In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive online presence. LinkedIn is the best place to start because it’s a professional network that’s often looked at by recruiters in search of suitable candidates, as well as in support of an application that they submit. Unfortunately, the biggest mistake people make when writing up their LinkedIn profile is to repeat information from your CV.
Why have a LinkedIn profile?
While your Executive CV tells potential employers why you’re a good candidate, your LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to show it. You can expand upon points mentioned in your CV. LinkedIn allows you to demonstrate your experience in the industry by sharing your views on relevant topics and participating in peer group discussions.
Your LinkedIn profile also provides you with a venue to take part in discussions other than your current business involvement. This way, the depth of your expertise in the industry, as well as the breadth of your interests, becomes apparent.
Steps to create a professional LinkedIn profile
If your LinkedIn profile is out-of-date, sparse, or even absent, it tells recruiters that you aren’t looking to advance, not detail-oriented, or out of sync with the times. Invest time and effort in updating and upgrading your online presence. There are many different ways to build your LinkedIn profile so seek the opinions and suggestions of those with expertise in this field. Remember that you’re creating your personal branding. Think about what you’d want to highlight in your CV and what you’d want your audience to know about you.
Add a professional photo
Include a current professional photo of yourself. People who want to know you want to see the person behind your LinkedIn profile. Your photo should project the image you want to your target audience. Wear clothes and accessories executives in the position that you want to attain wear. Also, don’t forget to smile. A pleasant, genuine smile makes you come across as friendly and approachable, which is what people like.
Match your headline and title with your CV
Make sure that your name and title in the profile matches the information in your CV. Use your networking contact information. You would want instant recognition by the recruiters and employers looking for you in LinkedIn, but you would not want to take their calls at your workplace.
Don’t be afraid to describe yourself
In updating your LinkedIn profile, use descriptive words when writing about who you are now and what you do now. Use words that your target audience understands. You do not want to confuse your readers with fancy titles or complicated explanations since it doesn’t make you look more important. It only confuses and distances people.
Share your thoughts
LinkedIn provides space for you to post your blog where you can give fresh updates that are relevant to your target audience. Here you can showcase your interests, expertise, and experience. With a targeted promotional strategy, you can attract your target audience to your regular posts where they can read about your projects and activities. This way, they get to know you as a person and become interested in what you do.
Here are a few suggestions you’re thinking of what to write about in your LinkedIn profile:
- Answer questions your target audience is asking online and help solve the problems. You can find these on online forums, and even in your LinkedIn feed.
- Search industry websites and publications for popular articles that your target audience are interested in, and share your thoughts about these topics.
- Provide your insight on current industry events and what it means for your target audience.
- Write about projects outside your industry that you are currently involved in, and why this is interesting or relevant. Examples of these could be volunteer works that you are doing and other points of interest. These would highlight your soft skills as well as how you can relate to others in different work environments. Employers love that!
Use relevant keywords
Beyond having a complete LinkedIn profile, it is also important to use appropriate industry keywords throughout your text. LinkedIn is a platform regularly used by recruiters to potentially source candidates, as well as other people in the industry with whom you could network. Your profile should be able to arouse the interest of people and get them to contact you with potential opportunities. Make sure you will be easy to find. Make sure your contact information is complete and accurate.
Expand your network
It is vital to build a professional network before you are job seeking and to take the time contribute to the community. A reliable network extends your reach immensely, and can only improve your overall career trajectory. If you become complacent and only focus on building a professional network when you already need to call upon it, the work involved will be overwhelming. But if you take some time each week to introduce yourself to new contacts and to offer something of value (your time or your expertise), that network will be primed to assist you when the time comes.
While LinkedIn doesn’t entirely replace the need for face-to-face interaction with people in your professional network, it can extend and improve upon those relationships. Professionals will often want to connect with you online after having met in person, so an excellent profile can build upon the relationship, as well as make it very easy for people to contact you in the future. It also allows for connections with people that you can’t meet in person for one reason or another, typically geography. By taking advantage of this tool, you can easily keep pace with industry developments worldwide.
We highly recommend that you incorporate a strategy for incorporating your LinkedIn profile into your overall executive career plan. In as little as ten minutes per day, your time investment could pay incredible dividends in the form of your dream job.