If you’ve heard me speak on the topic of LinkedIn, then you’ll have had a chuckle to yourself when you’ve heard me explain ‘LinkedInitis’. It’s a term I affectionately use to describe a condition where people know they should spend more time on LinkedIn, but are not really sure what to do when they get there. I find that this holds many people back from using LinkedIn more strategically to help them achieve their business and career goals.
I’ll often have people who’ve just met me say ‘please don’t look at my profile yet’ as they acknowledge they have not invested time into updating their profile in a way that they feel represents them well.
This may be because they are too busy OR they are just not sure how to do this properly.
Is my LinkedIn Profile like a resume?
Is my LinkedIn Profile like a sales pitch?
Sort of, but being salesy is a bit sleazy.
What is my LinkedIn Profile for then? I am confused!
Whether you are in business or thinking about your next career move, LinkedIn is often the first place people will research to learn more about you, what you know and who you know.
I like to view my LinkedIn Profile as my 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online ambassador. When people hear my name mentioned and they begin an online search with ‘Karen Hollenbach’, I want to influence what they can find out about me online!
LinkedIn’s sheer size, number of members and frequency of activity means that I can leverage this to ‘get found’ when people are researching me, my skills, my services or my business online.
When people come across my LinkedIn Profile, I want to be confident I’m putting my best professional foot forward and communicating the right message to potential clients and collaborators who want to find out more about me.
How to Use LinkedIn with Greater Confidence
Whether you are looking for a new job or new clients, or want to help your own clients use LinkedIn more effectively, you probably know you ‘should’ be spending more time on LinkedIn (and reading this article is a great start) but you need to work out how to update your profile properly first.
To help my clients better navigate LinkedIn, I review their LinkedIn Profile with a very handy checklist that considers all the key features of LinkedIn. I’ll make recommendations to help them better leverage LinkedIn for their goals so they can get the most out of updating and optimising (to help get them found online) their LinkedIn Profile. If you’d like to review your own profile you can get this checklist here.
By following my recommendations (or having my team update your LinkedIn Profile for you) you can be confident that the key areas of your LinkedIn Profile will be updated to help you get found online, represent the best version of you and get you one step closer to maximising the power of LinkedIn to find your next job or client.
LinkedIn Profile Health Check List
The 4 key areas I look at when I review a LinkedIn Profile includes:
- Is your LinkedIn profile relevant to your ideal client, current role or desired future roles?
- Does your LinkedIn Profile give me a strong sense of who you are as an individual?
- Does your LinkedIn Profile provide me with enough evidence of your expertise and key focus areas?
- Is your LinkedIn Profile optimised so you will get found online?
Your photo and background image are also critical and reflect your personal brand, which is especially important for business owners and increasingly important for professionals passively or actively considering their next career move.
3 Simple Remedies to Treat LinkedInitis
To help you treat your LinkedInitis, I have provided more details around one of the key elements of my LinkedIn Profile Health Check List to help you assess the health of your LinkedIn Profile. While the quality of your photo is critical, there are also 3 other key areas that influence how well you are presenting yourself on LinkedIn to future clients or employers, including your LinkedIn Profile Summary, your Recommendations and the detail in your Experience.
1. LinkedIn Profile Summary
Your LinkedIn Profile Summary needs to be personable and speak directly to the reader you are trying to influence. Forget your peers and your competitors. Your summary must clearly represent your personal work style and philosophy and state who you are and what you do (or how you help). A call to action for people checking out your profile is also a good idea. Ask yourself ‘What do I want people to do as a result of reading my profile?’
I often see people make the mistake of writing their summary in the third person, using pronouns like he, she, it, or they. Writing in the third person differs from the first person, which uses pronouns such as I and me, and from the second person, which uses pronouns such as you and yours. I recommend you write it in the first person, which means writing from the your point of view or perspective.
Here are the first two paragraphs from my LinkedIn Profile Summary to show you what I mean.
If you are seeking guidance with LinkedIn, social media for business or your role as an emerging leader, I can help. As the founder of Think Bespoke, I lead a collective of experienced content marketing and career planning professionals dedicated to helping Australians achieve their business and career goals.
With a warm, friendly and down to earth approach that encourages new ways of thinking, I enjoy helping individuals and organisations communicate more effectively – online and offline.
The best LinkedIn recommendations are ones that offer specific results or tell a story of transformation. They are just like a client testimonial or job referee and can be a very powerful way to reinforce that you are the professional who potential clients or employers need to meet. Here are step by step instructions from LinkedIn about how to ask for recommendations to add to your LinkedIn Profile.
This section has two roles. The first is search optimisation and the second is the provision of evidence that you can do what you say you can in the summary. For your ideal client or employer you need to be able to clearly articulate the problems you solve and demonstrate key achievements in this area via your experience and key achievement statements. If the organisations you list in your experience have a company page on LinkedIn, make sure this is listed correctly in your profile. These provide people with further explanation of the company, which means you do not have to describe it in any further. I recommend you focus on your accountabilities and the contribution you make / or have made in each role listed in your experience.
Have These Remedies Treated Your LinkedInitis?
If we are not connected, please invite me to connect here and let me know if these insights have provided the remedy you need to treat your LinkedInitis.