10 Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is no longer just another version of your standard resume. It has evolved into an extremely useful resource to highlight your best assets and successes. With 722 million members, availability in 24 languages, 40 million people using LinkedIn each week to search for jobs, and the fact that 3 people are hired every minute through LinkedIn, it is increasingly crucial you present a professional profile if you want to stand out. (HootSuite)
You should use your LinkedIn profile page to portray your personal brand and, if utilized correctly, it can bring you immense success. A strong profile can help you connect with your employer, potential clients, your audience, a partner, or even an investor. By optimizing all the features that LinkedIn offers, your profile can help you achieve your goals.
If you are wondering how to improve your LinkedIn profile, fear not, I can help. In this post, I will take you through what I feel are ten key steps you can take to boost your LinkedIn profile. Some are straightforward, and others require you to dig a bit deeper. If you are interested in gaining more profile views, connections, opportunities, and job offers, keep reading!
#1. Use a High-Quality Profile Picture
Your profile picture is the first thing someone looks at when your page is viewed, and this first impression really matters. Make sure the photo is high-quality and high-resolution, looks like you, and is recent. Your face should take up about 60% of the space, and don’t forget to smile with your eyes. Feel free to show off some of your personality if it is appropriate to your position and industry.
LinkedIn’s profile picture guidelines are 400 x 400 pixels and no more than 8MB in size.
#2. Add a Background Cover Photo
For some reason, many people fail to take advantage of LinkedIn’s cover photo. This image is much larger than your profile image and can help tell your story and make your page stand out. You can use your cover photo to share something you are passionate about or as real estate to sell yourself.
LinkedIn’s recommended cover photo size is 1584 x 396 and no more than 8MB in size.
Here is my LinkedIn profile's cover photo. I have selected an attrative image relevant to my industry. I have also utilized the space to advertise my services and website.
#3. Customize Your LinkedIn Profile URL
When you create your account, LinkedIn generates a random string of numbers for your URL. Instead of being ‘Jessica Gomez’, you end up ‘Profile #74654436’. This random number is what appears in your LinkedIn URL unless you change it.
For example, http://www.linkedin.com/in/74654436
When you are job searching or advertising your services, you will share your LinkedIn profile URL often. You will include it on your resume, share it through email with your connections, and you want to ensure you are easily discoverable through a Google name search. So you must change your URL to serve you better.
How To Do It
Open your profile, click Edit public profile & URL in the top right corner, and click Edit URL.
Ideally, you want to use a combination of your first and last names. My name is Jessica Gomez. Here are some examples that would work for me.
Make sure to hit Save!
#4. Utilize Your Headline Creatively
There’s no rule stating that you must use this space to indicate your job title. Think outside the box and use this feature to make an impactful statement. You can describe how you view your role or why you do what you do. Some people find it beneficial to include relevant accomplishments, metrics, awards, etc. Other ideas include:
Sharing a link to your personal website.
Stating high-priority skills.
Initiating a call to action for people to read more.
#5. Tell a Story with Your About Section
Now that you have some fantastic images and a catchy headline to draw viewers in, it’s time to let your creativity loose in the About section. LinkedIn gives a 2,000-character limit here, so you have ample room to pitch yourself. This is your most personal portion of content in your profile. It is a chance to tell your story, bring your skills to life, and explain how they can make a difference to the people you work with. Don’t simply use this area to list your previous jobs or skills, and please don’t leave it blank!
You might choose to begin by summarizing your experience and values. Many excellent About sections highlight significant accomplishments or previous projects, complete with quantifiable metrics. Try to genuinely connect with your audience and tell your story in a very human manner. If you are actively seeking work, you can close out this section describing your ideal opportunities and indicate the best way for people to get in touch with you. Note that people outside your network cannot see your contact details, so make sure to include them in this section.
#6. List Your Relevant Skills
This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to strengthen your LinkedIn profile. Scroll through the list of skills and select those that are relevant to you and your experience. This will help support the statements you have made in your Headline and About section. The skills you add factor into the searchability of your profile and help you appear more often. Identifying these skills also allows others to endorse you, another valuable feature of your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you only select relevant skills, remember, quality over quantity.
#7. Expand Your Network
The easiest way to grow your LinkedIn network is to sync your email contacts with your profile. This enables LinkedIn to suggest relevant connections for you, and you can then decide which individual connection requests to send. Make a habit of following up on meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests. Popping your LinkedIn profile URL into your email signature and contact information are other simple ways to allow others to find you.
#8. Highlight the Services You Offer
Services is a LinkedIn feature that allows freelancers, consultants, and small business owners to highlight the range of services they offer. Take advantage of this section to strategically communicate to your target audience. Your services will be displayed at the top of your profile, and other LinkedIn members can message you directly about your services.
#9. Request Endorsements & Manage Them
Endorsements from other members validate your skills and reinforce your credibility. Make sure you are requesting endorsements from people whose opinions you truly value. Don’t be shy to reach out with a short, polite message asking for an endorsement. Another common way to get endorsed on LinkedIn is to run through your connections and provide endorsements to deserving others. They will typically return the favor.
Once you start receiving endorsements, you want to ensure your relevant skills are being focused on. By using the edit feature in the Skills section of your profile, you can choose which to show and which to hide. This will ensure your profile accurately communicates your skills.
#10. Share Relevant Content & Add Comments
It’s easy to rack up a considerable number of connections, but it is far more effective to play an active role within your network. Sharing relevant content with your network will make you a valuable asset to others. Lean towards content that you genuinely find interesting, and that aligns with your mission and beliefs.
Take the next step and add comments to the content that you share. This will give you a greater sense of prominence within the feed, and well-expressed comments will allow you to share a broader range of information. Additionally, it will entice comments from others, which is a bonus.
Looking for Assistance with Your LinkedIn Profile?
I hope you find these ten tips helpful and can use them to elevate your profile and ultimately achieve your goals. I feel that I have done an excellent job of implementing this advice in my own LinkedIn profile. Feel free to take a look and connect with me on the platform.
If you are looking to strengthen your existing LinkedIn profile or would like to create a brand-new profile to showcase your skills and experience, I can assist. As a professional LinkedIn profile writer, I will apply all of these strategies (and more) to help you convey a compelling story and help you achieve your goals.