Back in the day, LinkedIn was an annoying service that sends you emails you never read before deleting. Plus, the interface was just old and boring. we'd never have referred to LinkedIn as social media. The only thing I liked about my LinkedIn profile was that it made me proud of my Google search result by putting my name up there on the first page of Google. Today, the story has changed! LinkedIn has gotten younger and you're long overdue for a LinkedIn profile makeover.
Seeing that LinkedIn has built a reputation as the world’s largest platform for building a professional network and finding jobs (or filling job vacancies), your LinkedIn profile is a great option to make yourself more visible online. That said, it’s time to spice up your LinkedIn profile and I’m here to show you how to do it without spending your entire week Googling (actually, I recommend 15 minutes a day).
LinkedIn Profile photo:
Just like it works on Facebook, your profile photo helps you get recognized on LinkedIn. You may have namesakes but your photo helps everyone know for sure that this is the you that they are looking for. Besides, LinkedIn claims that simply having a profile photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. And to be totally honest, we all judge people by their photos. Whether it’s a new gig or an invitation to an industry event, your next opportunity might be waiting on the other side of a good photo. The good part is, you don’t need to go for a photo-shoot. In fact, you probably already have a photo that will work perfectly for your LinkedIn profile. Or you can take a new one with your phone. Just aim for:
- A plain background (avoid complex patterns and busy backdrops)
- Lots of natural light
- Make sure your face fills at least 60% of the photo
- Ensure you look the part as a professional i.e. dress as you want to be addressed
If you’re still bothered, LinkedIn app now has photo editing features with filters and effects to fool all of us into thinking you woke up like that 😀
There is no second chance to make a first impression and other sayings like that are responsible for the panic attack that people face when they need to write a short profile of themselves. Just think about it as your introduction – what you say to people when they first meet you. Please avoid results-oriented, team player and all such fancy, overused words people don’t say in real life. You can mention your skills, experience, interests, and motivations. Here is a simple guide for writing your bio anytime. Here is another BONUS TIP you may find useful:
Current position and Education:
Your LinkedIn profile should tell your professional story in the simplest way you can. The idea of adding your job role/current position is so that opportunities and useful information can come to you whether you’re looking for them or not. According to LinkedIn blog, adding a current position can lead to 8X more profile views and if you’re still job hunting, adding in your education will get you 17X more messages from recruiters. Another reason to add your education is that your classmates and alumni can easily find you.
This one is a quick fix. Have relevant information such as email address or website, to make it easy for the person viewing your profile to reach out to you outside of LinkedIn,
Volunteering and Causes:
The thing is, your LinkedIn profile is like an online CV. There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your best side and that’s what you should do. If I was recruiting, I’ll definitely like someone that cares about social impact because I do too and there are useful skills to pick up from volunteering. Instead of worrying about insufficient experience, feature your volunteer positions. Also, if you are hoping make a career change, why not go out and support a nonprofit with your time and talent. Most recruiters know that volunteering is an opportunity to pursue your passions, multitask and challenge yourself outside of work. Featuring this on your profile may increase your chances, especially if the skills relate to the field your eyes are set on. It also makes you a more interesting and diverse candidate. If you’re in doubt, go out and donate your professional services first and you’ll see that work is work.
Check in for 15 minutes weekly:
LinkedIn’s new interface makes it easier to find out what everyone’s doing so just by liking, sharing articles or leaving comments, you can keep your profile fresh. You can do this in 15 minutes per week. Plus you can even make comments more fun by including photos to buttress your point. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Believe me when I say conversations are now more expressive and engaging on LinkedIn.
Publish an Article:
Millions of people go to LinkedIn discover and discuss what matters most in their professional life. If LinkedIn actually becomes more popular among millennials (I’m sure it will), your published article could get you more attention than you thought because people enjoy consuming content on LinkedIn and are more likely to click to your blog/website. Besides, that notification they get when you publish is a reminder that you exist and that you’re creating valuable content — easy way to touch base with those in your network. Good news is LinkedIn now features a smooth publishing platform. Before, you had to find your way to LinkedIn Pulse to write an original article. Now, it’s just one-click away and easy-to-use.
Endorsements and recommendations give a better idea of what it’s like to work with you, and what some of your strongest soft skills are. They also make it easier for opportunities to find you. Reach out and ask for a recommendation. While you should do this frugally (because your endorsements and recommendations are a representation of you), you too, take some time to endorse the skills and acknowledge accomplishments of your colleagues and most likely, they’ll do the same for you.
Personalize your LinkedIn Profile URL:
That default URL you get when you sign up for LinkedIn isn’t the best. Your LinkedIn profile deserves a better description than a gnarly string of characters. Besides, www.linkedin.com/in/tolumichaels is definitely easier to promote than www.linkedin/in/tolulope-michaels-91283746. If you haven’t done it yet, do it now, it takes seconds, so no excuses!
Make your Feed yours:
The reason your LinkedIn profile feed annoys you so much is that you see news and content you don’t care about. Change this by tapping on the icon on the top right corner of any update and click “Improve my feed.” That’s where you can discover new industry leaders, publications and companies to follow, and unfollow – yes! You can unfollow people in your network and you’ll still be connected, They will never know. The rest is up to LinkedIn to automatically give you a feed you are happy to see.
Spend some time to Understand LinkedIn
It is increasingly clear that LinkedIn is thinking about young professionals and making lots of improvements in that regard, but of what use are improvements that you won’t take advantage of? See this interesting article to help you understand how to use LinkedIn to stay informed, build your voice and better understand your audience.
LinkedIn Profile Makeover or not, your online presence is something you should think about often and proactively.
Don’t leave it to chance. It may take a while to build but that’s exactly why the best time to start is now. The tips above will help you achieve a LinkedIn profile makeover that increases your visibility, but don’t stop there.
Connect and engage with others, take advantage of opportunities and use LinkedIn to keep learning.
You don’t have to do all these things at once, but which one will you do today? I’m waiting to see your comment.