BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN
LinkedIn hosts more than 600 million professional profiles – do you know what that means? It means an endless amount of networking and job possibilities. Some people estimate that almost 85% of jobs are filled through networking – that sounds awful for folks that don’t have a wide professional network, but incredibly inspiring for those looking to tap into the power that LinkedIn yields.
This doesn’t mean fill out the bare minimum and hope for things to happen – this means take advantage of all the features and advantages that LinkedIn has to offer. In a world overwhelmed by social media, this might sound a bit much: never fear, here are a few things to immediately make your profile stand out:
Headshot, and Clear
Yes, you know you need to have a headshot and it needs to look like you – especially if you meet people in person. Have you made sure that the headshot is clear and hi-res?
You could have a beautiful iPhone camera photo as your headshot, as long as it’s clear and crisp. The moment your features start blurring or the image is fuzzy, you lose some of the polish you’re looking to achieve with your headshot.
Tell Me About Yourself Summary
That summary? It’s a great place to respond to, “Tell me about yourself.” Usually, that type of a question is asked during job interviews or at networking events, so think of why you are using LinkedIn in the first place – are you looking for a better job? A career change? A mentor? To keep in touch or connect with people in your field? Craft your summary around your reasons for being on the platform in the first place. If you don’t have a specific reason, make one! Even something as “simple” as networking is a reason.
Headlines Aren’t Job Titles
That one-liner on top of your profile? Don’t list your current job title – this is a great place for a mini-summary of your summary! Take a look at your summary and think about a short phrase or sentence that both describes you and sums up your summary paragraph. I’ve swapped my own from “Chronic Connector and Speaker” to “Status Quo Disruption” to “Captain Marvel of Small Businesses” – and will probably change it again in a few weeks. It’s a fun way to have a catchy intro to someone scrolling through profiles – and a great way to show some personality.
Cover Photos and Videos
A game-changer for me was a great cover photo. I had my friend make my recent book and great review into a cover photo (the rectangular photo at the top of your profile), and so many people asked me about my book and the review. You don’t have to make it an accomplishment – you should make it something personal. Maybe you work in a field that offers a great photo, or something interesting from your day-to-day work – even a nice and eye-catching map or graph is a great choice for that space. Before you land on a photo, make sure to test it out with your photo and be sure you’re not giving yourself a weird halo of imagery on your profile – simple and clean is better than busy!
You’re probably connected with people you know or have worked with – a good idea is to ask them for a recommendation to start buffing up your profile. You can always offer one in return, and when you ask, be sure to ask a few people at once, that way you’re not waiting for one person to respond – and one person that might not check LinkedIn!
These are only a few tips to get your LinkedIn game ready and strong. Try one or all, and get connecting!