How to Make a Winning LinkedIn Profile
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the importance of expanding your online presence on sites like LinkedIn if you want to increase your chances of getting into a digital marketing career. It helps companies and recruiters looking for talent know your skills, expertise, and work history, which may encourage them to reach out to you directly with job opportunities. It also gives you the ability to establish relationships and create trust with customers, clients, prospects, and other professionals, and even build a personal brand.
However, with over 800 million members, it can be hard for your profile to stand out, let alone be seen, to begin with. And when a recruiter does find your profile, you certainly don’t want it to be “meh.” This is why optimizing your LinkedIn profile and becoming more strategic about how you want to be perceived on the platform is so important, even if you have no interest in boosting your personal brand or becoming an influencer. Whether you’re completely new to LinkedIn and have never made an account on the platform before, or you’re looking for ways to spruce up and optimize your existing profile, check out these tips to make a winning LinkedIn profile!
Choosing the right profile photo
Your profile photo is arguably the most important part of your LinkedIn profile, as it’s often what recruiters and other users will look at first. You can only make one first impression, so you’ll want to choose a strong and clear photo that shows your face well so recruiters can see and trust who you are. We also recommend choosing a picture with a plain background, as a busy one will not only be visually unappealing, but it can distract from what should be the subject – you!
Choosing a good background photo
Also referred to as the banner image, the background photo gives you the opportunity to be a little more creative. Rather than focusing on you, the background photo should be related to your career field, the company you work for, or the work-related passions you have. We recommend avoiding stock images and instead use a more personal image, perhaps one you’ve taken yourself of your office building, inside the office, or with co-workers. You can also use the space to highlight your credentials, achievements, and qualifications and include contact details along with a CTA for users to contact you.
Create a smart profile headline
LinkedIn gives you up to 220 characters to write a headline that goes below your name on your profile and appears alongside your name in search results, and there are a variety of ways you can use it. Use it as an elevator pitch, a way to share personal details and make yourself more approachable, ask questions to encourage responses you want, include a value proposition, etc. Think of the space as your own personal ad. However, while you can use up to 220 characters, we recommend keeping headlines below 150 to ensure the majority of your headline appears in search results.
Share your story in the summary
There are a lot of different ways you can utilize the 2,000 characters LinkedIn gives you for the summary section of your profile, but we recommend sharing your story and getting more personal than you would on a resume. We recommend trying to be entertaining (in a professional way), telling some real-life stories about your personal life and professional career, and describing who you are. You should also include contact information, skills and achievements, and a link to your portfolio – articles you’ve written, graphic design projects you created, videos you worked on, and more. Be sure to put the information you really want recruiters to see at the top because only the first 260-275 characters will be visible before a user has to click “Read More” to see the rest. However, regardless of what or how much you write, be sure to include keywords throughout the content and update as necessary to ensure all information is relevant and accurate.
Add work experience
It only takes a few minutes to fill out the work experience section on your profile, and how many jobs you add really depends on how in-depth you want to go with your work experience. You don’t need to add every job you’ve ever had, so focus mainly on the best achievements and employment opportunities related to your career. Rather than merely listing the job title you had, we recommend adding keywords and phrases next to it.
Show off your skills and education
Along with the work experience section, the sections dedicated to your education and skills are essential areas that you need to fill out. Recruiters and other people in your network are likely curious about both, and LinkedIn has this great endorsement feature where other users can “endorse” specific skills you add to your profile, improving your trust factor. We recommend including more specific skills that set you apart from others, like “Analytical Reasoning” or “Lateral Thinking” (provided they apply to you), along with the more basic ones like “Microsoft Office” or “Communication.” Learn more about the skills that both your LinkedIn profile and your resume can benefit from.
Looking for more LinkedIn optimization tips? Or, maybe you’ve followed our tips to build a winning profile and are now ready to put your name out there and start applying for positions in the digital marketing space. Regardless, contact Digital Marketing Recruiters today!