How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Profile

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by: Rebecca Gutierrez, Director of Marketing, OBMI

Let’s face it, it’s a noisy digital world out there and standing above the crowd is difficult and time-consuming! LinkedIn has recently launched their newly designed profile pages for both companies and individuals which can help your profile stand out amongst the clutter. Although initially in beta nearly every profile has now been updated. There are some big changes to the updates and make a great profile even more important. Below are some tips on how to create a killer profile.

THE SYNOPSIS

Overall the platform’s redesign is about being approachable, conversational and short. Grouping your profile into small digestible sections that include larger graphics/logos and opportunities to add additional media. The design can help make a great first impression by focusing on skills and accomplishments.

INDIVIDUAL PROFILE SUMMARY

It’s all about storytelling.

In tone LinkedIn is becoming more conversational therefore now there is an opportunity to be more engaging rather than its past resume-style of writing. New in the redesign only the first 200 characters of your individual profile summary shows, the viewer needs to click ‘See more’ to keep reading. This means your first 200 characters must be compelling, succinct, and interesting enough so that a reader will click.

When ‘See more’ is expanded you have limitless space to tell your story and add media but several trends are key:

  • Use first person rather than third person writing
  • Be personable, conversational and interesting
  • Be brief, write no more than 3 or 4 paragraphs
  • Add at least 3 media pieces (videos, pdf’s, published articles) to further tell your story
  • Add something personal, so people get to know the many sides of you
  • Highlight an experience or skill that is unique only to you

LINKEDIN ACTIVITY / HIGHLIGHTS

Your activity on LinkedIn has been given top priority with the redesign, the activity center is now immediately below the summary this is a critical piece of your Individual Profile. The activity center is an area where you can showcase your thought leadership by published articles and commenting on, and engaging with others’ posts. This is a great opportunity to publish on LinkedIn to establish yourself with the topics you want to be associated with.

All recent activity has been relocated to the top of the profile, allowing members to stay current with happenings within their network.

When you have multiple articles LinkedIn will create another page just for your published content further improving your personal SEO but also connecting viewers to your content. The layout is highly graphic so be sure to include visually striking and appropriate photos with each article publication.

INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE

Rather than just listing your work experience with the name of employer, title, and dates write a summary of each position to further establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Reinforce key points from your summary and highlight any specifics that illustrate that point. Write in short paragraphs to keep it easily readable but write enough to make the story engaging.

Media can be added to your project experience and should be! This is a great marketing opportunity for you to showcase the work of your company while also tying your professional skills to them.

EDUCATION

Education is treated much the same as individual experience which means you have another opportunity to talk about unique projects you worked on, travel abroad programs, etc. Be careful not to just list them but rather tell a story about how these experiences have brought you to be the professional you are today and why you are unique and a thought leader.

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

This should absolutely be completed with an engaging explanation not just of the name of the organization but what you did for them. In a leadership position? Explain some of the specific events or initiatives you completed. These experiences make you more approachable and likeable.

As the nature of volunteer work is to help a person or organization be sure to make the group sound as amazing and important as they are. Take a few lines to help market the group, talk about how the organization changes or enriches people’s lives.

FEATURED SKILLS & ENDORSEMENTS

The new LinkedIn Individual Profile changes how we see featured skills. There is now a summary of your skills from highest with a couple of people associated with the endorsement. As the redesign now only allows for 3 or 4 skills to be featured make sure that your endorsements are consistent with the skills and key messages you want to be known for.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The accomplishments portion is where you sing your own praises but do so with tact. List awards you’ve won, articles you’ve published, presentations or speeches you’ve given but always give mention to the organization that you were part of.

IMAGES

LinkedIn provides an opportunity for you to have your profile picture and a background image. It is important to note that who and on what device a person is viewing your profile will change the shape and layout of your pictures, therefore, it is important to choose a picture that can accommodate all various iterations.

Your profile picture should be a clear, professional headshot or similar in which your face can be clearly seen. It should look like you do now, not like you did 20 years ago and it should exude confidence but also likability.

Your background image should be something that visually reflects your personality or chosen professional but that is not too busy. It is meant to keep the page visually interesting but not distracting so use an image that will add some color to the page without overwhelming it. The background image proportions change depending on how it’s viewed so be sure to have an image that is appropriate both square and rectangular.

 

Author: Rebecca Gutierrez

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