With more than 545 million users, LinkedIn is a great place to stand out. It’s employment-oriented, meaning that it helps to showcase your work and accomplishments. Also, it only takes around half an hour per week to maintain your profile. Why not try it? We got some valuable tips and tricks to help you make the best of it.
Personal branding? What?
You might think you’re too old for these ”modern shenanigans”. Or too shy. Or not interesting enough. We have to tell you that all these assumptions are wrong. Yet, if you spend some time on LinkedIn, you will realize that there are all kinds of people on this platform. And they are all working on their branding, one way or another.
Yes, there are 50-year olds with ‘Open for work’ labels on their profile pictures. There are contractors, artists, and craftsmen promoting their services. Even Tik Tok influencers are appearing more and more often on LinkedIn. They are all trying to boost their careers, share helpful advice, and interact with peers.
By being active on LinkedIn, you might find opportunities you’d miss otherwise. Personal branding on this platform can open many doors for you. It is a great way to say things that didn’t fit in your resume. It gives a complete picture of what kind of professional you are and what you do. That is why an HR manager will check your profile before inviting you to a job interview. What’s interesting is that companies sometimes don’t even do job ads. Instead, they look for people with a particular set of skills on LinkedIn and try to recruit them.
Your brand on LinkedIn is you telling your professional story. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see. So, yes, it’s important and yes, you should work on it. Keep reading to find out how you can do it fast and easily.
Your LinkedIn profile has to look nice
The form is as important as the content. Thus, your profile must be easy on the eyes. You can be an extraordinary expert but you also have to know how to present your accomplishments. It takes a little bit of effort and creativity, but it’s worth it.
The first thing you want to sort out is your LinkedIn URL. Being /5123fvh4682jpr is not the best strategy. Instead, try out /firstnamelastname. This way, you are more likely to appear not only in LinkedIn searches but in other search engines as well.
The next important step is a smart-looking profile photo. Don’t worry, you don’t need to book a photographer for this. It’s enough to stand against a white wall and dress up in your formal clothes. We wouldn’t recommend taking a close shot of your face. Rather, try setting the bottom border somewhere at the top of your chest. Make sure that the lighting is good and that your hair looks neat. Put a big smile on your face – it sure does help!
The background image is there for a reason, too. It’s like a billboard along the highway. Choosing the right background picture on LinkedIn can help you get the attention of anyone who visits your profile. You can either use it for a miniature portfolio, product promotion, or event photos. It’s also a good idea to have an abstract picture or a stock photo that captures your personality.
The last step for your branding on LinkedIn is updating your headline and summary. This is where the magic happens. If you do these two right, you increase your chances of success. Your headline should be a brief explanation of who you are and what you do. Make sure to optimize it for Google’s search engine as it can help you get more reach. If someone googles ‘experienced marketer in London’, you might appear in the search results. It can’t hurt if you get creative, too. For example, a business consultant might try something like: ,,Helping your business grow”.
A summary is where you expand on everything you wrote in the headline. Think of it as an elevator pitch. You want people to read it, so it should be original and exciting. Sure, include some numbers if they point to your big professional accomplishments. Other than that, try to refrain from boring sentences and facts. Think of what your purpose is and how you can make a change. Explain your career choices and motivation. Steer clear of industry jargon and use a more conversational form instead. It’s not easy to describe yourself, but you have to make clear to the reader how valuable you are.
Definitely brag about yourself
Your LinkedIn profile should be proof of your career path. There are many sections you can include in your profile, so include as much as you can.
Add your education and your professional experience. This means mentioning everything. And we mean everything. You’re a sales manager who used to sell ice cream 15 years ago? Include it in your profile. Did you attend an Udemy course? Trust us, include it. You never know what might help you in the long run. Don’t forget to use the description section for everything you add. For your education, list the most important projects and papers you worked on. Include the topic of your final thesis, too. As for your job positions, it’s wise to include your tasks without too much detail. That way, you paint a clear picture of what you did and what skills you have.
Talking about skills, LinkedIn has a section for those as well. You can add up to 50 skills to your profile and pin three. The three highlighted skills should be the ones you feel most confident with. If you’re not sure what to pick, try the ones that are the hottest in your industry right now. Even better, if you’re trying to switch industries, you can emphasize those that might help you land a new job. Let’s say you worked in marketing your whole life. You could add communication, advertising, and public relations to your skills. But if you have done marketing in a SaaS company in the last five years, you must have some understanding of IT. Paired with a good IT course, these can lead to you a brand new IT position.
A LinkedIn section that is often ignored is the ‘Featured’ section. Most people don’t even know it’s there. Some are not confident enough to even display something in it. Not making use of it is a big mistake, as you can use it as a mini portfolio. If you’re a copywriter, pin the blogs you’re most proud of. A CEO might use this section to share links to media articles about his company. You can add your posts with high engagement rates or those with quotations that motivate you.
Be active. Be hyperactive.
One of the big advantages of LinkedIn is that it’s easy to get many impressions and high engagement rates. How? Well, do you recall how Facebook used to display everything you liked on your network’s feeds? You can still do that on LinkedIn. Your post can get likes a few weeks after it’s published if the right person interacts with it. You can use this to improve your personal branding.
Networking is a big thing on LinkedIn. Actually, it’s exactly what it’s meant for. So, making meaningful connections is crucial. To do this, connect with trusted friends, former colleagues, classmates, and industry leaders. If you’re trying to connect with someone you don’t know, include a personal note explaining why you’d like to connect. It will surprise you how fast you can grow your network. As the result, you will rank higher on LinkedIn. That means that you are more likely to appear in prominent positions in search engine results, too.
After you’ve built a decent network, start publishing. There is no reason to be shy – 1 million people have published more than 3 million posts on LinkedIn. Also, long-form content performs very well as it adds to your credibility. The best performing types of posts on LinkedIn are articles. It is what distinguishes LinkedIn from other social networks. Whatever it is that you have on your mind, feel free to share it. It could be something related to your business experiences, client stories, or trends. Show how knowledgeable you are in what you’re talking about.
Participating in LinkedIn groups is a great way to meet like-minded industry peers. You wouldn’t believe how much you can learn by interacting with members of a group. Usually, there are groups dedicated to specific topics. It allows you to read what people think of the latest trends and industry news. Also, you can meet people with the same interests as you and form partnerships or even land a new job. Get into the mix, comment, and share content. Engagement will make these groups more beneficial for your personal branding.
You must be in awe now that we’ve told you how your personal branding on LinkedIn can benefit you. If you have more questions or need advice, please contact us. We love helping out with these kinds of things.
Until then, roll up your sleeves and start working on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to show your worth. Who knows, there might be an employer looking for someone just like you.