By Reese Anderson
A killer LinkedIn profile is key to expanding your personal brand and selling it to potential employers.
In this weekly series, we’ll be breaking down the tools and tactics necessary to flex your networking muscles on LinkedIn. We’ll look at different trends in the PR industry and give advice for how to market yourself accordingly.
With LinkedIn, you get out what you put in. Here are this week’s five tips to maintaining a professional, effective profile:
1. Don’t waste it!
- Use every chance they give you to tell people about your life or your work. Make your title short, but use key words. Know what kind of job you’re after, and sprinkle key words and phrases throughout your summary and experience. Your summary should be 3-5 short paragraphs. You can use bullets to break up the text and emphasize key points. Walk readers through your passions, skills, unique attributes, and past experiences.
- It’s important to remember how you are trying to separate yourself from the pack. Avoid buzzwords such as “responsible,” “creative,” “innovative,” “driven,” “effective,” “patient,” “strategic,” “organized,” etc. like the plague.
2. Terminate typos
- Treat your profile like your resume. You want to demonstrate professionalism and attention to detail.
- On top of that, pick and choose what you include in the experience section intentionally. It shouldn’t be a list of job duties. It should highlight your value. Flesh it out with specific bullet points describing what you did, how you did, and what it impacted. When you can, use numbers to show impact.
3. Show your skills
- Many users neglect the “skills” segment of the profile, but this area can be great for showing specific areas of expertise not seen on a resume. Maybe you took a class on coding or Excel. Even if you haven’t used it in practice, diverse skillsets attract employers.
4. Connect with people you don’t know
- Some people forget LinkedIn is a networking resource, not just a social media account. You want a broad network. For people you do know, you can personalize invitations to connect with a brief note. It’s never a bad idea to remind people where you met or thank them for taking time out to talk.
5. Create your own content
- LinkedIn allows you to showcase your work and publish or republish content of your choosing. This can be a great opportunity to build your brand. Employers want to know who you are, and posting content allows them to gauge your interests. Take advantage of this, but remember that what you say reflects on you, either negatively or positively. You want to promote positivity and insight, not criticism.
Next week, we’ll go over specific ins-and-outs of making your profile visually and aesthetically pleasing.