How does a person write a powerful LinkedIn profile when you are an early professional job seeker?
I often hear from young professionals who want to create a POWERFUL LinkedIn profile but because they are just starting out in their career, they are uncertain how to make their profile stand out when they have limited experience. I say, DON’T WORRY! Just because you are just starting out doesn’t mean you must have a dull, boring, and mostly empty LinkedIn profile. What you need to do is approach your LinkedIn profile strategically. Here are 5 tips to help you:
1. Get a Professionally Taken Profile Pic
You are who you say you are and a picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your profile picture depicts a savvy, on the ball professional by having a real photographer take it. You want to come across as friendly, approachable, well-adjusted and confident.
Aim for a profile picture that looks like this:
Avoid a profile picture that looks like this:
I know, you are young and just starting out… who can afford a professionally taken profile picture?You can do it. Think of it as an investment in your future. Shop around and you will find there are photographers out there that don’t cost a fortune and they even may be willing to give you a student / young whippersnapper discount. The typical cost of a business headshot is somewhere around $100.00 – $500.00. Let’s split it and say 250— that’s about 35 beers. Choose water and before you know it, you’ll have the money you need to hire a photographer.
2. FIND YOUR KEYWORDS! A POWERFUL LinkedIn profile is a profile that can easily be found by your target audience. So the first question you need to ask yourself is… WHY ARE YOU ON LINKEDIN? What is it that you want to get out of this network?
Answers might be:
To find a job
To enhance my credibility and branding
To sell my products and services
Now that you know why you are on LinkedIn, who is your target audience?
If you are looking for a job, the answer would be recruiters, hiring managers, or HR professionals. If you are looking to enhance your personal brand, the answer may be employers, colleagues, or clients. If you are looking to sell products and services, the answer may be prospective clients or current customers.
So now you know your target audience… how might they be trying to find YOU? LinkedIn is a database of professionals, for professionals. People are querying this database looking for you… the trouble is, they don’t always know your name. Without your name, they will use keywords to find you. Keywords that describe you. What are your strengths, skillsets, core competencies? What are the solutions you offer? Dynamic, problem solver, caring, and professional ARE NOT KEYWORDS! You need to get very specific. Think in terms of job titles, skillsets, applications you know, methodologies, etc…
Example: Account Manager, Salesperson, New Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Solution Selling, Technology Sales, Salesforce.com, CRM, Prospecting, Closing, Cold Calling, Social Media, etc…
Once you have your keywords, make sure you sprinkle them through your profile. You can’t be found for words that don’t exist on your profile. Use these keywords organically… this means don’t just list them but work them into sentences. We’ll get into using actual sentences in tip #5.
By adding keywords you are ensuring that your profile will be found by your target audience.