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LinkedIn Profile Optimization In 2021

Apr 21, 2021 11:26:31 AM

LinkedIn has a professional community of just about everyone in the workforce. You are able to create your own community with people who are in the same industry, have similar interests, or can help you learn and grow. 

LinkedIn has also become a go-to platform for recruiting and job searching. So whether you are a young professional looking for a job, an executive looking to create a community for brand purposes, or a salesperson looking to grow connections and win new clients, it’s important to have a professional and optimized profile that showcases YOU! 

Let’s go through each of the components of your LinkedIn profile and discuss how to best showcase you, the problems you solve, and the value you bring. 

 

The Banner 

Starting at the top of your profile page, you will find your banner. If you do not upload a banner then LinkedIn has a default blue banner, making your profile look incomplete. 

The banner image is a great place to establish your brand. It should encompass who you are, your interests, and what you believe in. However, it still needs to be clean, simple, and easy to digest. It could be a quote, a value statement, or an image that showcases your work or company.

We recommend that this is not an advertisement banner. You should avoid including your phone number, URL, or compile 12 pictures of yourself.  Oddly, some people put a picture of themselves in the banner, even though they have a picture of themselves as their profile photo, and that sometimes causes readers to feel like that person is self-centered or me-centric. 

Canva has amazing LinkedIn profile templates that you can customize to best represent you and your brand! 

 

The Profile Picture

Your profile photo can make or break if someone wants to click on your profile and connect with you. It is important that this photo is inviting and most importantly professional. People are most likely going to form an opinion about you based on your photo; it’s just human nature. 

So you want this first impression of yourself to build trust and show that you are a true professional. Please, don’t use the photo of you where you cut out your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend and have a drink in your hand or that selfie you love with the weird angle. 

Your photo should:

  • Be high resolution 
  • Be professionally taken 
  • Be filled with your personality, but be professional 
  • Have a clean background
  • And most of all, be you. 

If you are a salesperson and you are looking to grab people’s attention with your profile and your main goal is getting clicks, we suggest a picture of you that is taken further away, is a full-body shot, has eye-catching colors, or is hard to see clearly when viewed as a thumbnail. This thumbnail perspective actually drives more clicks because people are wondering, “who is this person?” or “where are they?”

 

The Headline

There are a number of ways you can approach your headline. You can keep it simple with just your role and company, you can indicate you are looking for work opportunities, or you can place your value statement there. 

Unfortunately, some salespeople can be aggressive, pushy, slimy, and most people do not want to be pitched or sold to, especially on LinkedIn where we are all getting bombarded with sales pitches from everyone we connect with. 

We strongly advise all salespeople to not include their title, but rather place a power value statement there. You can talk about the problem you solve, who you work with, or who you are as a person. This will allow you to get a greater number of connect requests and a higher connect acceptance rate. 

If you are an executive, you want to include the name of your company in the headline. The headline is so important because when you comment or you’re in the newsfeed, your headline appears when people hover over your name or profile picture! This makes your headline a free commercial and prompts people to consider if you are of value to them. 

Your headline should be carefully crafted and based on your main objective for LinkedIn. Below are a few headline examples: 

  • Marketing Manager at {Company Name}
  • CEO at {Company Name}
  • People Focused. Business Driven 
  • Looking for New Opportunities 
  • Helping People Take Their Money Further 
  • Solving Payroll Problems for CEOs 
  • Creating Digital Strategies that Scale 

 

About Section 

It can be difficult to write about yourself. However, don’t waste this real estate. The about section is the perfect place for you to tell people your story. Each person comes from different backgrounds and has beautiful stories, and this is your place to share! 

If you struggle to write about yourself, then you can hire someone on Fiverr or enlist the help of a close friend or family member to assist you in writing it. 

People will be more apt to connect with you if they can understand who you are as a unique, talented person, the problems that you solve, and the value that you bring forth. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, or if you have been in the workforce for years. People will read this section and want to hear the raw, the heart, and the talent of you. 

Don’t be afraid to include success metrics, ROI statements, and highlight major accomplishments and personal details about yourself. All of these build credibility and help to establish a relationship with your community. 

 

Featured 

The featured section is an area on your profile that you get to showcase your best work and you should update this every 2-3 months to keep it relevant. Within this section you want people to know about you, what you do, and what you are a part of. This is your opportunity to show off your talents. 

This section could include:

  • A video 
  • A slide deck 
  • A brochure 
  • Visual imagery
  • A blog 

 

Experience 

Out of all the areas of your LinkedIn profile, we rate the experience section as one of the most important. When you are growing your community on LinkedIn, building your brand and influence, and establishing yourself as a thought leader, you must build your credibility within the experience section. 

Your current role is the role to focus on the most. In the description, you need to write what you do in a way that is relevant to the person who is reading your profile. Write about what it is that they most care about, what problems are you helping them solve.  This is not an area to word-vomit the responsibilities you have in your role or talk about every product and service you sell. You need to create a story that talks about them and the challenges they face. This way when they read your profile they think, “Wow, this person really gets me!” 

When writing the description of your experience, answer these questions: 

  • Who am I wanting to connect with? (CEOs, Recruiters, HR Directors, etc.) 
  • What do they care about? 
  • What problem do they have that I solve? 
  • Am I answering their question of, “What’s in it for me?” 
  • Do I have a relevant ROI statement?
  • Is this written in their language? 

After you fill out your current experience, you should highlight your past accomplishments in the previous experience sections. This is another area in which you get to establish your credibility and the thought leadership you have brought forth in your various roles. You can mention your accolades, best practices, the problems you’ve solved, who you’ve served, and the things that make you incredible. 

People want to connect and grow their community with people that they can look up to, learn from, and find value from. You have the opportunity to convey that value in these former positions. It could be a simple paragraph or it could be a bulleted list.

Other important areas that you should make sure are filled out on your profile are: 

  • Education
  • Licenses & Certifications
  • Volunteer Experience 
  • Accomplishments 
  • Recommendations

You can learn more about filling out these areas and how to create a community on LinkedIn by accessing our Sales Training Room and watching our latest course on Creating A Community on LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a powerful social platform to connect with people all over the world and build a network and community of supporters. However, LinkedIn profile optimization is critical in order to be attracting the right people to connect with you. By updating your profile with these tips in mind, you are sure to see greater results and look like a top-notch professional that people want to engage with. 

Topics: Blog Sales
Mary Grothe

Written by Mary Grothe

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