When you’re not actively looking for a job, one of the last things you’ll think about is updating your LinkedIn profile. However, your LinkedIn profile is key in today’s employment market and building your personal brand. Having an updated LinkedIn is a great way to have an always ready resume, for that perfect opportunity that comes out of the blue.
In this blog, we have compiled everything you need to know, from crafting an eye-catching summary to selling your achievements, highlighting your skills and getting the algorithms to rank you higher than other profiles.
It can seem like a daunting task to start the updating process. Taking the time to go through each section is important but you don’t have to do it all in one session. Start with one key area and focus on that, work on one section at one time.
What does this even mean? When you create a LinkedIn profile it will give you a number as your name in the URL section. Having a custom URL makes it so much easier to publicise your profile. We recommend linkedin.com/yourfullname if you can get it. Access these instructions to help you create your own URL.
Reviewing your privacy settings before you start editing is a really great idea. That way any changes you make will not show up as activity for others to see until you are ready. You can add/delete etc without anyone knowing you are making live changes. This way you keep things discreet. Before you overhaul your profile, ensure your notifications are turned off. Once you make the changes, you can then change back to your original preferred privacy settings. If you want everyone to see your new settings, make a couple of small updates with open privacy and LinkedIn will quickly share your updates with your network.
Not everyone can go out and get a professional photoshoot done but it’s easy to do something at home or in the office that still looks professional. Choose a great, positive and professional photo of yourself. Make sure it’s clear and industry appropriate. If you are looking for inspiration take a look at what other people in your target industry or business level are wearing. If you need to take a new photo and don’t have access to a professional shoot, choose a blank neutral coloured wall with good lighting.
Headlines are one of the first things people notice when looking at anyone’s LinkedIn profile. Your headline doesn’t have to be your job and company. Use this space to showcase your personal brand, value proposition and passion. Make sure it’s compelling and delivers the message you want to share. Targeting the role or values you want to attract is a great idea for the headline.
Write 2 to 4 paragraphs walking the reader through your passions, key skills, unique experiences, qualifications and any industries you have had exposure to. The world is your oyster, and this summary is the pearl. It needs to tell your story so whilst you might look to others for layout ideas remember that this about you. Start writing and then edit to the key points.
Showcase your achievements or projects you have worked on. Use action words, accomplishments and numbers, or measurable data points to prove your professional wins. We suggest using a key outcome as the heading – eg: Event Management, then lead from there with a small overview of the project or achievement. If you aren’t in a role that has lots of key achievements you could use examples from the company you have worked with – eg: Gold Coast Highway Upgrade Project – supported the team with XYZ.
Depending on the job role, you could use multimedia to showcase your work, projects or articles – put these in the features section. This section allows you to feature content you are proud of. If you haven’t already dabbled in LinkedIn articles, this could be the perfect time to start writing some and share them on your profile. You could also share content from your employer on there if there are projects you’ve been involved in.
Start with the aim of building at least 100 connections. Build on genuine contacts to enhance your networks and increase knowledge about your industry trends. Add your workmates at current and previous organisations, and make sure you start a conversation with them. If you end up with 100 connections, the next goal is to have 500+ connections. Looking at people in a certain industry sector is also a great idea, industry peers can be a great way to build connections quickly.
Once your connections are up, ask key people with whom you share a positive working relationship to write a recommendation for you. Recommendations are a sure-shot way of getting your LinkedIn profile to stand out. Also, at the same time, write recommendations for some of your connections proactively.
Once all the updates are done, remember to see how your profile looks on both mobile and desktop. The formatting, similar bullet points, clear language and visibility matter more than you think.
Remember, at the end of the day, ensuring your profile showcases your personal brand and passion is key to a powerful LinkedIn profile. Let your cheerleader flag fly!
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