LinkedIn is the world’s most widely used social media platform when it comes to career planning. Whether it’s the first steps of a career or already a leadership position, a professional LinkedIn profile plays an important role in your professional endeavours.
With over 500 million users in more than 200 countries and a steadily growing number of participants, there is a lot of competition and a risk that your profile might be overlooked by potential future employers. It is therefore important to update your own profile and optimise your virtual CV for the job market.
Eminence, your local digital marketing agency, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will give you some insights and tips on how to create a successful LinkedIn profile.
- It’s all about Personal Branding
LinkedIn is increasingly becoming a channel where you build your personal brand and a networking. It is much more than just a job search tool. Self-marketing on the Internet is simply part of the digital age. Before you listen to the presentation at a conference or attend a seminar, you can research the name of the speaker on LinkedIn and ideally find an interesting and meaningful online profile.
Since today one changes the job clearly more frequently than before, networking has become crucial for all employees. LinkedIn offers a strategic advantage, especially because of its global scope, appealing newsfeed and it’s free of charge.
- Start with a nice profile picture
If you do not have a suitable profile picture of yourself, it is best to go to a professional photographer. Don’t look too serious; a captivating smile is likeable and self-confident. We recommend as well, personalising the background and adding a personal image, instead of using the standard blue LinkedIn background.
- Stand out with a crisp profile slogan
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Next to your profile picture the first thing you look at is the profile slogan. This slogan is also displayed to people who are looking for keywords but are not yet connected with you.
So make sure to optimise it! Fill it with the most important keywords that describe you and your activity. This does not have to be a continuous text; you can also simply separate the words with a straight line.
- Create an appealing profile description
Here you have much more space than in the header and you can summarise your achievements and professional experiences. Be quite detailed here and describe your career path, where you stand now, what makes you special and in which fields of work you are active in. Keyword optimisation increases your chances of being found by recruiters, customers or potential professionals.
- Make your profile individual
A very useful feature of LinkedIn, which is often overlooked, is that you can customise your profile. This means you can move individual career steps or projects up or down. To do this, go to the grid below the editing function of the respective section (for example, work experience or current roles) and move it up or down.
- Adapt your Vanity URL
When you were asked for your LinkedIn profile for the very first time, you maybe noticed that the URL after your name still had a colourful mixture of numbers and signs:
Example URL without using the Vanity function: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-michael-mueller_4573c333038473’09
LinkedIn allows us to make your URL look more beautiful by using the Vanity function. Go to the “Public profile settings” in the upper right corner of “Edit URL”. From there you can adjust your URL and take away the unnecessary numbers and signs, which appear, behind your name.
Example URL using the Vanity function: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-michael-mueller
The Vanity function may be just a detail, but as with many things in life, the devil is in the details!
- Add media
Under the profile summary and at each career stage description, you can upload links and relevant media. Use this feature! Are there any interesting newspaper articles written about you or your company? Have you given interviews or written guest articles? Remember to link them to this section. Small video clips or photos that describe you or the content of your work are also great.
- List your projects
Under “Projects” you have the possibility to describe your projects and work achievements and link the respective web pages. This function is especially useful for project managers or freelancers, but it’s also very useful for all others who want to highlight individual projects.
You will find the project entry on the right side under “Add Profile Section” and then below “Accomplishments”. Here you will also find a number of other sections such as “Honors & Awards” and “Certification” that you can add to your profile.
- Post regularly
Relevant news or interviews that have been published about you or by you, new milestones of your company such as the relaunch of the website or new partnerships should be posted and thus spread to your network. This way your professional contacts stay informed about your activities. And who knows: Maybe this will result in new projects or cooperation requests? A very useful tool on LinkedIn is the analysis function for the posts. Here you can see exactly how many people you have reached, for which companies they work and what their position is.
- Write your own LinkedIn articles
LinkedIn also has its own publishing tool that allows users to post their own articles online on the platform. This is an effective way to draw attention to your expertise in a domain, and to inform your network about new projects or to express your own opinion on a current discussion.
- Get endorsements or recommendations
Here the level of interaction with others plays the key role: your LinkedIn contacts can confirm your skills or write mini testimonials about you. This validation will strengthen your profile enormously.
- Keep a constant engagement
As with any other platform, there is no point in just uploading your own content. You should interact with your network. Like interesting posts, share them, comment on them, and introduce people to each other. The more activity you have, the more your visibility increases.
Also when you attend events or conferences you should keep the respective business cards you get and send a LinkedIn contact request to the interesting people you met. This way your network continues to grow. It’s also worth checking the contact recommendations you receive from LinkedIn on a regular basis to see if there is someone you know from past projects or events.
- Join LinkedIn Groups
An active membership in relevant groups underlines your expertise and passion for your work. In addition, these contacts could potentially help you in landing a job interview. By participating in discussion rounds, you share your knowledge with others and learn new things. This will make you appear more often in search results of recruiters and companies and is sure to increase your chances of finding your dream job.
- Create Profile badges for your e-mail and website
It would be worthwhile to put a reference on your profile in order to be found by new contacts on LinkedIn. For example, in your e-mail signature or on your website. LinkedIn offers the function to create your own “Public Profile Badge”, which you can use. Go to your profile and on the right side you will find the tab “Edit Public Profile and URL”. If you click on it, you will find the creation function for the button at the bottom right.
In a nutshell
Profiles in online networks require regular maintenance and content updates. Add additional content in form of contributions, update your CV regularly and details about your professional position. In addition, build up a broad and interesting network and let your network contacts endorse your skills and professional knowledge.
Take part in group-discussions to get in touch with others and follow other people and companies to be informed about news concerning your interests. Eminence, your local digital expert can help you boost your LinkedIn Profile, increase your e-reputation and successfully position your business or brand in the market.