3 quick ways to upgrade your linkedin profile
When’s the last time you took a close look at your LinkedIn profile? How do you feel about it? Is it a little meh or is it doing a stellar job of sharing your story with viewers? No matter your profile’s current state, a few small improvements can have a BIG impact.
In this post, I’ll share 3 ways to quickly upgrade your LinkedIn profile -- quick wins that will help you craft a clear and cohesive story with your profile AND attract potential employers and connections that are interested in learning more about you, your experience, and your skills.
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR HEADLINE!
If you do a basic search on LinkedIn, you’ll see hundreds of users with the headline “Position at Company X” aka LinkedIn’s default format -- boringggg! While LinkedIn defaults to this format, you don’t have to keep it that way! Your headline is fully customizable (120 characters), and more importantly, is one of the first pieces of your LinkedIn profile that viewers see.
What do you want people to know about you? Share who you are and what you do, not simply your position at your current organization. Incorporate your specialties and/or awards, and craft a headline with your future role in mind. If you DO want to share where you work in your headline, get creative! For some examples, check out the different ways LinkedIn employees have crafted their headlines. If you’re planning a career change, you definitely don’t want your headline to be the role you currently have -- you want it to be something that expresses your skills and an interest in the role(s) you’re looking for!
P.s. If you’re actively looking for a new job, please don’t write “Looking for opportunities” or “Searching for a new role” -- how will that help recruiters and hiring managers find you on LinkedIn??? These phrases don’t: a) include keywords about your roles or industries of interest, or b) give a brief synopsis of what you’ve accomplished in your career thus far. Share what you’re great at and what you’re interested in!
Currently, my headline is “Connecting people to their purpose and opportunities as a career coach, career development specialist, and former recruiter” -- this lets people know my purpose, what I’m doing now, and what I’ve done in the past. If viewers see nothing else but my headline, they know my story. Use your headline to share yours.
ADD A BACKGROUND PHOTO!
Yes, you CAN customize your LinkedIn background photo! Along with the headline, it’s one of main areas where most users are comfortable simply using the LinkedIn default. However, it’s another great opportunity to share something about yourself, or at least make your profile more visually appealing.
Both StockSnap and Unsplash offer FREE (and stunning) stock photos that you can use for your background! Please keep in mind that due to the way the LinkedIn background photo is set up, you’ll only be able to see about half of your selected photo. Play around with some images, and select the photo that’s the best fit for you and your profile!
SHARE YOUR FAVORITE ACCOMPLISHMENTS!
Your LinkedIn profile is not just a digital version of your resume -- it’s an opportunity to tell a bigger story of who you are and the type of work you’re passionate about. Your profile should be a great complement to your resume, not a carbon copy of it.
After providing the most important and relevant information for each of your roles in your profile’s Experience section, I recommend sharing some of your favorite accomplishments within each role -- ones that are particularly meaningful to you and/or ones that you didn’t have room to mention in your resume.
Because your resume is not an exhaustive list of what you’ve accomplished in your career (at least, I hope it’s not!), this is a great opportunity to add a little bit more narrative and a little bit more context to the work that you’ve done. Don’t forget to include metrics or quantitative results if/when applicable! You can also kick it up a notch by adding photos, videos, PDFs, and/or links to digital portfolios or websites.
P.p.s. Here’s one more tip:
CREATE YOUR CUSTOMIZED URL!
When you create your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn gives you a default URL that includes your name plus a bunch of random numbers. Why use that, when you can use your name or something that aligns with your career goals and interests or personal brand?
Customize your LinkedIn profile URL in these 3 steps:
- Click on your profile
- On the right-hand side of the screen, click “Edit public profile & URL”
- In the same spot on the new page, edit your URL
Boom. How easy was that?!
Have you discovered another quick way to improve your LinkedIn profile? Tell me on Twitter!