Introduction

When you’re not looking for a job, it can be easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. Sure, you add people you meet at networking events as contacts and accept requests as they come in, but everything else? 

We've all used the old excuse - "I’ll get to it when I need to"

We totally understand this approach but would strongly counsel against it until you have a profile that allows you to stand out from the crowd!

One that shouts out to recruiters and recruiting organisations - "Hey, look at me, I'm your perfect next hire!"

But how do you do this?  How do you stand out in a network of over 660 million people? 

Below we have compiled everything you need to know—from crafting a stunning summary to selling the value that you can deliver, your accomplishments, projects, and skills—in one place. Read on for expert-backed ways to make your profile seriously shine—and start getting noticed by recruiters. 

Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that you will stand out from the crowd. 

However, it's not as easy as just focusing on completeness. It’s also vitally important that you project yourself in the way that you would wish potential clients/ employers to see you, so when you are crafting your profile, always put yourself in the shoes of the reader - what do they want to see? What would they be looking for?  What will attract them to click on your profile and read further? 

Your Linkedin profile is broken down into a number of elements and we will look at each in more detail;

1. Your Core 'Pitch'

Advertisers call this 'above the line' - the aim being to 'stop' people in their tracks and get them to take action.  

In your case, the first action that you want people to take is, to click on your profile and the immediate next action is, to scroll down and learn more about you.

We will talk about how to get people to click on your profile in a moment, but first, I want to review what people see when they first click through to your profile.

Compare Tony's profile (opposite) to your own - how does it compare?

The five areas highlighted are real opportunities for you to, stop people in their tracks,  grab their attention and get them to read more....  

Linkedin Profile

Headline

This is the most valuable 'real estate' on Linkedin!  Why?  Well, every time your name comes up in a search, your 'headline' also appears.  Every time you comment upon a post, your name and headline appears. Your headline literally follows you around and as such, you need to make sure that yours stands out.

Profile Image

It has been proven time and time again that people are drawn to a smiling face. As such, make sure that your profile image is professional, preferably a head and shoulders shot of you smiling, looking into the camera.   

Profile Banner

This is an area that most people ignore but one that can provide you with another way to get your core message across.  It's best not to be too 'salesy' but you should certainly look to highlight the value that you have and can deliver

Services on Offer

This provides you with the opportunity to be absolutely clear about the type of roles/ opportunities you are interested in - it is an ideal way to project what you can offer 

Existing Employer

Many people use the standard Linkedin Headline "Programme Manager" at "employers name". You don't need to do this, as the employer/ client name can be picked up here, so why waste your prime real estate.

Let's look at the key areas in ore detail....

Your Headline

Take a look at the list opposite. 

Which one stands out the most?  

Which profile would you be most likely to click on first?  

Why is that?

This search was a simple search of everyone called 'Tony Lockwood' but the results are typical.  I would argue that 'our' Tony Lockwood profile is the one that grabs your attention for three reasons;

1. Smiling profile photograph looking directly at you - the second and third profiles are OK but not as attention grabbing as the first one

Linkedin Search Results

2. The Headline starts to highlight the value that Tony delivers - this headline can be improved but more on that later!

3. The Services that Tony provides are highlighted 

On the Profile Picture higher up the page, the Headline is in one of the most prominent places - highly visible, so what should your Headline look like?

During the #TLH Essential series, you will have developed an "elevator pitch' - something like "I deliver xxxx value to yyyy organisations by doing zzz". Such a crafted 'elevator pitch' can easily be adapted to become your headline. In fact in most instances, the 'elevator pitch' will be your headline!   

The rationale for this, as we discussed in the #TLH Essentials series is that this should focus completely on your 'target market' and the value that you can deliver to them.  In this way, when someone from your target market undertakes a search, you are more likely to stand out from the crowd and your profile is more likely to be clicked on.

Your Profile Image

Take a look at the two images opposite and ask yourself which one were you drawn to first?

Why was this?

Most people focus on the 1st image in preference to the 2nd, primarily because of the smile that projects warmth and a welcoming nature.

Now, take a look at the second set of images - which of these were you most drawn to?  

I'd argue that it was probably the second image as there is more direct eye contact with you - am I right?

And now, what's your opinion of the third set of images - which are you attracted to the most?

My expectation is that the right hand version grabs your attention the most.

What can we learn from this?

The key lesson is that as humans, we are attracted to things in a very similar way - that's how marketing works.  As such, you need to take real care in how you project yourself in your profile image - remember it takes one SEC to click through or ignore!

Remember you One SEC - SMILE | EYES | CLOSE UP

Your Profile Banner

All too often, these are ignored and the viewer is presented with the standard 'blue' Linkedin Banner.  This is a big mistake.  Think about it, it's like having the opportunity to place a Bill board at the busiest crossroads where you know all your preferred clients/ employers congregate and deciding to put up a blank sheet!

Instead of ignoring this prime piece of real estate, utilise it to highlight the real value that you deliver to your preferred clients and employers. Use it to position yourself as the 'right' person for them, one that they would be a fool to miss.  

You can create really nice looking banners by going to www.canva.com, signing up for a free version and searching for "Linkedin banners". You'll be presented with hundreds of different styles - choose one that you like and adapt the words to fit with your 'elevator pitch'.

Be careful not to try to include too much information.  In this case, "less is more."  However, try to make it visually impactful and remember to phrase your 'elevator pitch' in the words that will mean something to your desired reader.

Having said all of that, l

The challenge with Linkedin is that it is so big and that is why focused communities such as #TLH complement it so well.

However, by focusing on a small number of activities and implementing these in a systematic, consistent way, you can radically transform the volume and quality of the opportunities that originate from within Linkedin.

The rest of the Linkedin Essentials series goes into more detail on what you should be doing to achieve this.

Linkedin Essentials

What is Linkedin?

How do you view the Linkedin Platform?  Do you exploit its potential to help you gain projects/ employment opportunities?  

The Anatomy of Linkedin

Let's take a tour of the Linkedin platform and clarify how you can gain maximum exposure from each element.

Building Your Linkedin Profile

Don't follow the crowd - stand out from it.  Your Profile is the best way to do this - we will show you how here.

Researching on Linkedin

How do you undertake research on Linkedin? What type of research should you be undertaking and why?

Connecting Strategies

How do you connect with your ideal clients/ prospective employers - there is a proven way that ensures response

Nurturing Your Connections

How do you engage with your ideal clients/ prospective employers that will get them to take action and reach out to you?

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