How to Build a LinkedIn Profile That Turns Heads

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LookIf you’re like the vast majority of LinkedIn users, your profile is probably a dud. It’s barely complete, reads like a robotic, generic resume, and has absolutely no spunk.

According to an article from U.S. News & World Report, 94 percent of recruiters are searching for candidates on LinkedIn. If they happen to stumble across your profile, will they chuckle and keep moving, or will they want to speak with you about their next job opening?

I think you know the answer.

So, I’ve put together a few quick tips that you can implement right away to help you grab recruiters’ attentions and create more career opportunities for yourself.

1. Do Not Use Your Last Job Title as Your Headline

This screams B-O-R-I-N-G and does absolutely nothing for your brand. Instead, use the keywords you want to be most associated with and talk about the value you bring. Here are a few examples:

  • This is for a sales professional in the food commodities industry: Sales Director ✔ Specialty Food Expert ✔ Account Manager — diversifying product lines to open new revenue streams
  • Here’s one for a project manager: Project, Process and Change Management Guru: “Out of the box” leadership that drives teams to success!
  • And here’s mine 😉 : Do you hate your job? Let’s regain control of your career — Resume Expert ★ LinkedIn Strategist ★ Branding Consultant

All the examples uses keywords, but they also clearly articulate the value being offered to recruiters.

Another point about the headline: don’t position yourself as “seeking new opportunities” or “open to new positions.” This comes off a bit desperate, and it wastes valuable LinkedIn real estate.

Bonus tip: Add a few icons here and there to give your profile some pizzazz and break up the words.

2. Do Not Copy and Paste Your Resume in the Summary Section

ResumeLinkedIn is a professional site, yes — however, it is not just a billboard for your resume. It’s a chance to show some more personality and say things you really wouldn’t address in your resume. Take this opportunity to again use keywords, articulate your value, and show off your personality.

Listen, people hire people. There’s no need to be so formal on LinkedIn! Talk about yourself in the first person, tell a story about your career path, talk about why you do what you do (your passions, your inspiration), highlight some professional achievements that you’re proud of —  you get my drift?

3. Upload a Picture

Your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile picture. I know for me, when I get connection requests from folks with no picture, I’m wary about who they are and wonder if they are real.

Get over your self-consciousness, people! Get dressed, smile, and pose. A good profile pic is a simple headshot with professional clothes and a warm smile. Also, make sure you are looking directly at the camera — you come off more trustworthy that way.

Don’t use a picture of you and your wife or kid. Again, this is a professional site. Although family is important, it’s not really a point of interest on LinkedIn — save that for Facebook.

4. Make Sure Your Profile Is Complete …

… or, aAll Star Profileccording to LinkedIn, at “All-Star” status. They don’t tell you this, but here are the requirements for an All-Star profile (you didn’t hear this from me):

  • Your industry and location
  • Current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your skills (minimum of 3)
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections

Get to work building the kind of profile that will finally get you noticed on LinkedIn!

By the way, I do LinkedIn webinars periodically. Just hop onto my online community email list for upcoming dates!

By Melanie L. Denny