Creating a Perfect Linkedin profile.. step by step!

August – the LinkedIn month! During the past 4 weeks we have shared practical tips on how to improve your LinkedIN profile & social media presence in general. Here are our previous posts:

“Looking for new opportunities…”
A profile picture says more than a 1000 words. What does yours say?
If you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist
The death of the headhunter’s database

If you have followed our tips for the past month, you probably already know that one of the ways of positioning yourself properly is creating a well-thought through, professional profile and consistent online presence. Here a comprehensive guide to creating a Perfect LinkedIN profile!

Start offline:

  • Prepare your LinkedIN profile in a document prior to uploading it.
  • You want to make sure a perfect, proofread, triple-checked version of your profile goes live.

…now to the “filling-out” part field by field from top to bottom.

Your name

  • First Name, then Last Name. NOT the other way around – this mistakes happens more often than you’d like to imagine.
  • If you have a common name, make it less common by e.g. adding your middle name. Don’t have a middle name? Invent an initial. E.g. Sandra Bichl might turn into Sandra M. Bichl. For consistency purposes start using it also in your email signature, etc.
  • No titles in your name. No MBA, PhD, MA, MSc, etc. Exception: Germany, Austria or if it’s really important in terms of your credibility.

Contact info

  • Make sure that your “primary email address” is your business email (under settings). Primary means it’s the only one visible.
  • Add a link to your current company website.

Tagline

  • That is the line BELOW your name and can be edited separately.
  • Update your Tagline so that it is attractive to your target group / audience.

Industry

  • You would be surprise how many people make mistakes in this section. Make sure you choose the correct one: remember that your position doesn’t equal the industry you work in! E.g. If you are a CFO who works in a company that produces and sells snacks: correct industry: FMCG. Wrong industry: finance.

Link to your profile
Personalize it:

  • Good link: https://pl.linkedin.com/in/sandrabichl
  • Bad link: https://pl.linkedin.com/in/sandrabichl/012394/mink/0234 (by default)

You will find more tips on i.a. how to personalize your link here

Photo
Make sure that that your photo meets the following criteria:

  • Homogeneous background.
  • Head & shoulder shoot.
  • Wear something that you would when going to an interview or meeting a very important client.
  • Look directly into the camera.

Background image
No. Do not include it. A picture of a nice landscape will only distract the reader’s attention instead of focusing it on the content of your profile. Exception: if it’s corporate policy.

Connections

  • If your are a CEO (or a Board Member) your target is to have min. 500. If you are manager with at least 10 years of experience, you should have min. 200 contacts.
  • Don’t want others (e.g. competitors) to see who you know? Go to Privacy & Settings → “Select who can see your connections” → “Only you”.

Profile summary
A unique professional summary – this is where and how you can set yourself aside. Personalize it!

How do you know if your profile summary is good enough? Imagine that somebody visits your LinkedIN profile and says, “Oh, I like that summary. I will use it myself!”. If they can go ahead and simply copy-paste it to their own profiles with only 2-3 minor changes, then you know that profile is not unique enough.

Avoid using too many descriptive words (e.g. successful, motivated, etc.) and be concrete – give examples of your successes, include numbers.

The profile summary is the first thing your target group will read. It is the trailer of a movie.

Experience

  • Do NOT “copy/paste” your CV!
  • Batch positions within a company where appropriate to avoid a “jumper”-impression.
  • Show the last 7-10 years, in some cases 15 years.
  • Do not publish sensitive / confidential data.
  • Be consistent in how you describe positions, e.g. 3 lines per entry.

Languages
Add only language skills that you can work in.

Groups

  • Choose groups that confirm your expertise.
  • Hide (don’t delete) groups that are not relevant.

Other sections

  • Projects: keep empty (exceptions may apply).
  • Honors & Awards: relevant and from the last 5-7 years, unless it is something really worth mentioning.
  • Organizations: relevant memberships, incl. board memberships.
  • Education: Studies, important trainings; NOT high school; feel free to ignore this section if divulging your age would be disadvantageous.
  • Publications: include articles, books, media mentions.
  • Recommendations: do it well or don’t do it at all. Either decide not to have any or do it right: recommend others and ask for recommendations. Important: don’t lie and only recommend people you would actually recommend. Headhunters have started to verify them!

Go online

  • Now that you have prepared your profile “on paper”, proofread it.
  • Triple-check grammar, punctuation, spelling.
  • Un-select the “share with network” option: Go to Privacy & Settings → Turn on/off your activity broadcasts. By selecting this option, your activity updates will be shared in your activity feed. Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies

Note: You may want to turn this option off, if you’re looking for a job and don’t want your present employer to see that you’re updating your profile.

Do you have a professional, flawless profile? Not sure? Feel free to request a complimentary LinkedIn Report, with feedback on all your sections systematically. Just send an email to Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu (Subject: LI Report) and add the link to your profile.

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