People think of brands in terms of products or companies, forgetting that individuals need branding too. From fresh graduates to C-suite executives, everyone has been “searched for” on the Internet at some point in time. And guess what might have popped up as one of the top results? Your LinkedIn profile.
Hopefully, no drunk photos will turn up when you Google your name! (Source: Google)
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 645 million users in over 200 countries. If you’re a working professional, and you don’t use it often enough, you should reconsider your approach to creating a personal brand that might land you opportunities, if you play your cards right. You might just clinch an interview, get a job placement at your dream company, or land an important business partnership, and all from just a solid LinkedIn profile.
But before you can dream of lucrative deals and profitable partnerships, you need to put in actual work and build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn by amping it up with style and substance.
Images are worth a thousand words
First impressions are everything. Be sure to use a professional profile photo with an appropriate background – keep the jazzy filters and artistic photoshoots for social media. You’re trying to come across as credible, not be hired for your aesthetic (unless of course, you are in a creative line of work).
You could use either a candid shot of yourself speaking at an event, or feature artwork designed by you, for your clients.
When you have 22 million followers and too many photos to choose from, how about a neat photo collage? (Source: LinkedIn)
Next, consider your successes and experience, and distill that into a distinctive profile headline that highlights the essence of what you do.
So, how did you get famous? (Source: LinkedIn)
While the profile headline should be as succinct as possible, use the summary section to truthfully tell your story and let your personality shine through. Keep updating the experience section, as you acquire a new skill or celebrate new achievements. Include links to articles, presentations and videos showcasing your work. Buzzwords are not your friend, especially if you’re trying to stand out from all the “highly experienced team players” on LinkedIn.
To give your credibility a further boost, add relevant licenses and certifications that you possess, and request for skill endorsements and recommendations from your bosses, colleagues and clients.
To boost your professional street cred, add relevant licenses and certificates for skills you possess. While you can request for skill endorsements and recommendations from your bosses or clients, it’s always nicer if they were to do voluntarily.
He’s the boss for a reason! PM if you need PR or content marketing counsel. (Source: LinkedIn)
Add a final flourish by means of a customised URL for your LinkedIn profile. This is not the best time to show off your creative writing skills – keep the URL short and snappy so people can either remember it or reach out to you easily.
This article is the first in the three-part series about personal branding on LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more! And if you need help crafting a strong LinkedIn person which will help you stand out – say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org