This article highlights the key elements that every LinkedIn member should consider in order to optimize your outreach, whether you’re using LinkedIn for B2B link building, professional networking, or looking for your next job opportunity.
Profile Photo (Headshot)
The first opportunity you’ll have to make a good impression is through your profile photo. Use as professional a photo as possible but consider experimenting with opportunities that blend career-oriented experience or provide an opportunity to stand out (professionally).
We also recommend using a consistent profile photo across social media platforms. This way, if you make an initial connection through Twitter or Google+ for example, the connecting individual will more immediately recognize your information.
You have 120 characters to write a concise, professional headline, ideally keyword-rich, and specific to your role and expertise.
Remember not to go overboard with keywords in your headline; pick one or two of the most relevant opportunities. It’s equally important to catch a viewer’s eye and influence their decision to click and view your profile. Just keep in mind your objectives in crafting a good headline.
You have up to 2,000 characters worth of space to create a comprehensive LinkedIn summary. Here you need to expand upon your broader experience, success stories, and professional goals and objectives. Your summary is also one of the best opportunities to integrate keywords (IE, job-oriented skills and applications) within the LinkedIn profile.
To achieve the best summary possible, format your text a bit with bullets, paragraphs and sub-headings / spacing if possible.
Add relevant text such as contact information, other social media profile web addresses, or references in context to third party sites and information.
As above, you have 2,000 characters to describe your experience in a particular role/organization. You can also add applicable presentations, web addresses, and other collateral created within these sections as well.
We recommend leading with your results and outcomes as opposed to tasks and responsibilities. Don’t forget to incorporate relevant keywords, such as applications and programs used, and particular skills required / that contributed to your success.
Skills & Endorsements
LinkedIn launched its skills and endorsements functionality in late 2012 as a way for members to easily endorse keyword-oriented “skills” of other members of their network. We must confess, that we can’t help but pay greater attention when we come across a LinkedIn profile with a significant number of relevant skill endorsements. Here are a few tips to remember when considering your endorsements:
You can (and should) adjust skills people may indicate you have that are inaccurate or not desired.
You don’t have to reciprocate endorsements from others, but it is nice to consider it if they’ve gone above and beyond.
Being involved, or at least associated with, a core set of quality LinkedIn Groups can have a positive impact when others review your profile. Remember to focus on a core set of LinkedIn Groups you really want prospective marketing partners to recognize you for.
Despite being most important for entry-level job seekers, it’s worth taking time to thoroughly complete your education section. Remember you can add 1,000 characters worth of detail to each sub-section of your education, which is ideal for outlining key courses completed and significant project work.