Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | Website Builder | Rational Optimist | @MJMeetings Cheerleader | #micnuggets | Jayhawk
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been in a training session and asked the attendees, “Who tells you that your LinkedIn profile sucks?“, it’s safe to say I’d be retired and traveling the world right now instead of writing this blog post.
LinkedIn is almost 14 years old and has over 460 million users worldwide, yet so many of those users have profiles that suck. Why?
The answer is simple.
Because no one tells someone that their profile sucks.
Think about it…when you pull someone’s profile up on LinkedIn and have a negative first impression, what do you do? Do you drop everything and contact that person and say:
“Hey, I was just looking at your profile on LinkedIn because you were referred to me for a job/business opportunity/networking suggestion/expertise request/fill-in-the-blank, but I decided to pass because your profile sucked. I mean, like, totally sucked. Anyway, I figured if you didn’t have the time to take an hour a year to make sure your LinkedIn Profile accurately reflected your personal and professional brand…and that of the company that you work for…then you probably aren’t someone who cares enough to put the time into other things that matter in business.”
No, of course you don’t do that. No one does. So that person goes on, day after day, week after week, year after year, oblivious to the fact that their LinkedIn profile is negatively impacting their personal and professional brand (and that of the company they own or work for)
Look, I don’t want to do it to be a jerk. And it’s not because I think my profile is perfect. It’s also not because I don’t have anything better to do.
It’s because I CARE. And I shouldn’t care more about your LinkedIn profile, the online representation of your personal and professional brand, more than you do.
If you’re excellent at what you do, if your clients love you, if your coworkers love you, if you’re well respected in the business community…basically, if you’re awesome in person…then there’s no reason your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t reflect that too. It’s common sense, but far from common practice.
So if you suffer from MyLinkedInProfileSucks Disease, let Dr. Mic help you out. Do what I do at least once a year…review/edit/clean-up your profile. I just did it myself recently and was amazed at how many things I needed to tweak.
Here are just a few tips for getting your LinkedIn profile where it needs to be:
- Background photo – A lot of people don’t even have a background photo. If your company’s marketing department doesn’t have some options for you, create your own. I created mine for free in a few minutes using Canva.
- Picture – Been awhile since you’ve updated your picture? If you have a current professional headshot, upload it. If not, have someone you trust take a picture with a smartphone. Use a clean background…and SMILE.
- Professional Headline – Is your professional headline boring? Does it only have your job title and nothing else? Mix things up and add in some of your hobbies and passions. This simple step goes a long way in humanizing your profile.
- Summary – What does your Summary tell people who visit your profile? Be sure to tell them your professional story, how you can help them, why you like what you do, etc. and mix in a little bit of your personal story…what you do when you’re not working.
- Experience – List the positions you’ve held in the Experience section and let people know what you accomplished at each of those positions and what your key responsibilities are/were.
- Use “I” Language – There are few things worse than a profile written in 3rd person. Use “I” language when talking about your personal and professional accomplishments. It makes it feel like you’re talking to the reader.
If you can do just these few things, you’ll be well on your way to creating a profile that doesn’t suck. And if you don’t do these few things, you just might be hearing from me sometime in the near future.
Was this post helpful? Do you have any other thoughts or recommendations for LinkedIn profiles? Could you and your company use some LinkedIn Training? If so, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.