Personal branding is extremely important. But how often do we actually schedule time to work on it? We all have too much on our plate to think about how we are represented online - sometimes it can seem difficult to market ourselves. However, neglecting our own personal branding doesn't just cause us to sell ourselves short - we also miss out on opportunities.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to share your experience, skills and qualifications with potential employers as well as build and interact with your network and grow your personal brand.
Here are some tips for improving your LinkedIn profile and making it stand out from the virtual crowd:
Visualise the top of your page
Start by uploading your profile and cover photo. You’d be surprised by how many people are missing those two first elements any person will see when viewing your profile.
Make sure your profile photo is appropriate too – it doesn’t need to be taken by a professional photographer – simply choose a photo where you look presentable and happy. We want others to perceive you as approachable and professional, so avoid those “night out” photos and choose an appropriate one.
The same goes for your LinkedIn cover photo, make sure it is appropriate to your profile and content. Most companies will provide you with a professional banner that will represent their brand, however, don’t be afraid to make one that’s exciting and showcase your personality if you’re looking for a new role. Remember, your banner will set you apart from others and make your profile stand out.
Create your own URL
LinkedIn automatically assigns you a string of numbers as a URL when you create a profile. Make sure you add your own personal touch so that your profile is easy to share and be easily recognisable to other professionals who are searching for you.
Simply go to your profile, click ‘edit public profile & URL’, then click ‘edit’ under the ‘edit URL’ section, choose your desired URL and save your changes.
Complete your profile
It may seem like the simplest part of making your LinkedIn profile stand out, but it is crucial to make sure that every section is filled out. With LinkedIn's algorithm, users with complete profiles are far more likely to appear on search results and you will have a better chance of being found by the right people.
List your relevant skills
There's no easier way to get ahead on LinkedIn than to scroll through the list of skills and identify the ones relevant to you. Your colleagues or other professionals can then endorse your top skills, which will serve as proof of your abilities and increase your credibility.
The list of skills you have however should not include things that aren't really core to who you are and what you do, as it can begin to feel unwieldy. Keep your skills list up to date by taking some time to spring clean once in a while.
Show off your certificates, media and any work that you’re proud of
In both your "experience" and "featured" sections, you can add links, images, videos, and files. Make use of this by including links to your company's website, projects you've worked on, articles or reports published, and anything else you wish to make accessible to your network. Doing so will add that additional 'wow' factor that most other profiles are missing.
Taking LinkedIn Learning courses is a great way to earn new certificates. Sharing them will show employers that you are someone who is constantly striving for growth. Upon completion of the course, you will have the chance to add a certificate to your LinkedIn profile and download a file to share on your ‘’featured’’ section.
Grow your network
There's nothing like LinkedIn when it comes to networking. Taking advantage of your existing connections is the best way to build an online network. But don’t be afraid to connect with people you don't know, who might be able to help you grow professionally, and people who work in your field or for companies you’re interested in working at one day.
Your LinkedIn profile can also be synced with your email address book, which is one of the easiest and yet most effective ways of growing your network. If you do this, LinkedIn will suggest connections for you to make.
Follow influencers in your field
It's helpful to follow relevant influencers on LinkedIn to get a selection of interesting content in your feed, which you can share with others when you think it's valuable. You can also use it to give context to your LinkedIn profile, showing your passion for your field of work.
Stay active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social network. Despite being different from some other social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, it is a useful tool to share your interests and professionalism with other like-minded people. To make the most of your profile, it is important to post your own updates and participate in forums and discussions that interest you. Keeping active is a great way to show up in your connections feed! Like and comment on posts that your network shares.
Be an advocate for your own company
You can enhance your own profile with the marketing material of the company you work for. Share their content that is relevant to your profile or work and let your connections see that you are enthusiastic about your company. This will also allow any potential future employers or clients to see that you’re actively supporting the company you work for.
Following these steps will help you get more from your LinkedIn profile. A strong profile can open the door to new opportunities, build relationships, and get you thinking differently about your future.
If you need help in finding a new career or would like some expert advice about finding the right role for you, please reach out to one of our recruitment consultants today.