This article is the second of two in which we’re explaining how you can make the most of LinkedIn. So here we share 4 proven strategies you can put to work for you today.
Watch our 12 min Part 2 film here, or read the article below.
LinkedIn Strategy 1: Write for LinkedIn and the human reader
Make sure you write your profile to win in the search results, not just to look good when someone clicks on it. LinkedIn is a giant search engine for talent. Your profile shows when someone searches for the keywords it contains. So, make sure your profile is optimised for the words you want to be found for. The best way to do this is to work out which words you would like to be found for, e.g. Team Leader, Financial Services Professional, etc. and add these into your professional headline, summary, interests and descriptions of your experience.
If you’re ready to go one stage further, you can add media (photos, videos, slideshows, presentations, etc.) to your summary and your experience sections on your profile. This will add interest to the human visitor to your profile, but if you add carefully selected keywords into these sections (image file names, descriptions, headlines, etc.) you’ll also be enriching your profile for the LinkedIn search engine too – and that will help you to stand out and be found for your skills and experience.
LinkedIn Strategy 2: Maximise your “Golden Trio”
Three elements of your profile top the list of importance. This “Golden Trio” includes your profile photo, your name and your professional headline. Collectively, these three elements control your first impression on LinkedIn. They show up everywhere you show up across the platform, from search results to comments and group discussions.
- Your name: Keep it as just your name. No letters, degrees or additional comments.
- Your profile photo: Test your picture on Photofeeler.com – it’s a fantastic and free site that helps you evaluate the power of your profile picture. Test 3 or 4 pictures and use your best result.
- Your professional headline: LinkedIn defaults to your latest job title + your organization. But it gives you 120 characters of free form text to position yourself to the world. So, don’t be restricted. Add keywords and describe the best of you. But be careful to avoid jargon or esoteric industry acronyms.
LinkedIn Strategy 3: Add an effective summary
Add the summary section to your profile and use this proven, 6-paragraph formula to introduce your abilities and experience within the 2000 available characters…
Paragraph 1 (short) Explain the challenge of what you do.
Paragraph 2 (3 words) “I solve that.”
Paragraph 3 (short / bullet points) The benefits you bring.
Paragraph 4 (short / bullet points) The evidence / facts / examples
Paragraph 5 (bullet points) – Your top areas of expertise
Paragraph 6 (1 line) - Call to action – how to contact me / connect
LinkedIn Strategy 4: Apply the power of endorsements and recommendations
Endorsements and recommendations are often overlooked or, worse, discounted as unimportant or not useful. The truth is the opposite.
Endorsements are a great opportunity to optimise your profile for keywords and to inform the human reader about your skills. You should know that having a lot of endorsements will NOT land your next contract! It takes more than that to land a role with Momenta. But, if you have more endorsements of your skills vs a rival candidate it can help to make a positive first impression. However, there is more to endorsements than what they can do for you. Instead think of them as a way to give to your network. You can visit any connection and endorse them for skills. They will be notified that they have been endorsed. You have just positioned yourself positively in their mind and set up the ‘Law of Reciprocity’ in your favour. If you endorse 10 people, on average 3-4 of them will return the favour. Give to get. This is also a neat way to reconnect with your ‘Weak Ties’ (see last article http://www.momentagroup.com/insights/climbing-the-ladder/how-to-make-linkedin-work-hard-for-you/) and begin the process of more formally and personally reacquainting yourself.
Recommendations are even more important. They give the highest measure of credibility to your skills and talent by publicly demonstrating others’ belief in your abilities. LinkedIn recognizes the number of recommendations you have received and rewards you with higher search result placings. Aim for a minimum of 10, ideally at least 20. If you were to add one per week you’ll achieve this in a matter of months.
Take action with these ideas today. As a golden rule, be social, join in and treat your online connections with respect. Try to serve them and help them at every opportunity and you’ll find they’re there for you when you’re looking for your next contract.
To discover more about improving your CV, mastering interview preparation and acing your interview performance, check the other articles and videos in this series.