If you’re a professional, with a job or business, then you need a Linked In profile. Whether it’s to build your personal brand, build credibility as an expert in your field, to find a new job or build your business, an effective and engaging Linked In profile is an essential tool.
To get the most out of Linked In, think of it as a personal website to market your professional self, therefore the rules of online marketing and SEO apply in much the same way so your profile stands out from the crowd.
1. Target Your Profile to Your Niche
To do this you need to know what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re trying to target. You don’t want to be all things to all people, instead target your profile to appeal to your niche.
If you’re looking for a job, tailor your profile to the job role you seek. This way when recruiters search on Linked In, you’ll come up in the search. Make sure your profile has everything in it that they’ll be looking for, put yourself in their shoes and update your profile accordingly. If you’re not sure where to start, do a search for people who already do the job you want to do and use their profiles for inspiration.
2. Tailor Your Content to Your Market
Firstly, you must have a professional photo of yourself to increase engagement and click through.
Secondly, make sure your content is easy to read and concise. No one has time to read an essay, so use bullets, lists and short paragraphs that focus on your achievements and strengths. Talk about the benefits you bring, not just what your responsibilities are. Content is king.
Finally, your profile is a representation of you, so speak directly to your audience in a conversational style and not in the third person.
3. Use the Right Key Words
You want to SEO your Linked In profile the same you would a website for online marketing. In simple terms, SEO means optimising your website so that search engines (such as Google) can find your website in response to a search. This means having the right key words, in the right places, on your website.
Similarly, if you are seeking a new job and want to come up in searches, using the right key words is the most important part of your Linked In profile. Use the words that will be searched by recruiters throughout your profile – the more key words you use, the higher up the search you’ll appear. Accuracy is important in your key words (don’t use abbreviations), as recruiters will narrow their searches to gain a tailored shortlist. For example, if you’re in marketing, specify what type, such as Digital Marketing.
4. Pimp Your Headline
The default setting for your headline is your current job title and company but this is the biggest driver of traffic to your profile so if your role and company aren’t very compelling, use the headline to communicate your key value proposition and encourage the searcher to click through.
It doesn’t have to be a standard job title, but more of a tagline to describe your career or job using the relevant key words. Look at profiles of people in your field to get an idea of how innovative you can be.
5. Be Visible
The more people you’re connected to, the more people can find you and see your content, and vice versa. So if you want to be visible in a certain market, link to lots of people in that area, join relevant groups and then connect with people in those groups. You can also see what other groups people are in, allowing you to grow your network further.
It’s always a valuable investment of time to contribute to group discussions or post updates as a way of being more visible. In addition, being active on Linked In by posting updates, liking and commenting on other posts, or writing your own blog posts on Linked In and sharing on your feed and in groups, will raise your profile and keep you in your connections’ feed, and in turn drive more people, and hopefully recruiters and headhunters, to your profile.
Rebecca Grainger is a well-respected career mentor, known for her integrity, positive attitude and straight-talking approach. Combining 12 years of international recruitment experience with formal coaching methodologies, mindset principles and strategic career consulting, Rebecca is passionate about empowering women to transition careers and change jobs, with confidence, clarity and ease.