How to improve your LinkedIn profile: Seven easy steps

By Steve Smith

Alongside having a nose at what your friends and colleagues are up to, LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful networking tool.

The platform is currently home to nearly a quarter of a billion users and over 55 million registered companies. Of those users who are frequently engaging with the platform, 40% access it daily.

According to a recent survey, the ‘professional social networking site’ has a heavy impact on employers decisions about candidates. Over 70% of employers check social media profiles of candidates to learn more about them. Those who wish to not have a profile at all, look to be at a disadvantage. As about 47% of employers said that they would not call a candidate for an interview who does not have any social media presence.

Now we have established the importance of a LinkedIn profile. Here are some easy steps you can take to create a killer, high impact profile.

1. Get the right profile photo

Your profile picture will be the first impression connections (who don’t already know you), get of you. Therefore, it’s important to make the photo a professional headshot. LinkedIn’s definitely not the place for your favourite holiday/party selfie. There’s a helpful post here which goes into more detail about how to take a good photo for LinkedIn.

In short, the photo should be relatively recent and take up about 60% of the frame. If you are struggling to get a good photo, you could approach your marketing department who should be able to take an appropriate headshot that you can use.

2. Add a header image

If you’re working for a company, is there a branded header you can use? If not, think of what you associate yourself with for your work. If you don’t have many photos, you can use free image sites like Unsplash or Pixabay to find high quality images you can upload.

3. Create a powerful headline

Your headline doesn’t have to be just your job title, as that alone says very little about what you do. Your title enables you to add buzzwords that provide more detail. For example, if you’re a project manager, but your specialism is within finance, it would be helpful to include this within your LinkedIn headline. For example:

Project Manager | financial management specialist | [company]

The keywords you select in your headline, help optimise your profile for recruiters and employers. If your headline is optimised well, it will help your profile rank for the right terms, and therefore be viewed by the relevant people.

4. Optimise your summary

A strong LinkedIn summary further helps optimise your profile and get in front of recruiters and potential employers.

Your summary is a great way to showcase your unique value proposition, and sum up your experience in an engaging way. Key elements your LinkedIn summary should include:

  • An introduction – this can include the years of experience and your current specialisms.
  • Recent successes – is there a particular project or campaign you worked on that was successful?
  • Data and figures – this will help back up your recent successes and achievements. An example of this could be ‘grew the revenue by 20% for [x] business in one year.
  • Value proposition – this helps you stand out amongst competitors. This can include software you’re fluent in and what else your expertise extends into.
  • Achievements – this can include awards, qualifications or even short courses you’ve completed that add to your value proposition.
  • A call to action – this is more applicable should you be looking for work. But adding a CTA helps improve approachability and lets people know you are open to work.

Like your headline, it’s important to keyword optimise your summary to improve your profiles visibility and ranking.

5. List your skills

On your profile section, there is an option to add ‘skills’ and ‘accomplishments’, alongside listing these in the summary, filling out the sections on your profile will help further boost your profile and help get it seen. Requesting recommendations help your skills further. Getting referrals can drastically help to add credibility and authenticity to your profile.

6. Engage

Now you’ve got a profile that radiates appealability and warns off the competition, it’s time to actively use the platform. Being active on the platform will help improve your visibility (and yes, ranking). Plus, by liking and commenting on relevant posts, others in the industry will notice you. A well-positioned comment could be the beginnings of a new business relationship.

7. Keep your profile up to date

As you learn new skills, increase achievements, and move jobs, it’s important to remove what’s irrelevant and add what’s valuable. For example, having your school is not necessarily relevant. As you pick up skills, be sure to add these to the job description section on your profile. To make your current position stand out, condense content on your previous jobs to avoid repetition. Doing this also makes for a cleaner looking profile.

Optimising your profile doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Once you’ve made the fundamental changes, it merely a case of keeping your profile up to date and spending a few minutes each day engaging and connecting. Once you’ve reviewed your profile and made the relevant changes, you’ll be surprised at the difference it could make to your profile’s visibility.

CV and LinkedIn review and assistance are services Procorre offer to their Partners. If you would like to find out more information about our contractor services, request a call back from a member of our team today.