Source: masisstaffing.com

You have been trying to get more leads from LinkedIn with little success, and you feel it is time to improve your profile. That’s great! LinkedIn is the undisputed champion when it comes to professional networking. It is estimated that at least 40% of its 600+ million members are in decision-making roles, so there is really a lot of potential for you to tap into. This article contains top LinkedIn profile tips to get you more connections, recommendation, and better leads from the world’s largest professional network.

But before we get down to business, here are three things that will make the job of updating your profile much easier:

  1. Look for LinkedIn profiles you like

A great starting point for improving the performance of you LinkedIn profile is to spend some time on the platform searching profiles that look great to you. Start from the people you know, then to your networks, and finally to people outside your network. Do not shy away from getting ideas from your colleagues or even competitors.

Look out for things that jump at you and capture your attention. Look at the wordings used, graphics, and every other little detail that you think puts their profile above yours. What impresses you about those profiles? Note them down. Also, are there things that turn you off and you think need some improvement? Note them down too.

  1. Look at these profiles from a prospect’s point of view

Now that you have identified the profiles that look good to you, go through them again, only this time assume you were a prospect customer or recruiter. Do they come across as someone knowledgeable and resourceful in their field? Or do they look like a sales hunter out to get nothing more than sales?

Some questions to guide you through this are: Do they look like someone that could help you (as a customer) achieve your objective? Have they helped others solve issues relating to their field or industry? Have they worked with any clients? While you are most likely to find that some profiles answer poorly to your questions, there may be some aspects about their profiles that could still help you improve yours e.g. the catch line they use.

  1. Highlight the stuff that look and sound good

After you have identified the good stuff from your chosen profiles, print them out, or take screenshots of them. Next, highlight words or phrases that sound good. Make sure that whatever you decide to pick helps to build credibility and shows them as a valuable resource to their target audience. You will later use these words and phrases to add weight to your profile’s headlines, summaries and content.

Please note that you should not take more than an hour (two hours max) at this task. If you are well focused, that should be enough time to give you a sense of what you need to do with your own profile to improve its performance.

Keep in mind that creating a ‘perfect’ profile in the real sense of the word is practically impossible. Instead, aim at creating a decent profile that resonates well with the people you are targeting.

How to Create A Great LinkedIn Profile

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Here is a breakdown of the top LinkedIn profile tips to get your 2020 started on a more productive note.

1.    Optimize the Top Half of Your Profile

The top half of your LinkedIn profile contains your profile picture, name, headline, and summary. It is by far the most important part of your profile because it is the first thing that people that come to your profile to know more about you will see. It therefore plays a big role in what customers, new connections, and hiring officials think about you right from the start.

To start with, use a professional and high-quality photo, preferably a headshot that shows you from the elbows up. Make sure the lighting is good and that there are no dark shadows on your face. It also helps a LOT if you are smiling in the photo. You don’t want people to think of you as a serious, no-nonsense guy that never smiles. Plus, a smile warms up people and endears them to you, so flaunt that smile.

Second, include a catchy, industry-specific headline that will tell your visitors exactly who you are, what you do and what your specialty is in one sentence. This may be a little difficult to do if it is your first time, but play around with words, write down different versions, and cut off any unnecessary words. An example of a good headline is “Career and Business Strategy Coach at growyourbusiness.com.”

After you’ve come up with a headline that you feel tells people who you are, it is time to craft your profile summary. The summary should be well-written, and should include who you are (no harm in repeating it), the people you help, and how you use your skillset or experience to help them.

2.    Include All Your Relevant Experience

The experience section on you LinkedIn profile will be similar to that on your resume, but not an exact replica. This means that it should be formatted a little bit differently. NEVER copy and paste from your resume, as that only shows how little effort you put into creating your profile, and that’s never a good thing.

Instead of using bullet points like you’ve done in your resume to explain what you are doing or did, why not add a personal touch and use paragraphs written in first person instead?

Like in your resume, you will still need to outline your main responsibility in every position you held, and also what your key accomplishments were. Aim for 2-4 sentences for every entry to avoid boring your reader with endless verbiage.

If you have volunteered in any position, that also counts as relevant work experience, so do not forget to include that also. It is a great way to show prospective employers how you gave back to the community, and it is reported that up to 41% of employers actually esteem higher people with volunteer work experience.

3.    Add Your Education and Training

The education section on your LinkedIn profile is perfect for making you stand out especially if it directly relates to the job or position you are applying/looking for. It gives recruiters a better understanding of your background at a glance.

