Often underestimated or seen as an online resume, LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for business. It offers you a chance to present yourself and/or your company in a professional yet compelling way.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, employee, or looking for an opportunity, a good LinkedIn profile has the potential to take you to the next level by working as a billboard to attract your targeted prospects, employers, or clients.
And as you grow, your LinkedIn presence should grow with you.
Here are some points to consider that will help you optimize your LinkedIn profile and make you stand out from the crowd:
Your LinkedIn profile picture represents who you are as a professional
Your photo should be appropriate and friendly. You should be smiling. Choose a picture where your face fills about 60% of the frame, with a clean background, and taken within the last 3 years that represents what you currently look like. Avoid busy backdrops, complex patterns, and too zoomed in or zoomed out. Consider getting a professional headshot. If you don’t have time for a professional headshot, dress the part and ask a friend to take a few pictures with a smartphone.
Create a compelling Headline
Your headline is the space that appears under your name. Its character limit, including spaces, is 220 characters. That is such valuable real estate! Be sure to design a compelling headline that communicates your value and represents your skills and specializations rather than a simple job title. You should start your Headline with an action word like: building, creating, growing. Avoid overused buzzwords; instead, add specific industry keywords and terminology that your targeted audience (or hiring managers) are likely to search.
Your About section tells your story
Use the summary to tell your professional backstory in a narrative format. Take the time to express why you do what you do and what makes you different. Make sure your first sentence captures people’s attention to want to read more. Talk about the challenges your targeted audience faces. Also describe how you uniquely solve their problem. All while using your industry keywords throughout. LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters for this section, use it wisely and maximize that space.
Point your Personal Experiences Section to your current goals
In the LinkedIn Personal Experience section, you should not only list your professional work experience but also your achieved goals and notable accomplishments as they relate to your vision for the future. Be sure to narrate with creativity and not just bullet point highlights. Bring out of each experience a connection to your current goals. There’s no need to list every position you’ve ever had as some positions may not reflect the path you’re pursuing.
Ask for recommendations
Recommendations not only enhance your profile visibility but also can build credibility with your targeted audience. Ask colleagues and coworkers you currently work, or have worked, with to write something about your work, skills, accomplishments and work ethics. Even having only one recommendation can make a world of difference.
The most effective way to establish contacts in some niches and showcase your research and analytical skills is to position yourself as a thought leader by posting on LinkedIn. Provide information that is valuable and industry-related. Effective posts should be relevant to your audience and initiate conversations. To prompt conversations, try tagging specific people, drawing them into the conversation.
Investing time in optimizing your LinkedIn personal profile can help you take your career or business to the next level by showcasing your value, not only to your professional connections but also to your prospects.
And that will attract more opportunities.
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