LinkedIn: five tips to start improving your profile

Is LinkedIn yet another thing on your “must do more of” list? As a business owner, that list never gets any shorter.

So here’s an idea, hardly revolutionary of course: work on improving your profile little by little.

In the first of a series of occasional blogs about LinkedIn, here are a few things to think about and act upon. The goal? Gradually to create a profile you’re proud of.

That, in turn, will likely mean that you’ll start to engage more on LinkedIn. Dive in, give it a go!

  1. Headshot: A high-resolution photo taken by a professional… why wouldn’t you? People in your existing networks will have a recommendation for you. You may even want to ask on LinkedIn…
    If that professional photo’s missing from your profile, chances are you’ll already want to engage more on LinkedIn once it’s there.

    Investing in a professional headshot: money well spent

    pixel2013 on Pixabay

  2. Headline field beneath your name: It’s the ideal place to summarise how you help your clients; or your style of working with colleagues. Think of putting those 100+ characters to good LinkedIn use as kerb appeal if you will. (A blog by TheProfile.Company has some useful details about this very thing.)
  3. Customise your LinkedIn URL: You may have a URL (the address of a web page, e.g. this is mine) that includes numbers. It’s easy to clean this up, helping you to “enhance your personal brand,” as LinkedIn puts it.
    While you’re in the “Edit public profile URL” option, you may also want to change who’s able to see your public profile: there are four levels, from just your connections to public.

    LinkedIn: tips to gradually improve your profile

    PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

  4. Initiatives *and* teamwork: When you’re summarising* a previous role, it’s great to highlight what initiatives you took to “add value”. However teamwork is also worth giving its proper place. Collaboration always gets my vote, and I’m hardly alone in admiring that trait in others.
    (*Key word: less is more…)
  5. Share *after* the edit: If you’re giving your LinkedIn profile a revamp, chances are you don’t want your connections to be informed of every tiny change. So you may want to switch “Share profile changes” to no. One swipe left, it’s done.

This blog is by no means exhaustive, intentionally so.

I hope it will allow you to be on your way to having a profile that you’re proud to stand behind, as a client of mine put it recently. (We worked together to improve his LinkedIn profile, which he felt didn’t reflect a busy few years at work. We then explored the best ways — that suited him, not someone else — to engage more on LinkedIn.)

This is the first of a series of occasional blogs about LinkedIn. I’ll be really interested to read your comments, so my call to action follows.

(A suggestion: include one of these in every blog. Then when you get a comment, reply to each and every one.

If you’re posting daily on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to include a call to action there too.

Just like the #BOWRivoli workshops I have put on at Rivoli Meeting Room in Ladywell, south London this blog is a “should-free” zone, so the suggestion ends here.)

A version of this article features in the Jan 2019 edition of SE22, a community magazine in East Dulwich.

*What successes have you had on LinkedIn? What about your frustrations?
Please add a comment below. Many thanks!*

LinkedIn: tips for creating a profile to stand behind

Annie Spratt on Unsplash

16 comments on “LinkedIn: five tips to start improving your profile

  1. Helen Jermyn on

    Excellent tips! I certainly agree about the headshot taken by a professional 🙂 Those selfie shots taken on a webcam or of you relaxing with a beer on holiday are all well and good but maybe LinkedIn isn’t the place for them!

    • Brian McGee on

      Many thanks Helen. Yes, investing in a headshot is money very well spent. Not least as you can also use it on your other social media profiles, including creating a “gravatar” so that your photo appears in comments you leave on other websites. (Thanks a lot, White Heat Design, for helping me with that.)

  2. Nicolina Andall on

    Very good tips Brian – all of which I have implemented over the years. People underestimate the power of LinkedIn… people do read it and do follow it. If you combine a powerful LinkedIn profile with a strong website – your sales and marketing is done for you before the client’s first telephone call. Go for it!

    • Brian McGee on

      Thanks a lot, Nicolina. Yes, I agree that a LinkedIn profile that you’re happy with goes hand in hand with a high-quality website. Posting regularly on other social media with links to both your LinkedIn and website? I’m all for that too!

  3. belinda o'grady on

    Interesting example of a profile pic! Seriously though, yes I think this is so important. People want to see who they are interacting with. How many times do we pass by a Twitter profile with just an egg? Professional photos are the way to go; even a sensible pic of your profile is better than not having anything.

    • Brian McGee on

      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, Belinda. Yes, investing in a professional headshot is money well spent. The gift (to our “personal brand”) that keeps on giving! There are some useful reminders here:

  4. Rich Hampson on

    Great article Brian! Good to see you covered the profile picture point as well as the text content. I find the profile picture is much like a shop front – you need it to represent how professional you are, otherwise people pass on by and go elsewhere. LinkedIn and the rest of the internet is no different!

    • Brian McGee on

      Many thanks for your comment Rich. Yes, images (including a head shot taken by a professional photographer, ideally) are really important. I encourage my consultancy clients to include images and video in their social media posts. Using video is one of my 2018 targets. Blog to follow…

  5. Steve on

    Fantastic tips here Brian – I’ve also started making some changes to my own profile. Love the final point about sharing the updates AFTER you complete them too 😉

    • Brian McGee on

      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, Steve. Great to hear that this blog has inspired you to update your LinkedIn profile. A process that never ends… !


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