Whether you’re a business owner, an up-and-coming entrepreneur or simply a professional looking to mobilise in your field, your LinkedIn profile is an invaluable tool to showcase your skills and achievements.
Despite this, we often spend so much time thinking about our business brands and ideas that we neglect to adequately market ourselves. With 3 people hired every minute through the platform and over 40 million people using it to seek work, you can’t afford not to put your best foot forward.
Here are 4 ways to stand out from the crowd.
1) Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
LinkedIn offers a great chance to establish yourself as an industry expert. Whether through backlinks to online articles you’ve written elsewhere or through content you’ve uploaded directly to LinkedIn, creating thought-provoking content about your industry will get the attention of big players in your field. Show you know your stuff and understand market trends through well-research content.
2) Choose an Appropriate Profile Picture
No matter how inspiring the content on your LinkedIn profile is, an unprofessional photo can ruin your entire image. Steer clear of group shots and visually distracting backgrounds. Your face should take up 60% of the frame and the photo should be high resolution to avoid blurring.
Most importantly, don’t forget to smile! A recent study found that people are viewed as more likeable, competent and overall more influential when they smiled in their profile pictures. Of course, you still need to read your audience – a cheesy grin might suit a company with a playful vibe, while a more subtle smile might suit a more corporate business.
3) Turn Your Summary into a Story
Prospective staff and hiring managers read endless bios. A summary filled with buzz words is a great way to make your reader glaze over. That’s why it’s vital to spin your summary section into a story that resonates with your audience. Instead of just listing your skills and previous roles, paint a picture of your journey through the workforce and don’t be afraid to add some personal flair, like an anecdote or a (tasteful) joke.
4) Expand Your Network
A quick and simple way to increase your credibility within your field is to expand your network. Get started by syncing your email address book with LinkedIn, so it can suggest individuals and businesses you’ve previously collaborated with.
Another easy way to boost your network is to join existing LinkedIn groups within your professional field and field of personal interests. Once you’ve joined, you can create and comment on discussions and start a dialogue with like-minded peers and even directly message them for free. It also serves as an opportunity to ‘warm call’ prospective clients or partners before collaborating.
Your LinkedIn profile is a vital part of your professional identity. By keeping the content clever, cohesive and current, you drastically increase your chances of being headhunted by a high-quality employer or attracting high calibre new staff for your own business.