LinkedIn Profile: How To Stand Out
As the leadership competition heats up I was considering how you can make yourself stand out in a crowded marketplace using your LinkedIn Profile. When LinkedIn was launched in 2003, most people thought of it as a platform for online CVs. Many still (mistakenly) do, but things have moved on. Having carried out extensive research on LinkedIn, it is clear that LinkedIn profiles have evolved to being ‘value propositions’. It is a chance to let an audience know what professional value you have and can offer to prospective employers, clients and colleagues – indeed, maybe even your current employer.
Here are several ways that you can ensure your LinkedIn Profile stands out from the online crowd.
First, think carefully about the value you that you can offer - you have to be able to deliver on your promises. Then, think about what you want to offer because although you are very capable, there may be some things that you no longer want to do because you no longer enjoy doing them, or because your professional growth would be impeded if you continued to play at that level.
Next, think about the audience that you are addressing and ask yourself: “What would that audience find compelling and thus make me attractive as a candidate?”. Think of it from the perspective of the reader.
These two steps will enable you to think of five to six clear and compelling claims of value that you can bring to the party. These claims will provide the core of what you write in the About section of your Profile.
The Headline (under your photo) will be a distillation of those claims and wants to let the reader know what you are about in one succinct sentence. “Managing Director - Goldman Sachs” does not cut it because not only does the reader have no idea about what you actually do, but it is equally not a promise of value.
Once the Headline and About claims have been written, the rest of the Profile is all about adding proof that your claims are in fact credible. This is done first in your Professional Experience. There should be descriptions of your achievements for each claim made. So, for example, if I have claimed that I am an expert Project Manager, I would need to demonstrate examples of the size and scope of successful projects I have worked on at various points in my career.
Further evidence that your claims are credible can be achieved by getting colleagues, etc., to endorse you for relevant skills and to write recommendations. I emphasise relevant – for example, whilst I was an executive recruiter for over 20 years, I no longer look to be endorsed for those skills because I have now transitioned to being a career coach.
You can go one step further in building credibility by posting articles or video clips from your Profile. One of my current coaching clients frequently gives speeches and presentations at industry conferences and is now – on the back of one of our conversations – looking to find a short video clip to upload to his Profile. This will underline the fact that he is an authority in his field. Another powerful way of using video is to have video testimonials from happy clients who are happy to recommend your work and services.
Finally, work out what your professional keywords are by experimenting using the LinkedIn search bar and then sprinkle them throughout your Profile. This will also boost the searchability of your Profile.
I do hope that you find these ideas and tips useful. There is a good deal of information on YouTube and online but note that some of it is well out-of-date since Microsoft purchased the platform and started making significant changes in March 2017. Should you be interested in updating your Profile but lack the time or resources to do so, Career Mentor offers a CV & LinkedIn Profile service for professionals. You can get in touch by emailing email@example.com.