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Top Tips to Shine on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool for networking, sales, and recruitment professionals. It is a great place for communication and the sharing of ideas. However, its unique role as THE social network for business comes with its own set of norms and behaviors.

It can also be intimidating! We spoke with UK-based LinkedIn Trainer Jennifer Corcoran on how to maximize your LinkedIn profile. Here are just some of her tips to get a better experience from the platform:

Make Your Profile Stand Out on LinkedIn

For many, the cover photo is a missed opportunity. You can personalize it, so it’s a good area to share visually with other people just what you do.

Check with your company’s marketing department to see if there are prepared cover banners available. If not, you can create your own. Canva is a site which can help you develop a banner. When doing so, it’s worth thinking over the branding of your company and ways your banner can complement it. It might help to think of the cover page as your Broadway billboard! Design it to be eye-catching and stand out, as it’s a warm introduction that tells others a little about you.

You should also set a headline – a headline is 220 characters that can spell out exactly what you do. While a lot of people think of the headline as just a place for their current job title, you can use it to spell out how others can benefit from working with you. For example, an EA may want to use something like, “Executive Assistant dedicated to helping leaders save time and money.” 

You can tag on some personality – “In mine I like to add that I am an NHS (National Health System) volunteer. It tells people more about me.” You can even add put in geography to make your headline stand out even more, for example “New York-based Executive Assistant”. To take our Broadway example one step farther, if the cover page is your Broadway billboard, then the title is the headline below it!

“People buy people”

After the headline is the About section. Here Jennifer recommends writing in the first person since it’s your own profile. “People buy people,” she advises. “Third person sounds like a biography”. Another tip for the About section is to make sure it looks good – formatting is important! Finally, always end with a clear call to action. What do you want people who read your profile to do as a next step? If you want people to reach out to you, always include contact information.

“The about section is your story to date. It tells a story of why you do what you do. It connects the dots.”

“The about section is your story to date. It tells a story of why you do what you do. It connects the dots.”

Finally, if you are brave enough you can make a great video to introduce yourself and include that in your profile.

Skip the Premium

Is LinkedIn Premium worth $100/month? Not for most people. If you are focused for a new job it may be worth upgrading for just the free month, but first make sure you fully understand how to use the standard free version to its fullest capability.

A better use of the money would be to invest it in yourself – Jennifer advises getting a professional headshot. “It’s so worth doing and you can use it for a few years.”

How to Get Found on LinkedIn

Make sure your profile matches the job you are searching for. Find a good job description, then make sure that your profile uses those exact keywords. This way you can come up in searches. Another tip is to take advantage of LinkedIn indexing your profile into search engines: when you add in a file or photo, always name the file. For example, instead of a generic picture title, use your name and your job title in the photo so Google will index.

New to LinkedIn is a feature that shows if you are open to work. Enable it. This will place a green outline around your image stating that you are open to work. Avoid putting “seeking work” in your headline, as you only get 220 characters there and do not want to waste headline space – use the headline to focus on you!

Connect on LinkedIn

Finally, Jennifer advises you to use your network. Ask for introductions. LinkedIn is about tapping into networks and other people’s networks. To be the most successful with it, you have to reach out to others. Make sure you ask for introductions. If you can’t connect with someone because you don’t have a way to contact them, see what groups the person is in and join those groups. Once you are in the same group, you can message them.

Speaking of connecting, if you would like to learn more, you can connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn or join her LinkedIn group, Networking Tips with My Super Connector

Thank you, Jennifer!

Your next
opportunity awaits.

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