What does a good Linkedin Profile look like?

In his book “Empowering Yourself”, Harvey Coleman puts career success under the microscope to get a better understanding of where you should spend your energy to get maximum return. It turns out that being great at your job isn’t enough – in fact it accounts for only 10 % of career success. It’s just the entry point.  Your image, exposure and how people perceive you accounts for the remaining 90 %. In a nutshell, to be successful, people need to know who you are, what you do and why it matters.

Linkedin is a great vehicle for boosting your exposure. It allows you showcase your expertise and lets people know what value you can bring to a company and how you can contribute to its success.

Here’s 10 tips you should consider when crafting your online profile.

Photo

An image is worth a thousand words. Make sure it looks professional and sets the right tone. Research shows that profiles with photos on LinkedIn get up to 21 times more views that those without one.

Job titles

Think like a buyer not a seller. If your job title isn’t easily understood by people outside your company, consider changing it. This will help ensure that you come up in job searches.

Summary/About Section

It’s worth putting thought into this as when you appear in a search result, a couple of lines from your summary will feature beneath your name. It’s the first thing a head hunter will see and will influence their level of engagement with you.

You’ve room to play here as you can use up to 2,000 characters. Focus on what parts of your career you’d like to highlight and your biggest achievements.  Speak in the first person and keep the tone conversational so that the reader can get a good sense of who you are. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality and show your passions and values.

Be strategic. Before your start, reflect on what job searches you’d like to appear in. List the key skills inherent in such roles and pepper the summary with these.

Headline

This is the text below your photo. You’ve 120 characters to work with. Add a bit of colour so that you hook the reader into the body of your profile. How? Know who your audience is and speak directly to them. Let them know what makes you unique and what you bring to the table.

Get a Custom URL

This is easy to do and makes it easier for you to market your profile. To get a customised url (linkedin.com/yourname) go to edit profile, contact info, profile url.

Network

Start building your network – aim to have over 500 to be most effective. Consider reconnecting with old colleagues, school and university friends. If you’re in trade/industry associations or are currently doing an MBA, invite your peers onto your network. Continuously nurture your network and keep it fresh.

Recommendations

Recommendations can be a powerful way to shine a light on how you make a difference. It can add real impact to your profile and allow people see you at your very best.    

Experience

This shouldn’t be a cut and paste of your CV. Edit your experience and highlight the roles in your career that are most relevant. Repeat the keywords you want to be known for throughout this section. Keep it interesting using action words and focusing on your achievements, not responsibilities.

Skills

List your key skills. This is a tool that is very popular with head hunters to identify talent and ensure you get on their radar.  

Get active

The more active you are on Linkedin, the more you’ll raise your profile and expand your network. Show your expertise by sharing articles or writing content on areas that interest you. Join groups and get involved in discussions. Follow thought leaders that inspire you.

Conclusion

If you’re still having problems getting started, have a look at other profiles. See what you like and replicate the styles that work for you. Your newly crafted profile, will enable you to take proactive control over your career path. It will get you noticed by hiring managers and key stakeholders and put you on the highway to success.