Here are 10 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile and obtain better results.
- Add a header image if yours is showing the default dots and lines (it looks more distinctive and professional when you customise it)
You can get copyright-free images on Pexels, Pixabay or Unsplash, free. They don’t even need accreditation, but they might need cropping to size
You can use a (free) tool such as Canva to create your own header images across all your social media
- Edit your headline (most people just put their job title in this section, but you can write up to 120 characters)
A headline needs to ‘tease’ people enough that they are tempted to read more, but you can also include your call to action / most wanted response in case they don’t. In fact, as powerful headline might say more about them than it does about you.
- Social media is a numbers game, so you should aim to grow your connections.
A good strategy would be to connect with everyone you know that LinkedIn suggests. You’ll have to do it in batches, otherwise LI will think you’re spamming.
Customise the connect requests, where possible (sometimes LI doesn’t let you do this).
All you’re trying to do is start a conversation. That’s the point of it. Networking!
- Edit the About section
Only the first two lines show before the ‘see more’ link (and most people won’t click to see more), so those are the most important. On a mobile, people can see even less.
You can have a total of 2000 characters but not many people will read it all.
You can add a bespoke welcome video before the ‘see more’ link – but LI has a glitch where it is not showing the thumbnail, so no-one will watch it. That’s happened on mine.
- On the top right of your ‘edit profile’ section, there is a link to ‘Edit public profile & URL’
Click this, and top right it will say ‘Edit your custom URL’
Click the edit pencil, and you can claim your own name, which looks better when you share the link e.g. with recruitment agencies
For example, mine is ‘https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackiebarrie/’
With luck, no-one else will have claimed your name. If they have, you might have to add a number, for example.
This section is also where you can customise what people see when they are not logged into LinkedIn (your Public Profile), for example, if they search your name in Google. Just toggle the options. For mine, I only show headline, websites and summary. If you give away too much personal data publicly, you risk identity theft, or some fraudster contacting you and saying you were at Uni together when you weren’t.
- Don’t use gmail, hotmail or similar as your email address in the contact section, because they might come across as unprofessional.
As a sole trader, I also suggest you set up accounts@ to deal with your quotes and invoices, hello@ for anywhere you post it online (to reduce spam to your personal email address), and then yourname@ for your business card and 121 contacts only
- On the subject of business cards, you might choose to use the same header image and photo as you do on your LI profile.
My preferred supplier is https://www.alocalprinter.co.uk/ but you can get a short run of cards printed at the likes of VistaPrint and Moo for very low cost
Let me know if you need help with this (you’ll need to firm up your email address etc. first)
- Note that there is a section you can tick called Career interests. This lets recruiters know you are open to being contacted by them
- It would be wise to start posting articles and comments when your profile is up-to-date. Don’t hard-sell. Just share your advice and expertise. That way, people see your activity who are not in your network. It takes time, but it’s the best way to grow your presence on LI – that, and being active in relevant groups (except then only group members see what you post)
- My final suggestion is about LI recommendations. (LI skills and endorsements are just silly. They are designed to get people back to LI repeatedly, so they can increase their views and sell more ads. They don’t benefit LI users at all.)
Recommendations are how people judge you. What other people say is more compelling than anything you say.
Rather than approach your network and ask for a recommendation (you’ll see in your profile there is a link where you can ask), I suggest you give recommendations to your contacts – LI then automatically nudges them to leave one for you in return.
As you’ll see on my profile, I’ve currently got 51 (and given 74).
Regular LI users write recommendations for each other all the time. Whenever you do something for someone, and they say thank you, it’s perfectly normal etiquette to ask: “Would you mind writing me a recommendation on LinkedIn?” Most of them will do… but you have to be connected with each other first.
Note that no-one can sabotage your profile with an inappropriate recommendation because you get the chance to approve them first or ask for changes
If you’d like help with any of this, please get in touch.