There was a time not so long ago that I constantly updated my Facebook profile. Every trip, birthday and new apple product unboxing (I’m cringing as I write that) was faithfully captured with photos, tags and comments. Every new feature was quickly learned and implemented. Profile pictures matched the cover photo in context and size (It’s pretty hard to sync a profile picture with the cover photo background…. but not impossible!)
The fad died when my mom surpassed my Facebooking skills, leaving me with a giant hole in my social media needs. Enter LinkedIn. It’s just like Facebook, only useful! Recently I made it my goal to attack my LinkedIn profile and move it from Beginner to All-Star, and it turns out there a few simple steps that can really elevate your LinkedIn profile and move it to All-Star status. Below are 5 tips you can use right now to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level.
1. Your profile picture still matters - but in a completely different way
Here’s the first major difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. A cropped photo from your best friend’s wedding party while wearing the sombrero from the photo booth is not going to cut it. If you can manage a professional headshot, by all means now is the time. However, a nice business suit and a clean well-lit background can do just fine. But please find a friend to take the picture. Selfies are not welcome! If you want to be thought of as professional, you need to look professional.
2. Status updates help get you noticed
Here are some transferrable Facebook skills. Status updates are an easy and fairly underused feature. Try to avoid plain text updates. Pasting a link will draw in the underlying graphics from the page you are trying to share. According to LinkedIn itself, 6 out of every 10 users are interested in industry insights. Couple that with the fact that 25% of your users see your updates. Soon enough you’ll have 500+ connections, so that makes 125 people reading your status updates! This keeps you top of mind, and that can really come in handy when you need to reach out to your connections for business.
3. We live in the future!
So add some fancy moving pictures to your profile
Your work history may indeed be captivating, but your homepage can be enhanced greatly with more varied content. You can quickly upload links to Youtube, PDF whitepapers and, obviously, photos from team events and onsite visits. Infographics are also a great way of presenting eye-catching information in a quickly digestible size (Canva.com is a great resource with many free options). It not only looks more professional and technologically-savvy, it really helps your profile to stand out.
4. Skills & Endorsements
The goal of this section is to list out skills you should be known for. Try to avoid broad generalizations like “Sales” or “Management”. Be as specific as possible. This will help the LinkedIn algorithm find you when users are searching for potential clients or job candidates. The default location for this section is at the bottom. Move it up higher! Not all the way, though. Under your summary is a nice sweet spot. Finally, endorsing other people is a good way to entice others to do the same for you.
5. Connect, connect and connect some more
If you want to be a LinkedIn All-Star, 200 connections aren’t going to cut it. That means you have to get adding. On Facebook, you might “forget” to add your annoying 2nd cousin on your dad’s side, but on LinkedIn they might be a Director of Sales with a huge cache of connections. The same goes for people you meet while out networking. If you’re not at 500+ connections on LinkedIn already, then that is your goal. Add everyone you meet at events and don’t be picky. This doesn’t mean you have to invite all of them out for coffee, but definitely add them to your network.
LinkedIn has gone to great lengths over the years to create one of the most feature rich social networking sites, so this is a short list of what’s possible. But you’ll notice an immediate improvement to your usage statistics simply by following these points. A professional photo, exciting visual content on your profile, industry-relevant status updates, lots of endorsed skills and 500+ connections will go a long way to helping you become a LinkedIn All-Star. There’s definitely some more that can be done, but I’ll just have to ask my mom what to do next.