In the era of LinkedIn, businesses, job candidates, thought leaders, and other professionals can connect with one another to build their careers and promote their organizations and industries. It can become challenging to keep up with the numerous updates that show up on your social media feeds, as the digital technology environment changes every day. So you can make your social media work for you, we collected advice from our foremost digital, marketing, and social media experts to provide you with the top five things you’re doing wrong on LinkedIn. Read their insight to find out how you can boost your profile’s credibility, appearance, and status and stay tuned as this series continues for other social media platforms.
1. You Don’t Have a Professional Profile Picture
One of the most important elements of your LinkedIn profile is the photo you feature of yourself.
It can help you make a strong visual first impression, while also humanizing yourself in the digital world. Alternatively, an unprofessional, unrealistic, or non-existent profile picture can deter potential connections and opportunities. In fact, LinkedIn data has shown that just by simply having a profile photo, you generally receive 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests. While that helps us understand why having a photo is a necessity, using the right photo can also be a game changer. Ideally, you want your profile picture to:
- Meet standard headshot specifications. This means your profile picture is focused, captured from the waist or mid-chest up, sized correctly, and isn’t grainy or pixelated.
- Showcase yourself in a professional setting and attire. The focus should be on you, not what’s going on behind or even on you–so select a simple background and dress the way you would for your role and industry in an outfit that fits you well.
- Exude the right facial expression. Think warm, trustworthy, strong, and confident. It only takes one-tenth of a second for someone to form an impression of another person just by looking at their photo–so put your best ‘face’ forward.
- Actually look like you. You want people that you’ve met (or plan to meet) to be able to recognize you. If your current picture was originally shot back in ’96, it’s probably time for an update (even though that perm did look great!).
While you may be thinking, “it’s just a photo–does it really matter that much?” remember the age-old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure to showcase yourself in the best light with a great profile picture on LinkedIn to establish credibility and get noticed.
Matt Stout, Videographer and Photographer
2. You’re Not Sharing Articles
Most people simply don’t share on social networks.
As a rule of thumb, about 10% of any given network will share things. That means showing activity will keep you top-of-mind for the remaining 90% of your connections. That’s a huge opportunity people aren’t taking advantage of. Even if you don’t get massive amounts of “likes” and comments overnight, you are still getting something extremely valuable: attention on a network that’s all about doing business.
Ryan Olsen, Digital Marketing Expert
3. Your Title and Employer Aren’t Up-to-Date
Updating your LinkedIn profile with your current title and employer is pivotal to your online presence.
Having an up-to-date profile speaks volumes to not only the professional skills you have listed on your profile, but also boosts your credibility.
- You are detail oriented. You realize that the small things matter, such as having an up-to-date title and employer listed on your profile
- You are a force to be reckoned with. You are using the powerful tool of LinkedIn to its full capacity to find and leverage valuable connections.
- You put your best foot forward. You are professional not only in the office, but online, too. You appreciate the power of perception and utilize your LinkedIn profile to help tell your professional story.
Gone are the days of simply updating your LinkedIn profile for job seeking purposes only. Your LinkedIn profile is an electronic representation of your career growth that should always be kept as up-to-date as possible. As we transition into the digital age, our business habits should make that transition, too. Is your LinkedIn profile telling your professional story accurately?
Stephanie Goudzwaard, Marketing and Event Planning Connoisseur
4. You’re Not Using Powerful Adjectives and Verbs in Your Job Descriptions
To really stand out on LinkedIn…
…whether you’re in the market for a new job and are hoping to gain recognition, or if you’re trying to impress a future client—it’s important to use powerful, descriptive adjectives and verbs in your job descriptions.
Let’s run through an example. Say you’ve got a decade of experience in a customer service position—rather than stating in your role that you, “help customers shop and then accept payment for products,” you can paint a vivid picture of your role at the company with action-oriented verbiage. In this example, you could say that you, “attend to customers, assisting them in purchasing the best product for their needs and ensuring full satisfaction and accuracy in transactions.” If you’re struggling to come up with these words yourself, a quick Google search for synonyms is a helpful next step.
Spencer Gilgenbach, Content Marketing Buff
5. You’re Not Harnessing the Power of Your Posts
The secret to connecting your online presence to your offline connections lies in your LinkedIn activity.
Your articles, posts, and reshares do more than bring you to the top of someone’s feed or help you stand out as a thought leader. With access to your post analytics, you’re able to see who’s reading your content, or better yet, engaging with it. From job titles and industries to how readers found your content, these analytics help you hone in on the type of content your readers engage with the most. Set yourself apart as a LinkedIn leader with data. To do so, click “Me” on your LinkedIn Dashboard, then select Posts & Activity under MANAGE. Find the post you’re curious about, and click on the image that looks like a chart (under Like Comment Share).
Pete Zimmermann, Social Media + SEO Aficionado
Ultimately, your LinkedIn profile is your digital resume and should be used as an important resource in building your career, client base, and connections. For help driving your digital brand or for more information on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, contact Sikich’s Marketing and Design team.