Your LinkedIn profile has been important to professional success for years, but now that we’re all WFH and rarely interact with people in person, it’s more important than ever. Your LinkedIn profile is your first impression, and it’s also the place people go when they want to learn more about you. If you focus a little on your profile now, you can make a huge deposit with your personal branded bank through 2021 and beyond.
So you agree that updating your profile would be a valuable investment of your time, but not sure where to start? Here are five simple improvements to make sure your profile shows what makes you differentiated and compelling.
1. Improve your headline. When you created your heading (or the last time you updated it) the character limit was probably 120 characters. The latest version of LinkedIn lets you create a 220-character headline. This almost doubles the chance to get in touch with people who are interested in learning more about you. If you’re wondering what to do with all of these letters, here are some ideas:
- Include all of the keywords that you want to be known for so that they can be found in a search.
- Include a declaration of performance that relates to the results you will get from doing what you do.
- Add something interesting or interesting that will make viewers know more.
2. Highlight your background. The last time they upgraded LinkedIn, they changed the header image from their blue nodes to an equally boring gray-green background. You have to customize your wallpaper, but you don’t have to hire a designer or learn a new software program to achieve it. Canva makes it a breeze with its customizable LinkedIn banner templates. When you customize your background, make your profile stand out.
3. Update your info. Your About (formerly known as the Summary) is one of the most important parts of your profile as it is where you tell your story. Don’t confuse your info with the “Experience” section. And don’t just summarize what you said about yourself in the Experience section. Your About is the place where you combine all these achievements and awards from your experience with your humanity – your values, passions, superpowers, etc. A convincing About is at the intersection of credibility and sympathy. And here’s something really important: focus mainly on the first three lines. That’s all someone will see when they review your profile. If you make them provocative, people will click to read more and learn more about you.
4th Fill in your featured. LinkedIn’s Featured section gives you plenty of real estate to showcase what makes you great. Like a virtual showroom, it transforms your two-dimensional profile into a 3D portfolio of the YOU brand. Chances are you’ve improved your video skills as Zoom sessions have replaced face-to-face meetings. And if you haven’t really focused on your video skills, at least it’s more convenient for you to spend time in front of the camera. Since we don’t have the opportunity to meet and connect with others in the same physical space, do the next best thing: use video to get involved on a more authentic and human level. Create short thought-provoking videos or video bio to bring your profile to life.
5. Show your generosity. You’ve likely seen heroism in the past year. It is time to recognize your employees, colleagues, managers and customers for the great achievements they made during the difficult days of 2020. There are two positive results when you do this on LinkedIn. For starters, your profile will tell people how many referrals you’ve made. If that number exceeds the number you received, the branding attribute “generous” will be added to the words used to describe you. Second, sending someone an unsolicited, thoughtful, and warm recommendation will shape their day and strengthen your relationship.
It has always been good practice to refresh your LinkedIn profile at least once a year to ensure it remains an up-to-date and valuable resource for career development. In our new, purely virtual world of work, however, this update is of crucial importance.
William Arruda is the founder of CareerBlast and co-developer of BrandBoost – a video-based experience for developing personal branding talent.