7 ways to optimize your LinkedIn to boost your personal brand

January 10, 2017

 
With more than 275 million users, including executives of nearly every Fortune 500 Company, LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for defining your personal brand, establishing credibility, and networking with business connections. Are you making the most out of your presence within this network?
 
Getting setup on the platform is just step one—below are seven ways to ensure you are putting your best foot forward on this essential platform. 
 

1. HEADSHOT

Think of your headshot as your first impression for your future employer. You may love that beach pic from your vacation in Maui, or that one shot of you and your squad at the bar—but (most) employers aren’t looking for a buddy to go out with, they are looking for a sharp and reliable worker. Make sure to use a clean, professional image of yourself (and just yourself) that comes off as friendly and polished, focusing on just your head and shoulders.

Here are some examples of the types of shots you should use:

 

2. HEADLINE

Here is your chance to get creative as you describe your skills and experience. Don’t just copy and paste your current title—share your mission, passion, or tagline if you have a strong personal brand. Also, be specific. When you use a broad title for your headline, it takes longer for a potential employer to try and decipher your skills and industry:
 

 
Instead, use this opportunity as your mini-elevator pitch and include key terms relevant to your industry and career:

 

For example, some key terms for digital marketing professionals include:

Digital Strategist, Marketer or Consultant, Content, Email or Social Media Marketer, Growth Hacker, Search Engine Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Business Intelligence.
 
Some more specific and creative headline examples within the digital marketing field include:
 
Google Analytics Aficionado, User Acquisition Expert, Brand Storyteller, Big Data Connoisseur, Gamification Ace and Agile Marketing Champion.

 

3. SUMMARY

Your summary on LinkedIn is your modern-day resume objective. Keep it brief, between 3-4 sentences, and set out to answer the following three questions:

  1. Where are you coming from?
  2. What are you currently doing?
  3. Where do you want to go?
Here’s an example of a perfectly executed digital marketer’s summary, answering these three main questions:
 

4. EXPERIENCE:

 
Here’s where you get specific. Use bullet points to separate your different experiences and incorporate exciting, action verbs. Harvard Law offers a great resource of action verbs perfect for this section of your LinkedIn profile.
 
If you’re switching careers and lacking experience in your desired field, go through job listings of the types of positions you’re interested in. Then, mirror your past experience with the expectations of these types of roles. Even if you’re brand new to the field you shouldn’t discredit your past work, there’s always a chance to apply learned skills to your next opportunity.
 
Here’s an example of clear bullet points incorporating digital marketing keywords alongside powerful action verbs:

 

5. EDUCATION:

LinkedIn has made it very easy to find and connect with your fellow alumni, so be sure to list all of your education including high school, college, certificate programs, higher learning, or, you know, latest General Assembly course. This way, you’re easy to find and you’re just a few clicks away from figuring out who in your alumni network may work for a company to which you’re interested in applying.

Here’s an example of a well-detailed Education section:

7. SKILLS & ENDORSEMENTS:

 

When filling out your skills section, start by choosing some of the pre-populated areas of expertise that LinkedIn provides. These are likely the terms recruiters will use to find candidates. As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t think the skill will help you get a job, leave it out to avoid clutter. Endorsements will come through as your network validates your skills and clicks to endorse you.
 
Here’s an example of a well-executed section by a digital marketer:


So you’ve got your LinkedIn profile up to par and you’re ready to find that perfect new role. What now? Join us on campus to learn a new skill.

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