There's so much talk about personal branding on LinkedIn. Do you need a personal brand? Why do you need one? What will it do for you? A lot.
Like it or not, LinkedIn is here to stay. LinkedIn is the best way to increase your visibility and be seen by the right people.
Besides the possibility of being found for your next job, there are other ways to level up your professionalism. You could find a mentor, expand, and build your network, learn from thought leaders in your area of specialization. You can also share your experience with others and the lessons you've learned. If you're looking to be part of a community, you can do it on LinkedIn.
If you are late to the game on LinkedIn and have not optimized your profile, there's no time like the present to give yourself that gift, and here are a few reasons to consider.
- LinkedIn has almost 756 million members in 200 countries with over 55 million registered companies, allowing you to be part of a global and diverse community of professionals.
- 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to find talent. Hiring managers are also active on the platform. How great would it be to build relationships with people at companies who may be hiring?
- By putting content out there, you are removing barriers and humanizing your application. So, break down walls and put yourself out there.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful aspect of LinkedIn. Recruiters use search terms when looking for talent, and you may even rank higher in Google search results.
We've talked about the why. Let's talk about the how.
Setting aside even 15 minutes to make updates to your profile can have a profound impact. Here are what we refer to as the "lucky 7" for profile optimization.
- Focus on your personality by adding a professional Profile Photo: Your profile photo is the first thing people see when they land on your profile, so make sure it is professional. If you can hire a pro, do so. Photoshoots are always fun and memorable. If not, most mobile phones have good enough cameras. Grab a friend and have your mini photoshoot. Tips: Let your personality shine, wear what you'd wear to work, and make sure your face takes up about 60% of the frame.
- Showcase your interests with a creative Background Photo: Your background photo is another visual element visitors to your profile will see. Feel free to get creative and design something custom to show your passion. Alternatively, here's a site for free stock photography we love if you want to take the guesswork out of design.
- Highlight your value proposition in your Headline: Think of your headline as your value proposition or what you have to offer a company. When someone lands on your profile, they should automatically know what you do, who you are, and what you stand for. Make it easy for the reader and create a compelling headline. You can use job titles or keywords so recruiters can find you when they search.
- Tell your story in the About section: Everyone has a story. Tell yours in the About section. Keep in mind only the first three lines show, making sure your most compelling content is there. If someone wants to learn more, they will click see more. Talk about your career journey or what you aspire to do. Ask a few people to weigh in and review this for you. It's undoubtedly the most challenging section to write and will take some time to get right.
- Amplify your relevant skills using the Skills section: This is probably the quickest section to complete. Look at relevant skills and add them to your profile. The key is relevant. Pick the top three to showcase. This is a see more situation again. As you grow and evolve, so will your skills. Make sure to change them up to reflect your current situation.
- Focus on your experience by adding it in the Experience section: Add the jobs you've held and the companies. A quick one or two paragraphs to describe what you did in each role is sufficient.
- Build out your profile by adding Media: Adding media to your profile will help you stand out from the rest, position you as more multidimensional and enticing. You can add PDFs, PPTs, Word documents, articles with links, and videos.
Pro tip! Identify the right keywords for your LinkedIn profile and use them throughout each section. This will help you appear in LinkedIn searches as well as Google ones. We found this guide to help you. Even though the focus is on sales professionals, you can use the same tips for job seeking and optimizing your profile.
Personal branding is critical. One of the ways to amplify your efforts is to optimize your LinkedIn profile to be seen, found, and well thought of in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers. What are you waiting for?