As the COVID-19 crisis continues, people have more time and their hands and will be looking to engage with others. A lot of us are seeking out ways to increase our personal brands and platforms on social media. Recently, the LinkedIn community has been a popular platform that professionals, businesses, and brands are turning to engage their own needs and perspectives. So what does that mean for LinkedIn users?
Users should optimize their time during this crisis with their brands. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your LinkedIn account is in tip-top shape:
Your first impression is almost certainly going to be delivered online now due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. If you are working with new clients or job seeking, they are probably going to google you or check out your LinkedIn profile. Here are some ideas to make your profile stand out:
- Professional Headshot: This may seem like a no brainer, but it is the simplest task you can complete. Putting your face to your name is a good thing on LinkedIn. A good profile picture does make a difference. Using that bathroom selfie or cropped picture from a family photo may be fine for other social media, but not here. Invest in yourself! Get some professional headshots done or make your own backdrop and get someone to take a picture of you “all done up.”
- Headline: Believe it or not your headline can say a lot about you. It is positioned right below your name and is among the first things viewers see. Default settings fill this in as your current position, so why not make it pop?
Try mentioning your specialty instead of just your job title. This can elevate you from ordinary to extraordinary. Remember who your target audience is when creating your headline as well. Are you just an Advertising Sales Representative or you an Advertising Sales Representative creating winning brand strategies for over 300 successful clients? See the difference?
- Summary: The same goes for your summary. Again, do you want to be ordinary or extraordinary? You only have 2,000 characters to market your personal brand. Do not try to cram every single thing you can think of in there.
Use relevant industry keywords or buzzwords to get across who you are, what exactly it is you do, what your mission is as a professional, then a closing line to reiterate your points. Try to pitch yourself in a 30 second or less read.
- Experience: It may seem like a good idea to make your profile like your resume, but internet readers have short attention spans. Keep your bullet points to three points for each job you include and categorize your experience based on the career you want.
Good action words or adjectives that describe what you accomplished does make a difference. It shows you are not only results driven, but an achiever rather than a doer. For example, if you just recorded and transcribed interviews at a job.
To be more impressive, demonstrate who you impacted. For example, being ordinary would include that you recorded and transcribed interviews for various community events. Being extraordinary would include that you recorded and transcribed over 10 interviews between the Mayor and citizens at community events. Remember the 5 W’s and an H in school? Who, what, when, where, why, and how? Now is the time to put it to good use.
This may seem like a never-ending responsibility but the more connections you have, the better. Your connections can also validate your accomplishments. Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations from people you developed a good working relationship with. Having a lot of connections helps keep you visible to others whether it is first, second, or third connections. Keeping your profile updated, active, and connected makes your profile stronger.
Strategize for Your Future
Have you ever wanted to increase your media presence on LinkedIn but just didn’t know where and how to start? Well, LinkedIn allows you to connect other media to your profile like YouTube videos, infographics, websites, and blogs. Again, this helps with personal branding. You can also strategize your posts and hashtags. This increases your visibility as well. Another idea is hosting roundtable or panel discussions with professionals and advertising it on your profile. Get creative.
LinkedIn is a vital piece in your job-search process and or networking. Utilize some of your downtime during the COVID-19 crisis to give your profile the facelift it deserves! You never know if a profile view can lead to a job or new client for your business.
Kim is the owner and publisher of Sass Magazine, as well as the owner of Sass Studios, a boutique graphic design studio in Frederick, MD. When not in the office, Kim can be found doing some of her favorite hobbies—reading a book, dancing, traveling, or playing with her rescued pitbull.