10 Tips for Building a Compelling LinkedIn Profile

Are you on LinkedIn? Given that 11 million Australians are listed as users of the leading business social networking site, you may well be. But are you making the most of the opportunity to increase your visibility online and sell yourself to potential employers? Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, it’s worth spending some time polishing your profile.

Here are 10 tips for building a compelling LinkedIn presence.

1. Work on an eye-catching headline

Your headline is one of the first things someone checking out your profile should see. So make it stand out! With 220 characters available for your headline, consider including your current job title and the value you bring to the role, e.g. HR Director @ [Company Name] | Healthcare | Developing People and Building Great Teams

2. Put your best photo forward

According to LinkedIn research, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed just by having a picture. It doesn’t need to be a professionally taken headshot. A decent high res photo of you in professional attire against a neutral background is generally a safe bet.

3. Craft a creative summary

The summary section of your profile is a great space to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers or clients, so get creative and tell your story. Explain what you do, why you’re good at your job and what you love about it. And don’t be afraid to boast about – and quantify – your achievements. End with a call to action at the end so people can reach out and connect.

4. Include your recent professional experience

You don’t need to summarise your entire career history especially if you’ve been working for 10+ years. But do include the last few positions you have held with employer names, dates, locations as well as clear, concise overviews of your responsibilities and achievements in each role.

5. List your relevant skills

You can select up to 50 skills to add to your LinkedIn profile, with options as varied as critical thinking, administrative, writing, coaching and cloud computing. Advice varies on how many skills you should list, but 50 is definitely excessive. You want to use this feature to highlight your core competencies to potential employers or clients, much as you would on a resume, so it’s best to aim for 5-7 skills you are specialised in. Your LinkedIn connections can add weight to your selection with their endorsements.

6. Ask for recommendations

Add credibility to your profile by seeking recommendations from your LinkedIn connections. These could be trusted co-workers, supervisors, clients and mentors. By sending them a personalised message with your request and perhaps offering to return the favour, you’ll increase your chances of a positive response.

7. Connect with others

Connect with people you know on LinkedIn, and you’ll soon build an impressive network of contacts. You might want to start by importing your email address book to your LinkedIn account. (You can skip any of the contacts you don’t want to invite). Also consider following up with people you have met offline at presentations and workshops by sending them a personalised invitation from your profile. You might also want to explore LinkedIn Groups where you can connect with people in your industry.

8. Promote your presence

Being on LinkedIn is great for gaining visibility online. You can increase your reach by making it easy for people to know you’re there. You could actively promote your LinkedIn profile in your email signature, on business cards and presentations, for example. But customise your LinkedIn URL first so it looks neat and professional rather than a random mishmash of letters, numbers and symbols. Here’s how to do it.

9. Share interesting content

Liking, commenting on and sharing posts can be another good way to enhance your profile and increase your connections on LinkedIn. By sharing content that resonates with you and showing your expertise and knowledge in your comments, you’ll soon build credibility online. And when you’re ready, you might want to create your own posts, too.

10. Join groups

Joining groups and following influencers in your industry can generate some interesting content in your area of expertise as well as opportunities to network with like-minded individuals. Here’s how to find and join a LinkedIn Group.

Even if you don’t intend to spend hours on LinkedIn sharing content and making connections, it’s worth spending a little time and effort building a compelling profile. Your presence on the platform might bring you unexpected opportunities that would otherwise pass you by.

Are you on LinkedIn? Do you have any top tips for building a compelling profile?