In case you still consider your CV to be the golden tool to promote you professionally, I must tell you that you're slightly out of fashion... :) But that's ok! This is one fashion item you can quickly adapt to, because it suits everyone.
"If you don't have a LinkedIn profile that correctly reflects your professional brand, you need to get to it right NOW".
Even if you're not looking for a new job or new clients. You know why? Because opportunities don't always come knocking when you expect them. So why not be prepared? Here's how you can make your LinkedIn Profile shine your light:
1) Let your profile photo be professional and reflect who you are
Selfies are not a good idea. Have your photo taken by someone who has photography skills. Your clothes, hair, make-up, accessories, etc., should reflect your style in a professional setting for your industry, not what you would wear to a wedding or gala dinner. And most importantly, be yourself!
2) Have a cover photo that expresses your professional identity
Take advantage of your cover photo to further reflect who you are and what you do as a professional. Don't confuse this with a cover photo that you would use on your other social media channels, which are not necessarily linked to your work. Be creative and select a picture that best represents your professional skills and passions.
3) Choose a headline that makes you stand out from the crowd
There could be thousands of professionals on LinkedIn doing similar things as you do. It's important to make your headline reflect what makes you different from everyone else. You must include clear words that represent exactly what you do (in order for people to find you when they type those words in search), and also add something extra that is catchy and makes you unique.
4) Use the summary section to highlight how you add value through what you do
Don't waste this section to simply summarize all your experience. Personalize it as much as possible and let it reflect the different aspects of what makes people value you. Write in the first person, using a friendly tone, and capture the attention of the reader with your best skills and achievements that help others.
5) Use a call to action
What do you ideally want from the person who landed on your profile? Whatever that is, translate it into a call to action at the end of your summary section (ex: invite them to email you, visit your website, join your newsletter, donate to your charity, etc).
6) Present your professional self with a video or slideshow presentation
Use whatever option you feel more comfortable with, and keep it simple. There is no need to feel intimidated by this feature but rather see it as a great opportunity to show others who you are in a visual way. The great news is that you only have to do it once and it will self present you in front of others numerous times!
7) Fill out all the sections
When your profile is complete, not only does it look more elaborate and interesting, it also classifies your profile higher in the search results. Don't forget to also add recommendations from meaningful people worked with you.
8) Use keywords
Use the same keywords that represent what you do and what others are likely to search for into each one of the sections on your profile. This is one more thing that can improve your search ranking,
9) Join groups and discussions
Being active on LinkedIn is a great way to let others know who you are, what you do, and how you think. You can look at it as "LinkedIn Networking". The key here is to keep all discussions respectful and professional, the same as you would in any professional environment.
10) Connect with a lot of people
LinkedIn is a professional network, not a friends network. Don't be afraid to connect with as many people as possible and to extend your network. Add both people whom you can help and people who can help you. Don't be a LinkedIn snob, because it doesn't serve anyone, including you!
Consuela Dezso is a Women's Career Coach, Business Strategist, and Speaker dedicated to empowering professional women who thrive for a meaningful career and life to embrace their skills and passions, share their individuality with the world, and attain happiness and abundance in the process. She holds an MBA in Business Strategy and a Coaching Certification, but most importantly, a passion for "bringing out the best in others."
Have a look at her career transformation programs or book a complimentary strategy call to discuss how she can support you. Download a free copy of her 5-Year Success Planner to build an effective strategy towards your most ambitious career & business goals.