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The LinkedIn makeover – 7 steps to get noticed

The LinkedIn makeover – 7 steps to get noticed

Look better, rank higher and get interactive to supercharge your professional profile

Covid-19 has changed the social media landscape, with feeds inundated with coronavirus news. LinkedIn has been no different.

An estimated one third of all LinkedIn posts being about Covid-19, with professionals turning to the platform to navigate the ‘new normal’ way of working, as well as use it to actively look for employment opportunities, as they find themselves out of work.

With jobs being scarce in the market right now, it’s imperative to stand out and distinguish yourself on the professional networking site, which is used by recruiters and employers.

1. LOOKS MATTER
Your profile picture is the first thing people see and it speaks volumes about creating a strong first impression. You wouldn’t leave the house for a meeting without looking your best, so make sure that you give your LinkedIn picture the same importance. It needs to be professional, but simultaneously also convey your personality and ‘essence’.

Invest in professional photography, get three options and choose the ‘best’ picture via public consensus and feedback.

Bonus tip: Did you know that you can customise your LinkedIn cover photo? This is the header that goes behind our profile picture and is prime real estate. Update your cover photo with an impactful image that supports your ambitions and expertise.

2. OPTIMISE SEO WITH KEYWORDS
Before you get started on the actual content for your profile, you have to ensure that ‘keywords’ are a core focus in the way you craft your narrative. However, it’s important to note that LinkedIn SEO differs from regular SEO.

People mostly use keywords matching a job title, as opposed to long descriptions – for example someone may say “multimedia specialist for designing advertising brochures” in a Google search while on LinkedIn it may be “graphic designer”. It’s important to keep your profile jam-packed with the most relevant words pertinent to your industry and job description, to help your profile ranking.

3. YOUR HEADLINE IS YOUR PERSONAL TAGLINE
Because your headline appears directly below your name, people will associate that description with you. LinkedIn’s default setting is to use your current job title as your headline, but this is a big no-no. You’re much more than that, so capture people’s attention with the correct wording.

Your headline will also automatically appear whenever you comment or share something, so think of the headline as your personal tagline.

4. MULTIMEDIA IS YOUR FRIEND
Static text can be very boring and monotonous, which is why the use of multimedia is so impactful and perfect for immersive storytelling. Take for example the ‘Featured’ section, which allows for the addition of images, videos and documents, thereby enabling people to get a glimpse into your profession or achievements. This capability also extends to other parts of your profile, including the ‘Experience’ section, with LinkedIn now offering a multitude of options that allow for greater engagement.

5. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
The ‘About’ section is your shop window. It’s all about what you’re bringing to the table. This is your chance to sell yourself and tell your personal success story – if this is interesting, people will read further.

This is your elevator pitch, so don’t make the mistake of listing your job titles or running off generic and cliché sentences like “I am a results’ oriented team player”. Be creative, clear and informative.

6. GET ENDORSED AND RECOMMENDED
No one is going to toot your horn on your behalf, so go ahead and take measures to actively build your reputation. A recommendation on LinkedIn is a public validation that adds tremendous credibility to your profile. So ask for recommendations, especially from senior colleagues and industry heavyweights.

Endorsements are a keyword haven, so pinpoint your major skills and order them so the critical ones are endorsed first. It’s better to list fewer skills and get maximum endorsements than have a laundry list of skills with low endorsements.

7. GROW YOUR NETWORK AND KEEP ADDING CONTACTS
This is not Facebook. The point is to grow your professional network and add connections that will expand your reach, so don’t limit yourself to only connecting with friends and people you know.

You can actively pursue this goal by using the search feature to find people in your target audience, and then work towards adding them to your professional connections.

Zaib Shadani is the founder and managing director of PR and social media agencies Shadani Consulting and The Comms Room

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