A little while ago LinkedIn made a few changes that resulted in most of us having a moan. But, now that the changes to LinkedIn’s interface have settled down, how many of us have gone back and looked at how our profiles appear in their new state?
How appealing is your LinkedIn profile?
I started this article thinking I would discuss writing your LinkedIn summary and how to approach it. Looking at my own profile, I realised there were a few key things that I should also encourage you to check, so before I leap into a how-to on writing your summary, here are a few things for you to check on your personal profile:
- If you uploaded an image for your profile header previously, how is it looking now? We have seen several people that needed to reposition theirs, these so take a look. Check different screens, desktop and mobile. Do you need a change? If you need to rethink your image (or if you need to add one for the first time) we recommend using photographic images or repeating patterns – Avoid text.
- Did you attach media to your profile previously? If you did, and it was placed under your summary, it’s worth noting it is now less prominent. Is the media still relevant or is an update required? Make sure you have added some media under your experience section, as this area is where this information is now most prominent on your profile. I would not double up on the content – so think what makes most sense where, and use the opportunity to showcase your videos, PDFs, and presentations.
- How many sessions do you currently have open? Each time you log in to LinkedIn a session begins and doesn’t end until you log out. Protect your LinkedIn account by remembering to log out, and by regularly checking and closing any sessions that have been left open – look out for sessions that are open that you don’t recognise too. If you’re logged in somewhere suspicious, then close the session and change your password. Here’s the link so you can see how many sessions you currently have open. https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/sessions
- Have you given permission to third party applications to use your LinkedIn profile? Perhaps you signed up for something that was a LinkedIn tool that you then didn’t ever follow up with? Look at this link and revoke access to any applications you don’t recognise. https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/third-party-applications
- Work through your privacy settings.
a. If someone is viewing your profile without being logged in you can control what can be seen.
b. Who can see who you’re connected to? By making sure ‘who can see your connections’ is set to ‘only you’, you’ll keep your connections private. However, be aware that mutual connections will be visible to your profile visitors.
c. When looking at a profile, LinkedIn suggests other people you might like to view, these could be co-workers, or they could be competitors! You have the option of turning off ‘Viewers also viewed’. If a prospect is looking at your profile, don’t tempt them to look elsewhere.
Your summary, in my opinion, should cover three angles:
- Your hook
Think of it as an elevator pitch. A short paragraph to get your readers' attention. The first two lines are shown on your profile then your readers will need to click to read more. Give them a reason to click and a reason to read!
- Your sell
Think of this as your paragraph two. What does your business do, how does it help? What makes your business unique? Include that here.
Remember people buy from people. Show us who you are here. Of all the other people on LinkedIn I could reach out to, what makes you so special? Whether it’s something you say or the tone you use – this is your opportunity to give me a taste of your personality and ethos. Depending on your business, this could be light-hearted, professional, or it could be more corporate. Whatever your approach – make it you.
When I’m talking to clients who have no summary at all, I always suggest they approach it as three paragraphs using the format above. Just remember that you need to include keywords (without over stuffing – keep it readable) and that you have a maximum of 2000 characters including spaces. As time goes on you can update your summary, making it more relevant and more ‘you’. Remember to review it regularly.
Your profile picture
Just as a final note, and this is where the title comes in… Don’t forget your profile picture! This isn’t an online dating profile. It isn’t Facebook. So choose an image that represents you professionally. A headshot is ideal, one where we can see your face! It sounds obvious, doesn’t it! But how many times have you landed on a LinkedIn profile to find no image, or had to wonder which of the two or three people in the picture you’ll be talking too? If I’m looking at two profiles (one that has a profile photo and one that does not) and I’m deciding to reach out to one, it will always be the one with the photo I’ll be drawn to.
Make sure it's optimised
Your LinkedIn profile needs to be optimised so that it can work for you; it should look good and read well. You might think of it as just an online CV, but it is far more than that.
Remember that song ‘Hey good looking – what you got cooking?’ – think of it as ‘How attractive are you on LinkedIn? – What are you communicating to your prospects?’