Your LinkedIn profile. It’s your first impression. Those first moments someone spends on your page can be make-or-break for valuable business connections. We’ve covered the basic must-dos of your profile before, but it bears revisiting because the most important part of LinkedIn for an individual user is the profile. Your profile tells everyone who you are, and from there they can decide if they want to connect with you, answer your messages, and potentially do business with you.
If you screw up your profile, you’re dead in the water before you even have a chance to get going. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about what people are actually looking at when they land on your profile so you can make that look as positive as possible and maximize your results from LinkedIn.
Here are the big three that make or break your profile.
Number one is your picture. It’s trite, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. LinkedIn is a person-to-person networking platform, after all. So, it makes sense that people want to see what you look like, and rightly or wrongly, will judge you by your picture. Get a good picture, preferably one where you’re dressed like a business professional.
Number two is the headline just under the picture. We all want to pigeonhole people so we can understand them and figure out where they fit in our world. Your headline needs to succinctly say who you are and what you do. And, if you’re smart, it needs to say so in a language your target audience understands and is what they’re looking for. If you’re in IT, then having a technically oriented headline is fine, as long as you’re trying to communicate only with people who are capable of understanding the jargon.
Number three is your profile summary. Here are a couple of tips for that.
- Use first-person tense. Third-person tense just sounds weird. It’s YOUR profile summary. You wrote it. Talking about yourself in the third person sounds like something weird you’d see in a science fiction or horror movie.
- Next, don’t be cliche! Don’t use overworked phrases like “self-starter”. That’s been done so much that it just screams nothing at all! Just talk honestly about yourself. Pretend you’re explaining who you are and what you do to an intelligent and thoughtful person who’s not in your industry.
- And lastly, like for your headline, don’t use a bunch of jargon. If your target audience regularly uses geek speak, then by all means, use it. But if you’re a tech and your target market is auto body shops, then talking about search engine algorithms is not going to speak to your audience.
So again, before you do any other type of optimization on your profile, make sure and get these three things right on your profile. You’ll be glad you did!