June 2018 Motivate

How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile (In 7 Easy Steps)


Written By: Sofia Arriaga

Every individual in the workplace understands that responsible social media is a prerequisite to earning a proper job. In this modern day and age, the “first impression” that used to be an in-person meeting has become a virtual one. Employers have the privilege of discovering who you are from your online appearance on LinkedIn before ever meeting you in person. Naturally, this means that curating the features of your LinkedIn matters tremendously. Here is the inside scoop for the most sought-after qualities in a LinkedIn profile according to the experts:

Education and Location

According to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele, users who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who do not list any education. To appear in up to 23 times more searches, users should also add the location of their desired workplace.

Include Goals

Business recruiters advocate for descriptive renditions of candidates’ goals within their personal profiles. Specifics and details are key. Recruiters love to see that candidates maintain passion for both their current position and the position they are vying for.

Make a Great (Visual) First Impression

On LinkedIn’s own business page, it advocates for a well-developed profile picture and background image. The profile picture is more than just an icon; it is often the first visual impression a company has of you. Or, if a company views your profile after an over-the-phone interview, it bases your appearance on that picture. Experts strongly encourage users to showcase a professional headshot as their profile image.

Personalize the background photo. The background photo should be where your personality shines through. It should represent a personal interest or passion. Remember: The most important aspect for connecting with someone is to humanize yourself. That can be hard to fulfill in the professional world and is even more difficult through a computer screen. Therefore, without being too flashy, incorporate a personal background into your page that represents an aspect of your personality.

Personalize the Headline

Every LinkedIn expert understands that your headline should be specific to your unique role. Rather than referring to yourself as a bland title belonging to thousands of users, use the distinctive aspects of your role to your advantage. “Marketing Director” does not give much personal context but particularizing the role to “Chief Online Marketing Officer” provides more insight into the user’s occupation. In a sea of 500 million LinkedIn users (that’s right, and the number is only growing), you need to use every professional opportunity you can to stand out.

Perfect Your Summary

After hooking viewers to your profile with your unique headline, your summary should be the section that convinces them to acknowledge your entire profile. The summary further differentiates you from the online community. LinkedIn experts note that when crafting the summary, there are a few golden rules to follow. First, never write your summary in the third person. The summary should tell your story but not provide a biography. As mentioned before, you have to humanize yourself online as much as professionally possible, whereas writing in the third person only creates a wider divide between yourself and the individuals engaging with your profile. The second rule of LinkedIn summaries is to create a lead that hooks. If you’ve visited a profile online, you know that only the first two lines of the summary are typically displayed. You should hook viewers with a “lead for a need” that encourages them to click to “see more” of your summary. The final golden rule is always to add media. Experts recommend adding a visual and a link to external documents, websites, videos, photos or presentations. This small detail will further capture the attention of the individuals accessing your profile.

Stay Relevant

Despite the potential intimidation that comes with your current and future bosses having full access to your online profile, try to remember that LinkedIn is just another social media site. For any social media site, consistent posting and online interaction is necessary to maintain followers. According to LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Solutions EMEA Blog contributor Jane Fleming, sharing case studies, white papers and other brand content helps to show what the company you work for is all about while also displaying your commitment to that company. In the same way, sharing content that personally interests you humanizes your character and spreads your personality. Keeping a consistent flow of posts will help you maintain followers and keep you on their radar. Users should also engage with their connections’ posts. This not only builds a stronger relationship but also increases the likelihood that connections will engage with your content, returning the favor.

Add Recommendations and Endorsements

After engaging with other connections’ posts, recommendations and endorsements are the next “level up” for your LinkedIn profile. According to a list of the Best LinkedIn Profiles and Company Pages in 2017, adding recommendations and endorsements provides the greatest “social proof” of your capabilities. When people write recommendations and endorsements for others, they willingly take time out of their days to do so. They can’t be forged, and they show that your social connections do, in fact, support your professional abilities. Your profile can harbor endless recommendations and endorsements, so don’t be afraid to ask for them! It should be noted, however, that your LinkedIn profile always displays your last two recommendations along with three endorsements of your selection.

To summarize, building the best LinkedIn profile can be a mechanical process, but it also incorporates individuality. Following these steps will ensure profile perfection and incorporating personality and humanizing yourself online will help create a virtual impact that is just as strong as an interpersonal interaction.

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