LinkedIn is a social media platform that professionals use to expand their contact networks, advance their careers and launch new business endeavors. Your LinkedIn profile is extremely important because it is the first impression you make on people who could help your business or your career. That is why it is critically important to write a great LinkedIn summary that will make people want to know more about you and become part of your network.
Do Not Treat Your LinkedIn Profile Like Your Resume
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your LinkedIn profile is cutting and pasting in information from your resume. A resume’s purpose is to offer a representation of your qualifications in a format that will be appealing to as many people as possible. Your LinkedIn profile should offer a glimpse into your personality and an idea as to how you do business.
For example, you can present your professional information on LinkedIn but using a format that emulates the way you speak. When you write your profile, imagine you are standing at a casual corporate function and explaining what you do to someone you have just met. Use that same casual, yet professional, tone in your LinkedIn profile.
Use A Good Head Shot
When you set up a profile on Facebook, you may decide to use that funny picture you have of yourself wearing an old farmer’s hat and sitting on a horse. But when it comes to LinkedIn, you are going to want to present a much more professional image.
Whenever you post anything on LinkedIn, always keep that idea of the first impression in mind. It would be worth it to invest in having a professional take your head shots and choose the best one for your LinkedIn profile. You want to show your personality on LinkedIn, but you also want to show that you take yourself seriously.
Put Some SEO In Your Experiences Section
If you are an attorney, then make sure you include a few attorney-related SEO terms in your experiences section. Your experiences section needs to be filled with pertinent information about your career to make it easier for search engines to find your profile, and to let people know what you have done in your career.
You can pick a choose your experiences for your LinkedIn profile, so be as impressive as you can. But it is also important to include those seemingly mundane experiences as well, just to let people know that you understand the hard work involved in your career.
Remember To Customize Your LinkedIn URL
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn allows you to take your generic looking URL and customize it. This is your chance to have your name appear in Google search results and to help attract people to your profile from within LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn profiles manage to get some pretty good exposure on the major search engines, so you should take the time to create a customized URL that gets you the most exposure.
Include Professional Contact Information
It is important to remember that the information you put on your LinkedIn profile goes all over the Internet, so do not include any information you do not want people to have. For example, you should get a PO box and put that as your mailing address on your LinkedIn profile. This allows you to receive professional mail and protect your home address at the same time.
When it comes to your email, always include a professional looking email address. If you have been using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org for a few years, then it is time for a new address. Get one with a reliable service and use your first and last name as part of your address.
Write An Interesting Summary
Your summary should not only put your personality on display, but it should be something that people want to read. If you have a professional accomplishment that stands out as extremely impressive, then start off your summary by talking about that accomplishment. Did you ever meet a famous CEO? Then tell that story as well.
Always remember that your summary has to help people to understand why they would want to hire you or do business with you. This is where you can put in some of your business ethics beliefs and explain why you made some of the more critical business decisions in your career. Your summary is your chance to shine, so don’t let it pass you by.
Give Them A Reason To Contact You
When you end your summary, you need to use a tactic called a “call to action.” This is where you reiterate your contact information and give people a reason to add you to their network or send you a message right now. If you are hiring people, then create urgency by telling prospective employees that they need to get in touch with you immediately. If your summary is engaging, then your call to action will be that much more effective.
And Don’t Forget The Headline
When you look at your LinkedIn profile, you will notice a headline directly under your name. That headline is one of the first things people see when browsing your profile and, like any other headline, it must get their attention to be effective.
A good headline highlights who you are and what you do. If you sell home appliances, then a headline such as “Best home appliance sales professional in the Midwest” would work very well. Once again, you can have a little personality so long as you keep everything professional.
LinkedIn is the social networking platform for professionals who want to find the right people for whatever their next project may be. Your LinkedIn profile is extremely important, so spend some time getting it just right before you publish it.
You should write a few drafts of your summary and get input from colleagues before you consider your LinkedIn profile to be complete. Take the time to create just the right LinkedIn profile and you will be rewarded with the network of professional contacts you need.