Image by: Coletivo Mambembe
By Dexter Lunde
LinkedIn is a great website and service that can connect you to employers, clients, and freelancers & contractors from every market. However, in the sea of people on LinkedIn, how can you get noticed? How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? How can you draw attention to yourself when every profile can appear the same to the naked eye?
Here are my tips on the best ways that you can “wow” potential clients and employers with your LinkedIn profile.
Did you know that you can enhance your LinkedIn profile with things like videos and presentations? Sure, a great profile picture is essential but you can add even more media to your profile. Like the LinkedIn website says, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
“Choose your favorite pieces, upload from your computer or import from other sites, [and] let your work speak for itself.”
Adding different types of media will catch the attention of your target audience. They will also keep their attention once they’ve clicked onto your profile. If you’re not sure what kinds of media you should be adding, check out some profiles which are in your field. What are they putting on their profile? Can you do one better? What about CEO’s that you’d like to impress – what do their profiles look like? Dress up your profile like you dress up for work: “dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have.”
#2) Keep It Updated & Check In Often
Just like with your website or blog, there’s no point in having one if you don’t keep it up to date. In fact, if you’re not going to keep it up, it’s better not to have one than to have a “dead profile.” After finishing up with a new client, make sure that you update your profile with that connection. Add new publications, presentations, honors, and awards as you receive or complete them.
If you haven’t had awards or clients lately, add some test scores or courses to show that you’re still keeping yourself and your skills up-to-date. You can also add the organizations that you are a part of that will show your involvement in the community.
While it’s important that your contacts know that you’re active, it’s also annoying as all heck to see your every move. So be a touch secretive when it comes to updating your profile. Head over to your settings and make the change to “only you” for who can see your activity feed.
If you want to remind your current contacts of your presence, send them a quick e-mail instead of annoying them with your constant updates.
#3) Talk…A Lot
Know what the character limits are for every section of your profile? Abuse them and use every single character. This will give you the change to use repeat keywords that others may use when they search profiles.
#4) Date Around
LinkedIn has a search algorithm with favors people who are in your network. What does that mean? When they display your possible connections, it’s usually for people who are looking for things that you have to offer. So don’t merely look for 1st level connections, check out the 2nd level connections as well (and so on and so forth). This allows for your (awesome and pimped out) profile to be viewed more often.
#5) Know Your Goal
Most people use LinkedIn like an online resume, which is fine. However, to be most effective, you should use your profile as your resume, cover letter, and first interview. You need to be able to showcase yourself and tell your potential employers and clients how they could benefit from adding you to their team.
#6) Be Active in the Community
Joining LinkedIn groups is important because it helps get your name out there and helps you get connected to people in your niche, field, and target market. If you’re not involved with communities and organizations irl (internet speak for “in real life”), then joining groups on LinkedIn can help you network and stay up to date with the latest info in your field.
#7) Your Job Title, Summary, & Profile Picture
These will be the first thing that potential clients and employers will see when they choose to click onto your profile. Don’t use a default job title. Instead think of one that is unique, shows off your personality, and that will help people find you when they do a search. Because of this, you should try to fit in a couple keywords (like “marketing”, “SEO”, or something specific to your field).
Remember that since you need it to be searchable, try not to use gimmicks. For example, since I work with words, I would choose writer, journalist, or blogger over my favorite terms – which are “Captain Wordsmith” or “Chief Bad…” Well, you get it.
Your profile picture should be a pleasant image of your face (people like to see who they are working with). Pick one where you are smiling and looking at the camera. Not a glamour shot from the 80’s where you’re looking off into the distance or posing with your cat. Like this:
Image by: StickyRice
Your summary should be personable. While this may be a form of a resume and cover letter, don’t write it as such. Show off your personality. Tell your potential contacts about your values and passions and touch on what you do outside of work.