6 Tips to Promote Yourself and Make the Best of Your LinkedIn Profile!
I have put together six (6) tips that I find very useful and a great starting point for enhancing your LinkedIn profile and building your personal brand.
Tip # 1 Complete all sections of your profile, keeping in mind the impact each has
- Craft a customized “Headline” that helps you standout and that tells visitors of your profile what you exactly do. This is the section just below your name, where you can introduce yourself in up to 120 characters. Pinpoint exactly what you do or a key skill that you have. If you are a Special Needs Teacher, you might say “Passionate about Improving the Quality of Life of Students with Special Needs”.
- Write a catchy “About” section that makes you stand out. We all have a story that is unique, make this section as unique as your story! Talk about your experience, what skills you can offer, what your interests are and what you are planning to focus on or achieve in the near future.
- Make sure your “Experience Summary” is brief and in line with your resume. You might want to include your biggest achievements under each experience, with more focus on the latest one.
- Ask for “Recommendations” from previous and current colleagues, managers, direct reports, clients, etc., with more focus on the latest job experience. Recommendations are the real endorsements that recruiters, or anyone who wants to do business with you, will be curious to read.
- Education, Certifications, Skills and Accomplishments are also very important sections of your profile.
Tip #2 Your photos say a lot about you and make you memorable!
Make sure you pick a recent and professional photo that says something about you.
Some clients and friends I speak to share their concern about including a profile photo. They ask me “is it really needed?”, “why do they need to know how I look like?” or they might say “I am not photogenic!”. One thing I’m sure of is that people will remember you faster if they get the impression that you are presentable, friendly and easy to talk to. LinkedIn provides you with tips for picking the right profile picture. I’ve had people from different parts of the world address me in the wrong gender via email because they didn’t know if “Jihane" were a female or male’s name. So, if your name is confusing and if you want connections who don’t know you in person to be more comfortable speaking to you, why not share a photo and put a face to your name!
Besides your own photograph, your background photo says a lot about you. You might want to post a photo about a cause that you support, or a philosophy that you follow at work, a business process that you follow etc. Whatever you post, make sure it represents you and your thoughts!
Tip #3 Add keywords to different sections of your profile
Spend some time adding the right keywords related to your industry, profession and skills, in order to increase your chances of being found by people that matter to you on LinkedIn; such as recruiters, potential clients/partners. Do that in the right context and across three main sections of your profile: Headline, About and Experience.
For example, if you are a School Principal, you might want to add words from this list: “School Principal”, “Education Management”, “Curriculum Development”, “Learning Outcomes”, “Team Management”, “Monitor Student Achievement”, “Academic”, “Academic achievement”, “Primary”, “Secondary”, “Tertiary”, “Teacher Training”, etc.
When you do that the right way, you will rank higher than your connections on profile views. Your LinkedIn profile will be found more often and in searches that are relevant to you.
Why don’t you try it out and let me know if more people in your industry are contacting you through LinkedIn!
Tip #4 Grow your network
Connect with friends, colleagues, recruiters and industry experts and join groups where you can find people that share your interests, skills and education background.
When you add new connections to your network, remember that you are adding real people! Message them to thank them for connecting or accepting your invite and offer help in your area of specialty whenever possible. If you live in the same city, and after having few conversations, you might have a call or meet in person over a cup of coffee.
Always connect the same way you would do it offline and don’t be shy to send a connection request to a stranger. It’s totally fine as long as you manage this in a professional manner. Are we already connected on LinkedIn? If not, click here and I will be happy to connect with you.
Tip #5 Like, Comment, Share and Post content that is relevant to your industry
I am not asking you to be as good as Influencers or Social Media Experts like our own Jane Abou Chacra, but I’m encouraging you to be active on LinkedIn.
The topics you choose say a lot about you, share and comments on topics that are of interest to you and that you normally discuss in real life.
Take baby steps at first and get engaged more as you become more comfortable sharing your opinion. First, befriend the “LIKE” button to like posts that matter to you, then maybe COMMENT if you like to share your opinion or experience about the topic, later on SHARE and mention other connections, organizations, etc. and finally POST ORIGINAL CONTENT that is likely to engage people. Your opinion reflects your knowledge, areas of expertise and values, so be proud of sharing it!
Always be respectful to others and their opinion! Be consistent and genuine in your communication and interaction with people online as much as you are offline. Share your opinion, speak up, ask for advice, offer advice, be honest, joke or be serious. Just be yourself and show the real you!
Tip #6 Customize your public profile URL
Customize your URL to be unique. It should be something like: www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. When you do that, you help people find you faster, especially if you have a common name such as John Smith. How would people know which one of the 20 John Smith is you?!
My profile URL is www.linkedin.com/in/jihanenajjarLC LC stands for Leadership Coach, which is what I do and at the same time these are the initials of my company name, Leverage Consulting.
You can include this profile URL in your resume, business cards, email signature, etc. in order to direct people to your LinkedIn profile.
Still need more help? Visit www.academicjobs.me & register with our specialized career consultants.
Author: Jihane Najjar, Founder and Leadership Coach