10 Ways To Go From Amateur To All-Star On Linkedin
LinkedIn is like Facebook’s older, more sophisticated brother. With that said, it is a professional faux pas to treat LinkedIn like Facebook flooding it with happy hour pictures and personal life updates. People who are on LinkedIn do not want to hear about how you broke up with your boyfriend or how awful your current job is. LinkedIn members want to see how you will be a valuable asset to their company and it’s your job (no pun intended) to show them.
- Have a hi-res profile picture
For some, a high-resolution picture may be hard to attain if you don’t own a DSLR or a professional photographer on hand, but you can still make due with what you have. The iPhone offers the HDR setting for higher quality photos and with the right background you can definitely have a professional looking LinkedIn profile picture in no time.
Check with your company because sometimes they have a professional photographer on call for new hires.
- Add a company cover photo
I had always seen entrepreneurs and bloggers use this technique but rarely a company and its employees. Instead of having your LinkedIn connections search your profile for the company you work for, especially if they’re not as well known, add a cover photo of your company’s logo. You will be instantly recognizable to whoever is on your LinkedIn profile. This is also a great branding technique that can be utilized regardless of your title.
If you’re an author you can have your latest book on display via your cover photo. For other creatives your latest podcast episode, TV appearance, or upcoming event would be a beneficial cover photo as well.
- Make a custom URL
As a self-proclaimed social media guru, I’m ashamed to admit that until last week I had no idea a custom LinkedIn URL was even an option! Right below your profile picture on LinkedIn there is a link which is considered your unique URL and you can make it whatever you want.
How messy and inconvenient is it to write out or hyperlink linkedin.com/in/john35272smith827sx312? So LinkedIn allows you to make a simpler, user friendly URL that can look like linkedin.com/in/johnsmith. However your URL may be taken because believe it or not there is more than one John Smith in the world so you may have to get creative with your last name first or by including your middle name.
- Join relevant groups
Joining groups of topics you’re interested in will lead you to job opportunities and career connections you couldn’t access before. You can also promote your work or recent projects so employers/recruiters can see your talent. Networking is key for professional growth and LinkedIn offers the tools to do so with the click of a button.
- Create a catchy “professional headline”
A common misunderstanding about LinkedIn’s “professional headline” is that it has to be your current job title. This is not the case and a more creative headline will spark an employer’s interest since it shows you can think outside the box (another prime example of the zig-zag technique).
If you’re a Social Media Strategist try phrasing your headline as Self-Proclaimed Social Media Guru or Digital Media Maven. Those options have that wow factor as opposed to the same title every other Social Media Strategist uses.
- Optimize your summary
Optimize can be a scary word if you’re not familiar with the digital world but don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think. If you’re looking to change careers you want to include keywords your ideal job would possess. Say you’re looking for a job in fashion merchandising you’ll want to put words like visual, fashion, product development, trends, merchandise, and inventory throughout your “summary”. Also be sure to add qualities that are found in fashion merchandising job descriptions like determined, quick thinker, and fast paced environment.
- Track who’s looked at your profile
Yes, you can look at who’s looking at you… kid! And it’s brilliant because you can use this to leverage your professional network. By taking note of who’s looked at your profile you can assess what types of people are being drawn to you, then analyze why. If you like your results, keep doing what you’re doing. If you want to attract a certain type of connection see #6. The focus question to ask is, how can you use the people looking at your profile to help you reach your professional goals?
- Ask for recommendations/skill endorsements
As #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso says, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for”. So if you want to go from amateur to all-star on LinkedIn you should ask your coworkers and previous employers for recommendations and skill endorsements. This will increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers and improve your credibility as a valuable candidate.
- Create a CTA (call to action)
You don’t want to be a passing ship on LinkedIn, you want to be memorable and a great way to attain this is with a call to action. A call to action is an action someone must take before the end of a segment, webinar, blog post, email, etc. For instance, you could have a place on your LinkedIn with a downloadable portfolio of your work or have a place in your summary that says “Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for writing samples”.
- Utilize “sections”
Sections in LinkedIn is a relatively new feature that allows you to add another language, certification, test scores, and practically everything in between. Knowing another language or achieving specific certifications definitely makes you a marketable candidate so be sure to add them!