7 LinkedIn Tips to a Professional Profile
Someone’s personal brand can be just as important as their business brand. And a LinkedIn profile can be your online billboard. Almost like your virtual business card. It’s a great opportunity to share your personal brand – if you do it right. Too many people make mistakes when it comes to promoting themselves on LinkedIn, which makes them look unprofessional.
LinkedIn is not the platform you want to do that with because it has turned into the choice social media for business professionals. Here at Inscribe we don’t want to let your profile look second-rate, so we are sharing 7 LinkedIn tips to a professional profile. Some of these may seem like common sense, but many people still seem to blow right past them.
Use a Header image
The header is the first thing people see when they come to your LinkedIn profile. This is prime real estate to differentiate yourself from other people. Use a header image to create interest – don’t leave it neglected.
Think about some images that could enhance your profile. If you don’t have your own photos you can use some free photos from websites like:
But, how do you know what image is the right one? Well, think about yourself. What words describe you: Bright, dark, busy, calm, strategic?
You don’t need to get it perfect, just make sure you add something as your header image. Please don’t leave it with the stock blue header image.
To add the new picture to your header section, click the ‘edit’ button on your LinkedIn profile.
- Use a STRONG Profile Picture
This picture is a direct visual representation of who you are. It might not be the best idea to use a selfie you took in your dimly lit living room. Or, even worse would be to not have one at all. People may find you, and then leave your LinkedIn profile as quickly as they came due to this one thing.
Use it as a tool to make a great first impression, to strengthen instead of hurting your chances of coming across unprofessional.
With that being said, take a great picture of yourself! More than likely, you will use this picture in more than just your LinkedIn profile. Take some nice headshots of yourself, or have a friend help you to pick the best one. If you are a brand, then get a crisp high quality photo of your logo to use as your LinkedIn profile picture.
Strong Headline (The first sentence of your profile)
Don’t undersell yourself. Let this motivate a conversation, from the very start. This can also be a place to inform readers how you can help them.
The headline is not the place to restate your job title and company. Every section should be used to tell more about yourself. Don’t repeat yourself.
Instead, describe what you’re good at, or explain what readers will get out of what you do. This way people will stay, rather than leaving.
Think of your headline as the opening to a story about you. It is meant to be eye catching in 120 characters or less.
Pro Tip: Avoid exaggerating or using buzzwords, expressions, and groundless claims.
Provide a Solid Summary
This is where you will continue your story that you started with your headline. Think of it as your elevator pitch. This is probably one of the only parts somebody will read on your profile.
Remember, you are more than just the total of job experience. Let that experience tie into an overall story about who you are. Some elements to include in your story are:
- Who, what, why, when, and how
- A few major core skills
- Why you do what you do
- What large problems you solve
- Show any stats/numbers
Write in first person, to keep this a personal thing. Writing in third person will make you sound cold, unapproachable, and slightly pretentious. Speak like a human and lose all the cliches and other jargon. Be clear, instead of clever.
If people were only going to read your summary, what would you do to be memorable?
A lack of recommendations translates to a lack of trust in your skills.
Your own words can only count for so much. Readers want to hear about what others think about you as well.
They want to know:
What are your greatest strengths
- Why you’re good at what you do
- Who thinks these things
- How did you help them
- Their title
Pro tip: Take time to write recommendations for other people you believe in. Don’t expect anything back, but maybe people will start writing you recommendations back.
Don’t be afraid to ask! It’s okay to ask for help, and requesting a recommendation from someone might be a great idea. Hootsuite offered a great example on how to ask for a recommendation:
Hi Jane, I want to add some credibility to my LinkedIn profile, so people can see the benefits I deliver. Could you please write a recommendation, based on our work together?
Here’s some thoughts to make this easier on your brain…
- What talents, abilities, & characteristics best describe me?
- What successes did we experience together?
- What am I good at?
- What can I be counted on?
- What did I do that you most noticed?
- What other distinguishing, refreshing, or memorable features do I possess?
Thank you, Jane.
Make it easy for them to write you a recommendation. Help them help you. It won’t hurt to ask. The worst that they can say is ‘no,’ or just ignore you. Then, ask someone else.
Add a personal message for your invite
You will sound impersonal if you provide no reasoning for connecting. There is no reason for someone to blindly hit the ‘accept’ button when they are presented with this.
Connect with a purpose. State that purpose in your request.
A few reasons to connect would be:
- You read and appreciated a piece of content like a blog post
- Your skills could be of use to them
- There’s a reason to do business together
- You have a mutual connection
You don’t need to write much, just be clear and concise to your reasoning for connecting.
Provide content worth consuming
This means content you’ve curated or created.
If you don’t share anything on LinkedIn you will go unnoticed. By not sharing content there is no reason to be seen. In result, no one will be inspired to connect with you.
Share content that you feel is valuable to your network. Use your content to stay on top of their mind, and increase your authority in your industry.
Be sure to read articles about your industry, craft, skills, etc. Then take a note of the article and share them!
Pro Tip: If you are scrolling through the web and come across interesting articles/content, save it in a folder or notes section to reference back to it when time to share. That way, you won’t have to go searching for it if you want to post.
Whether you are marketing yourself or your business, you’ve got a brand. It should be your pergotive to come off as professional, and useful. Please take these tips into consideration as you continue using LinkedIn.
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