Self-promotion is perhaps one of the hardest things you have to do for your career or business. Thankfully, platforms like LinkedIn take a bit of the sting out of the process by creating an online reposity of your curriculum vitae that you can edit and modify while being exposed to a network of other professionals. Below are 7 easy things you can do to make sure you look like the professional that you know you are.
- Profile PhotoWhen trying to link up with clients, employers, potential business partners, providing them a face to link to your name fulfills a basic human social need. Save the photos of your cat/dog/child for your Facebook page. If you were using your company logo, the proper place for that is on your LinkedIn company page. Take a recent photo of yourself wearing attire suitable for your industry. Below are some good tips on making a great impression with an attractive headshot.
- This blog has some great tips on creating a social media headshot
- Peter Hurley has a fantastic series on how to pose for a professional-looking headshot. Here is his first video on using your jawline.
Here is his second video on squinching.
(ADDENDUM: I do want to add that those in creative industries can dispense with the photograph and instead use a self-portrait as a way of showing off your talent.)
- Provide Detailed, Accurate Information – When filling out your profile, be detailed as possible about your position and education to give people a clear idea of your skills and accomplishments. At the same time, be honest. It might be advantageous in the short term to embellish how awesome you are, but it will catch up to you. Here is a quick guide to writing job descriptions.
- Custom URL – You’re a name not a number. By default LinkedIn assigns a long code as your profile URL. You can change that by clicking (from your profile page) “Edit” then “Edit Public Profile Settings.” In the left column there will be a link to “Customize your public profile URL.”
- Set Your Profile to Public – Social media is about putting yourself out there and being found. LinkedIn is no different. Your LinkedIn profile is indexed by search engines as well. You can make this change (from your profile page) by clicking “Edit” then “Edit Public Profile Settings.” Select the radio button in the left column that says “Make my public profile visible to everyone.”
- Play the Connection Game – Connect with past clients, employers, peers in your industry, people you’ve worked with, even that boss from hell. They may know someone who may need your product/service or want to employ you. The game is to collect as many professional links relevant to your profession as possible — it’s not a popularity contest. Also, don’t get spammy resending invites if someone doesn’t add you to their network.
- Ask for Recommendations – Recommendations are testimonials that back up your skills and experience. Recs from your family and friends don’t count, so ask clients and employers to say a kind word. People are more apt to give you a recommendation if you give them one first.
- Update your Profile and Status Frequently – LinkedIn broadcasts changes in your profile to everyone you are linked to. This keeps you fresh in their mind and shows you are keeping current in your professional life.