list at least 10 of these. If you have a lot more, trim them down and focus on those most relevant to the career path you really want to pursue. Consider taking a skills assessment. People with verified skills on their profiles are 30% more likely to get a job through LinkedIn.

Seek endorsements

Imagine that you’re an employer scrolling through a long list of potential candidates. If they have similar skills and experience, how would you choose between them? Often, the decisive factor is word of mouth. This is where endorsements come in. There are all sorts of ways to get these. They don’t have to come from employers but can be from anyone who has worked with you in a professional capacity. Be proactive about seeking them out and be ready to write them for other people. They’re the proof that you’re the capable person you say you are.

With over 300 million people now using LinkedIn, the competition is tough, but the opportunities are commensurate. Taking the time to shape up your profile can make a huge difference to your chances of making the connections that matter. Just remember that you can’t get away with only doing it once – the site is always changing and adding new ways for you to talk about what you do. Keeping up to date shows that you’re committed and helps you to stay ahead of the pack. It means that when opportunity comes knocking, you’ll be ready to open the door.