Effective Tips for Your LinkedIn Profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet, go create one fast (linkedin.com) and let’s get the ball rolling. If you think your LinkedIn setup is not good enough, here’s an opportunity for an overhaul.
Below is a list of 19 best LinkedIn profile tips that cover everything from crafting a stunning summary to selling your accomplishments, projects, and skills – in one place.
1. It requires time. Give it.
On LinkedIn, the more complete your profile is, the better your chances of getting opportunities within and outside the legal industry. When a potential client or recruiter find your profile on Facebook or any other channel, the first instinct might be to check your professional history up on LinkedIn, So you can’t afford to be lazy. Diligently fill out every single section of your profile.
2. Custom URLs are trustworthy
A URL with ade34shdgddshjbfk already signals a red flag to many people, so you want yours to be simple and clean. Rather than using the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up, you can get a customised URL (ideally linkedin.com/yourname). To do that:
- click on the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the grey window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL.
- click Edit next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL. C’est Fini!
3. Great photos always work
This is not Facebook where any picture goes. No. Ideally, you want to put your professional headshot as your profile image on LinkedIn. Make sure it is clear, friendly, and appropriately professional. A photo can go a long way to convey passion, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that may not be as easy to write about. So put up a good one.
4. A good headline is a great start
Use your headline as a concise showcase of your speciality and value proposition. The more specific you can be about what makes you unique (or sets you apart), the better. Your headline doesn’t necessarily have to be your job title and company.
5. Use the summary space right
Career Horizons advice that “Ideally, your summary should be around 3–5 short paragraphs long, preferably with a bulleted section in the middle. It should walk the reader through your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries you’ve had exposure to over the years.”
6. Blow your trumpet in short bursts, but not annoyingly.
Here’s a suggestion from the American Express OPEN Forum:
“Much like the rest of your resume, you’ll want to highlight past results in your summary. When possible, include numbers and case studies that prove success. Someone established credibility with his audience by stating in his summary’s second sentence: “I have helped more than 40,000 businesspeople – from entry-level to CEO – understand how to effectively use LinkedIn.” Never underestimate the power of a few key stats to impress a reader.”
7. Buzzwords are plagues
“Responsible”, “Creative”, “Analytical”, “Patient”, “Expert”, “Driven”, etc are overused words, and they barely spell out your skills. So, as much as possible, avoid them. Or if you must use them, tell a little further how/why you’re “creative”.
8. Experience, not Job list
Your experience section should not be a dumpsite of job duties you’ve done in the past. Instead, highlight your best accomplishments fleshing them out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.
9. On LinkedIn, use the first person singular
“I’m a passionate Barrister who did ABC things for XYZ people in 2016,” not “Wasiu Adenike, Esq. is a passionate Barrister…”).
10. Get Personal
William Arruda suggests: Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality. Let people know your values and passions. In your summary, discuss what you do outside of work. You want people to want to know you.”
11. Include a Current Job Entry, Even When Unemployed
Here’s advice from the University of Washington:
“If you’ve only listed the past positions you’ve held in the experience section but show nothing current, you’ll probably get missed in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting professionals exclusively use the current title box to search for candidates; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of candidates who held a certain role (for example, graphic designer) as far back as 20 or more years ago.
The simple workaround, if you’re unemployed, is to create a dummy job listing in the current section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training’—followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.”
12. Multimedia is good in your Summary Section
Business Insider says: “A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary.
So instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. Or show yourself in action. Or share a presentation. To do so, click Edit profile, scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then Add File.”
13. And Your Work Experiences
You can do the same thing for each of your work experiences. So, use this to your advantage: Add your company websites, projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve drafted, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.
14. Add Projects, Volunteer Experiences, or Languages
Do you speak any international language? Do you have any relevant certification? Ever volunteered for a reputable cause or organization? These additional profile features can be the extras to showcase your unique skills and experiences and make you stand out from the crowd.
15. Request Recommendations
When someone compliments your effort on a project, you may ask them to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. You can also request the same from your current or former colleagues.
You can even specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on because “Wale’s contributions on Project X enabled us to increase forecasted savings by Y% over our original plan” is always better than “Wale was nice to work with”.
Good thing is, you can always decide what recommendations people see when they view your profile. Just in case Mr Ninja goes to bad mouth you.
16. Moderate endorsements
As you transition between careers, develop new skills or take on new responsibilities, drop outdated skills from your profile and add the ones you really want to be known for. Now, when connections land on your page, they’ll only see the most relevant skills.
17. Keep your status updated
It is not enough to just have a nice profile, you need to participate. Update your profile professionally and strategically (share articles you wrote or found useful, not what you ate for dinner yesterday). You may only share once a week, and that’s okay. People in your professional network will see your updates, and you can easily come to mind when certain opportunities arise.
18. Groupie Groupie
By joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll instantly be connected to people and be in the loop of relevant conversations going on in the industry.
Also, add people to your personal network. Some experts even advice that you should have at least 50 connections to your LinkedIn profile. It is not advisable to add people you don’t know though.
19. Be reachable
Add your email address (or blog, or Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found) to the contact information section of your profile.