After watching an episode of Pimp My Ride on MTV where an old and nearly broken down car was being renovated into a car with a new life and an extremely loud sound system, I recently wondered how I can do the same to my LinkedIn profile. I wanted to make selling myself not sound like a broken record and add a little life to a dull LinkedIn Profile. So I gave myself a homework assignment of fixing my LinkedIn profile and finding what works to become visible and stand out from the rest.
Have you ever wondered how to stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn? Recently, I gave my LinkedIn profile a makeover and have been surprised by the results. Even with a degree in marketing, I too, have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what message is going to connect with my clients or future audience.
Here are 7 LinkedIn makeover tips I have learned:
This is probably the most important part of LinkedIn. It is where someone can make his or her first impressions of you; it is your slogan. Or think of it as an elevator pitch in one line or less. To come up with the best headline for myself, I researched others in the industry to see what they are saying.
If you are in transition or unemployed, here are some example you can use in your headline:
- Experienced sales representative seeking new opportunities
- Open to new opportunities and seeking a career in clothing design
- Marketing professional in transition
Need more ideas for a headline? Look at this example.
To make your headline stand out here are some bullet points or characters you can use:
- Traditional bullets: ●•◆■ ♦ ◊
- Arrows: ☛ ☚ ☜ ☝ ☞ ☟ ⇨ ► ◄ ► »
- Email: ✉ ✍ ✎ ✏ ✑ ⌨
- Phone: ✆ ☎ ☏
- Stars: ★☆ ✪✰✯
- Ticks: ✘✔ ☐☒☑
- Other fun symbols: ☃ ☂ ☁ ☀♥☺♪♫ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ ▌↔ ☠ ♘ ♝
Strike a pose! Uh Oh! You don’t have to be a model but you do need a good photo. A good photo is a balance between professionalism and approachability, making you look good but also real. Here are some suggestions from the professionals:
- Pleasant smile – Make someone feel welcome, show those pearly whites.
- An interesting angle – Try not to do a mug shot but rather a shot that shows confidence such as tilting your head slightly or looking over your shoulder at the camera.
- Dress the part with professional attire – What would you wear to an interview or business meeting? Jeans and t-shirt or business suit?
- Simple background – Colors can alter emotions; blue or green can convey trust and confidence.
- A sign of your personality - Is it your pose? Is it a prop?Think about how to make your photo more memorable.
Here is another interesting observation: To wear glasses or not to wear glasses?
3.) Custom URL
This is part of your branding. Try to have the same name across all social media platforms. If you don’t change the URL, it is just a really long bunch of meaningless words, numbers and slashes that will look really weird on a business card (plus who is going to want to type that long address anyways?). This will also help with search engine optimization when someone is looking for you.
Ready to change your URL on LinkedIn? Here is how to change it: click on “Edit profile,” then, “Public profile.” In the right-hand column, select “Your URL” and type in a URL that actually has something to do with your name or brand name that you have chosen for all the social media platforms.
This is your advertisement and probably the hardest part of a LinkedIn Profile to create. This is your chance to write a cover letter before the resume, a chance to explain your experiences. Demonstrate your passion for your work and tell us what separates you from the world. You can explain what you do for clients and employers, why and how you do it, and your accomplishments. Remember, you are human and you need to make a connection with the human resources department or with a potential client and explain what you can do for them. Let your enthusiasm show with a call to action! Here are some excellent examples.
Add a basic explanation of your roles and responsibilities by emphasizing your successes and by including quantitative results. This section does not need to include every experience. If you had jobs that do not support your present business goals, just put titles and date ranges for those jobs. For more relevant experience, add more detail in the form of bullet points or narratives about your many achievements.
Keywords are important and create a way to help people find you. LinkedIn will suggest specific skills that are the most common based on your experience. If the keywords that LinkedIn picked are relevant to you, then use them. However, to really stand out from the other fish in the pond, use keywords that are used by your customers and clients. This could mean doing some searching on Google and LinkedIn to see what others in your industry are using.
Although most recommendations are solicited, most of us can’t help reading testimonials. Recommendations make you look like a real human with experience and knowledge and with customers, clients and co-workers willing to tell their experience working with you. Besides just having you doing all the talking on LinkedIn, it allows others to leave comments about you and therefore adds a sense of depth to you. Recommendations are like good karma; be the first to write one and chances are good that someone will write one for you.
Need help creating a recommendation? Try this recommendation generator.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any tips for LinkedIn Profiles? Let us know your thoughts.