If you’re anything like me, you’re looking forward to all the upcoming holiday festivities with family and friends. With all the celebrating, it’s also important to remember to start planning for 2019 and consider the action steps you will need towards meeting your personal and career goals.
Today, I want to share some tips for something simple you can do now to further your career-related goals in 2019. That one simple thing is making sure your LinkedIn profile is the best it can be. Like any social profile, LinkedIn should not be something you create then just let sit there. It should evolve with your career and how you change as a professional!
Here are ways you can improve your LinkedIn profile now for 2019:
Considering I’m a headshot photographer, this recommendation should come at no surprise! But any Google search will prove I’m right. Your LinkedIn profile picture and cover image are visible to the public and are the first thing people see about you. What kind of professional image does your photography portray? Have you had any physical changes that make it necessary to get a new headshot? Consider scheduling a session now so you can be ready for 2019.
Look for keywords, not buzzwords
Consider the words that a potential client or employer would use to search for someone like you. They are likely not using buzzwords like “win-win” or “leverage.” In fact, those words can be quite overused. Using your title and key duties, however, are more likely to be used in a search. Also, keep in mind your industry and professional image when choosing words. An interesting tip I read recently was to copy and paste the words of your summary into a “word cloud” generator and it will show you what words are most commonly used, much like those apps that tell you your most common words on Facebook. It’s also important if you are wanting to find people (or be found by people) in a given area that you use that in your LinkedIn profile. For example, I am a Northwest Arkansas photographer so I use that phrase in my marketing as a keyword.
I know there seems to be some disagreement on if you should use first or third person when completing your LinkedIn profile. The latest research I’ve seen says third person is probably the best. This may feel awkward given that it’s social media but remember that LinkedIn is your social media professional resume! I see several reasons for using third person. First of all, it will sound more like someone else is claiming your achievements. Second, and it’s related to the first, I think you’re going to be more likely to share your achievements if you don’t feel like you’re bragging. I also found a couple studies that showed readers were more favorable towards third person profiles. My thought is, make the profile in third person and save first person for when you write updates.
Keep it updated!
Notice I said in the last topic that you should write your updates in first person? Well, it’s important for you to keep up information on your profile through the updates feature. Scheduling a few updates during the week or sharing items from others will enhance your visibility and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in a helpful way.
Look to the future, not just the past
This was a recommendation I read in an article recently that I found interesting. It said that so many people fill their LinkedIn profile with their past accomplishments, that they don’t talk enough about their professional goals for the future. What do you want to do with all your experience? Where do you want it to take you in your career? Consider working that into your summary.
You may have a stellar resume, but recommendations from trusted individuals are vital. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from co-workers, clients, and even employers!
How does your LinkedIn profile look? Will you be making changes? Let me help with the first thing people see! Schedule your professional headshot today.