LinkedIn: Where To Start (Again)

I have spoken to lots of folks lately about LinkedIn. Most people don’t know what to do with it and, especially, how to maximize it. And we all have to start somewhere. So, why not look at your own profile with fresh eyes and update *your* look?

Here is where to start:

Your profile image. Ok, so this one is my biggest pet peeves. For whatever reason, it really makes my blood boil to see someone using an unprofessional image or, worse, no image.holdbarhet nespresso kapsler
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Unprofessional images include selfies, cropped wedding photos, uncropped photos showing other people, a casual background, or at worst- and this is a real-life example of someone I actually know- the shower curtain complete with hooks behind you.

Blurry Image of a Woman

The reason that no image is bad is that it makes you look like a bot or spammer. It just doesn’t look legitimate.  Also, if I am meeting someone for the first or second time, I use LinkedIn to remind me of what they look like so I can spot them in an office or coffee shop.

Invest in a photoshoot with a photographer. While most photographers do not specialize in business photos, they do specialize in high school senior portraits which means that they have backdrops and the know-how for a good-looking headshot. I use a St. Paul professional photographer for most of my professional images, Jeannine Pohl at Block Studios. If your budget doesn’t support this, at least get a photo at JC Penny Portraits or something similar. JC Penny Portraits has coupons on its website for photo sessions.  And for the ladies- contact your local Ulta store. A few years ago, I spotted an offer for Smashbox cosmetics when I was in the store. I scheduled myself a slot at their Smashbox makeover event and, for buying $75 of Smashbox product at the makeover, I got a photoshoot and photos by a celebrity photographer! I have seen similar promotions run since with other brands and have even participated in another Smashbox event- bringing my husband!  He got professional photos for his LinkedIn profile and I got twice the voucher for cosmetics.   A marketing expense that gets you makeup? You can’t beat it.

Copy and pasting your resume to your profile. As I said, this is a place to START. For some of you, this won’t apply.  This is for those of you who have just created or are about to create an account.

Most people have their resume in a Word document. Simply copy and paste what you already have done to the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile.  If you need help copying and pasting, message me and I’ll walk you through it. We’ll worry about customizing it in another post.

Define your objective. Is your objective to have your profile picked up by headhunters, human resource professionals, or recruiters? Or is your objective to stay connected to your B2B contacts? Or maybe it is to establish credibility in your field. Or all of the above. And there are other objectives as well. Once you know what you would like LinkedIn to do for you, you can gear your profile to support that. For example, if you are looking to establish credibility in your field, you might want to stand out. In that case, you would use a more bold approach. If you are looking to be attractive to a large corporation in your field, you would focus on a more formal profile utilizing keywords for their computer algorithms to find you.

Your headline. This is where your objective first comes into play. And no matter what your objective is, you *do* want to stand out in such a way that attracts the kind of attention that you are looking for.

I work with a realtor, Jessie Bryan. I don’t know about you, but I know at least a dozen realtors in my area. Maybe more. In any case, her LinkedIn profile was set up with a decent photo and what seemed like a copied and pasted resume. No more than that. Just like most of the other realtors. Out of interviewing her, I found out that she is also an active vocalist in the local music scene and she also has her real estate license in Florida. These are the types of things that can have someone choose to reach out to her than to Sally Generic Realtor. Take a look at her headline and photos now:

Like I said, this is an easy place to start. That’s what I am all about- making it easy for busy professionals to know where to put their resources and, in some cases, doing the work for them. Next time I’ll cover revisiting that profile photo, background images, creating your summary, customizing the rest of your profile to your objective, and making it easy to link your LinkedIn profile to your Facebook posts.

Ciao for Now!

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