A great way of making your education section really shine is adding activities and societies you belonged to in your respective schools or campuses. These include fraternities, sororities, clubs, and extra-curricular activities. The description section under the education section can also be used to add honors, awards, or committees you served on.

LinkedIn even allows you to add your licenses and certificates, so do not miss out of this opportunity to showcase your experience to your prospects.

4.    Include Keyword-Specific Skills

The skills section on LinkedIn is just the perfect place to showcase your strengths, talents and abilities as a professional. You can add up to 50 skills to your profile, and can include both hard and soft skills to give your connections a better idea of who you are as a person, and what you do best.

Soft skills include personal character traits like teamwork, communication, leadership, research, etc. Hard skills are based more on your education and experience and include things like accounting, project management, graphic design, customer support, career development, etc.

While soft skills are important for painting a picture of who you are, employers love hard skills because they are more tangible. Therefore, make sure to list your most important skills first. LinkedIn also allows you to reorder your skills based on different categories, thus enabling you make the most out of your skills section.

5.    Add Your Special Accomplishments

The accomplishments section is a great place to showcase other important areas of your life that are not necessarily directly related to your profession. These could be publications you’ve written, courses you have done or helped create, languages you can speak, projects you have completed, and more.

This section is a great tool for increasing your value to prospective recruiters, as it shows them that your skills and education are not the only things that make you a valuable addition to their teams or networks.

Things You Should NOT do on LinkedIn

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Source: Top Dog Social Media

Now that you know what to do to get you a killer LinkedIn profile, there are several things that would throw your chances of netting the biggest deals of your career out the window.

Here are 6 things you should NOT do on LinkedIn…

·         Confuse LinkedIn with Facebook:

There are 3 things that make LinkedIn a priceless resource for job seekers and recruiters alike: it provides great professional information, makes it easier for recruiters to fill job openings, and it’s a great place for job seekers to showcase their unique skills and value. You should therefore be careful with what you share. Only use LinkedIn for work-related stuff, and leave all the rest (sharing selfies, personal updates, places you’ve been, etc.) for Facebook. That’s why it [Facebook] exists in the first place.

·         Use a wrong (non-professional) photo:

LinkedIn should be all about the professional you. This means that even the profile photo you use should show your professional side. We advise using a picture that is taken by a professional photographer, but your smartphone’s camera is capable of taking a good enough photo too. Just make sure that the photo you use does not include your family, pet, friends, vacation destination, or any of that stuff. Read this article for some great tips on how to pick the perfect profile photo.

·         Have a mismatch between your profile and resume:

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital CV. Having a profile that does not match your resume is a sure way of raising red flags with any recruiters that may be interested in you. After you think you are done creating your LinkedIn profile, check and check again to make sure it matches your resume. Things to take special note of are job titles, employment dates, and employer names. Serious prospective employers will take their time to review your resume, so your take time to make sure it matches the information on your profile.

·         Ask for recommendations from people you don’t know:

Now, let’s be honest. It is very annoying when someone you do not know well enough asks you for a recommendation. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy growing your network, and would not want to jeopardize it by giving a false recommendation or referral to a stranger. Please don’t be that person that randomly asks for others to refer or recommend you. Reserve these requests to people that know you well enough and can personally and truthfully attest to your skill set and value. If you are not sure how, here are some great tips for you.

·         Not have a personalized URL:

It may not look like it, but having a customized LinkedIn URL is a big boost to your profile. It will also look amazing on a business card or resume. If you are trying to build a brand or get your LinkedIn profile noticed, a personalized URL is simply a must-have. Here is a quick guide to help you personalize your LinkedIn URL.

·         Ignore inbox messages:

You most probably receive a ton of messages, and sometimes it is just easier to ignore them, especially if the person writing to you is not known to you. This could however, prove to be counteractive because recruiters may reach out to you via messages and you could lose out of a good job opportunity. So, while it may seem like a lot of work going through your inbox, spare a few minutes each day and go through your messages. You don’t have to respond to all of them, but at least you’ll not miss out on any opportunities that come your way.

Conclusion

After making improvements on your profile based on the tips and tricks discussed in this article, you are definitely better set up for success in your career. You can now work on growing your lead generation and LinkedIn network. To help you with these, here is a great article to help you improve your lead generation strategy on LinkedIn, and here is another one to help you write great LinkedIn connection requests that no one will be able to resist.

Cheers to your success!