Create a complete & professional LinkedIn profile that stands out from the crowd
Firstly gather some basic information about yourself, such as an up to date CV and your qualification certificates, as this will save you some time when setting up the profile.
In this article we share our tips for creating a great profile.
Your Profile Picture
Use a Professional Headshot of yourself and not your latest holiday snap. Ideally with a plain white background or perhaps something showing your company branding. What would your customers expect to see? What makes your picture stand out from the crowd. One of the tools for LinkedIn users is a ‘who do you know’ search tool, which then provides a list of people that you may know. If your picture is clear, framed or different, then it may get more easily noticed.
These are the most important words on your profile. Use the full 120 characters, but make it clear and concise to tell people exactly what you do that makes them want to link with you. What value do you add? What are the keywords you want to be recognised for?
For example, Accountant or A qualified accountant supporting our clients to make the numbers work in their business.
Add your contact details
Especially your location and web site address. With the web site address, then personalise the link rather than the standard phrase ‘company website’. For example use, Accountants in Oxford. You can have three web links, so use all three even if you send them to different pages on your one web site rather than different online locations. If you use Twitter, then also add your Twitter handle address here.
Change your LinkedIn URL
You can edit your profile and can change the URL for your LinkedIn Profile to what is called a Vanity URL. If possible choose your name before someone else uses it. For example uk.linkedin.com/in/joebloggs
Write your personal summary
You have 2000 words to engage the reader of your profile. Share who you are, what you do, why you are different to the rest, who should connect with you and how you can help them. This is Information about you and your company that builds a picture that people get to know, like and trust. This section should be focused on your ideal customer and something that they identify with. Again use lots of keywords in your summary, as these also help any search criteria as much as making the content relevant to your ideal customers. This should be written in first person, be interesting and share your personality as much as your experience for what you do.
This is another opportunity to promote your business. Use the description to explain what you loved about the role and how you added value, but in context with your current role. Much like your CV, explain how each experience has contributed to what you are able to offer today. If you have videos, images or slides you can use the multimedia function to add them here to share your expertise in this section. Use your keywords in the role title and the description. Consider completing the copy in word, use symbols and then copy these across to LinkedIn to make this look a little different. Go back four or five roles and only include the years you started and ended those role, not the months.
List all your qualifications that are relevant to your role today. People are not too interested in your secondary school education, but they do like to see you are qualified or experienced in what you now do.
Add the skills relevant to your role. What do you want to be known for? What are your specialist areas? Again, look to use the keywords relevant to your business.
Education and honors
Emphasise your Education including your relevant qualifications. Highlight all accomplishments, awards, special projects and credentials that will enhance your credibility by adding the ‘Honors & Awards’ section
Interests and volunteer experiences
People buy people, so your chance to share your love in life. What do you enjoy doing outside of work. Again keep the description professional and where possible relevant.
List your memberships of professional organisations to add further credibility to your profile.
Link to your company page on LinkedIn
Employees are linked to a Company Page when they add or edit a position on their profile and select a specific name from the company dropdown list. Note: If they don't click a company name in the dropdown list, they won't show as affiliated to the Company Page.
If a colleague is not showing in the list of employees on your company page, send them the following instructions:
- Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your home page and select Edit Profile.
- Scroll down to the Experience section and click the Edit icon next to the position listed at your current company.
- Click Change Company and type the full company name.
- Important: This step is crucial. Click the correct company name in the dropdown list.
- Fill out any additional fields as prompted. A website address is not required.
- Click Save.
Connect with people
Only do this once your profile is completed. Start with people you already know and invite them to link up with you. You can upload your Outlook or email contacts and highlight the people with LinkedIn profiles to whom you can send a connection invitation request. It is recommended to personalise the invitation request and give the reason why that person would be interested in connecting with you. Look at other peoples profiles and see if you know any of their connections.
Think about your target market. Use the inmail tool to introduce yourself to others. Join groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to your business and used by your ideal customer. LinkedIn will make some recommendations of groups you may be interested, but also use the search tool to find a relevant group followed by your ideal customer. Build relationships, share status updates that add value to your ideal customers and even give away free advice that helps your prospects to consider you as a solution to their problems and pain. Share relevant, professional status updates on a regular basis.
Ask friends, associates and happy clients for recommendations. These are your online testimonials. LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature is a great way to ask for and then display your testimonials on your profile, highlighting your strengths and confirming what you say about yourself.
Ideally you want to receive recommendations. However if you cannot obtain a recommendation then look to get an endorsement of your skills from your connections. If you have many people endorsing your skills then this will stand out to someone else viewing your profile.
Publish posts on LinkedIn
This is your LinkedIn blog tool. Use this tool to share your knowledge and give away free advice that is useful for your ideal customer to continually develop your relationships and recognition for your skills.
And finally, if you have not already, please connect with your contacts at CRM.