Dull and boring just isn’t going to cut it in today’s oversaturated Internet world. Same old, same old isn’t going to get you that new job or attract the right clients to your business. You absolutely must stand out from the crowd. And you have to do this in a way that appeals to your market! In this article, I’d like to turn you on to a few things you can do to your profile to stand out from the crowd and make people take notice of you! Ready?
Let’s start with your headline. DO NOT just put your job title or your main skill. “IT Professional.” “Freelance Writer.” Both of these are generic and don’t do any selling! Think about how you could restructure those to appeal to your market, whether that’s potential employers or clients. What problem do you solve or what result do you give? That’s what employers and clients are going to really hire you for.
This one’s a little tricky. You want to have a good, maybe even a professional photo, and you want it to stand out a little. For the photo, I’d go towards making sure you look friendly and likable. That is, as long as you’re in a job where being friendly and likable is a good thing. If you’re an international security expert, then you might want to tone down on the smile. 😉 Just make sure it represents you as a professional and is appropriate to your field.
Here’s where most folks just fall flat on their face! You get 2,000 characters to work with for your profile summary. Two thousand. Use them! And, don’t be generic. Write in the first person. That’s much more approachable than writing in the third person. Make sure you include a little (but not too much) personal history. Idea: How did you get where you are? Here’s where you can really distinguish yourself from the rest of the field!
Yes, you want them! You don’t have to have a ton. Three or four great ones will do. But these especially serve to position you as an expert in your field. Most serious visitors to your profile (the ones thinking about possibly hiring you for something) will check out your recommendations and really read them! So don’t be afraid to ask past clients and colleagues if they’d leave you one. It may take a couple gentle reminders (I’m still waiting for a few who said they’d be happy to leave one, but never have the time :), but having them can really be a boost to your profile.
Your list of skills and your endorsements help define more about who you are and what you do. Just like with recommendations, you can bet that anyone serious takes a long look at them.
It may take you a little time to refine, add, or update these things, but if you really want your profile working for you, then don’t skip these important points.