Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which operates in more than 165 countries, says: over 90% of recruiters around the world use LinkedIn to search for professionals (in particular, C-level executives). LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform, is also used to establish contacts with partners and investors, generate leads, gain insights, manage B2B sales, improve reputation and build online communities. While LinkedIn can be an effective networking tool, it’s no easy task to distinguish yourself from the half a billion other users who are also trying to stand out.
There are several easy steps that are relevant for any specialist, expert, entrepreneur or CEO.
Firstly, take a wise approach while choosing a photo to your account. According to LinkedIn, profiles with headshots are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those without a profile picture. Your photo should be clear, professional and only include you.
Secondly, do not forget about the background image. Most people do not pay much attention to this part of the profile, leaving a standard LinkedIn blue. This is your chance to stand out and show that you always look at the project wider and perfectly complete the job.
The headline shows how you position yourself. Even if you do not currently have a permanent position, indicate your skills and the industry close to you. Use keywords such as “leader”, “speaker”, “expert”. However, try to make them as specific as possible. For example, ‘Executive Assistant’ becomes ‘Executive Assistant with 15+ years of experience supporting CEOs, VPs, Directors and other C-level executives’.
Make sure your contact information, such as e-mail, website, professional social media list and location is updated. Information about the location increases in average of 20 times the number of impressions of your account in the search for recruiters.
The summary block is important. Unfortunately, many people still leave this field blank when creating their profile. Develop a short story about your skills and experience. Avoid overly official as well as slang language. You can write about yourself both in the 1st and in the 3rd person. For example, the executives from Market Entry Atelier use different approaches to their LinkedIn Profiles: a 3rd-person profile of Yulia Pohlmann sounds more business-oriented, and the use of the pronoun “I” adds more personality to the summary of Ekaterina Berlova. Sometimes it makes sense to include unexpected information that will give your contacts a reason to start a relaxed conversation. For example, a description in the profile of our client – a banker and a financial expert – mentions that he is a jet pilot with an impressive number of flying hours.
You should not create a biography in your LinkedIn profile. Stick to the facts. Focus on the results and achievements. It is worth spending some time on a personal branding. If there is something to add for each position (interviews, photos, charts), be sure to attach it.
This part of the profile must be checked for relevance. Remember that your account requires regular updates: presentations of your successful project, a fresh link to the article with your expert comment, or video from the conference where you recently spoke. If you want users to find you for certain requests, work out the keywords and include them in different sections of the profile description.
If you want better results on LinkedIn, be sure your education section has relevant and updated information. If your educational experience is rich and diverse, choose those that speak about the growth of your competence, and do not contradict your image.
Choose at least 5 relevant skills that are key for someone in your industry and your position. Include keywords that make you more searchable and reinforce the story you’re telling about who you are and what you can do. Ask your colleagues, partners and acquaintances to endorse your skills.
Content gets people to engage, talk, discuss and call to action. Sharing relevant content with your network shows your interests, expresses your viewpoint and demonstrates the passion for what you do.
As LinkedIn marketing managers, we invest a lot of time and resource in building personal brands. Several simple improvements can have a big impact and help to unlock corporate marketing and recruiting opportunities.