If you spend any time at all on LinkedIn, you’ll know that the approach to writing profiles is very varied.
- Some people have great LinkedIn profiles.
- Some people don’t take LinkedIn seriously at all.
I’ve already dealt with some of the things that you’ll see in a poor LinkedIn profile in an earlier article.
Today I’m looking at the other side of the equation. What is it about a profile on LinkedIn that would make you want to connect with someone, hire them if you’re looking for employees or put them on your database if you’re collecting information about people with specific skills and experience?
Here are some suggestions.
A good LinkedIn profile is a complete profile
It seems an obvious point to make, but there are lots of profiles up on LinkedIn that are scrappy, incomplete and unhelpful.
LinkedIn encourages you to put quite a bit about yourself into your profile. As you work on your profile you’re also kept informed of just how complete your entry is.
If someone looking for a new role has a profile that is 100% complete, that person is already exhibiting some of the characteristics that an employer will value. If a business person has made a point of completing his or her profile, it says that this is someone who is serious about promoting the right sort of image online.
Good LinkedIn profiles have good professional headlines
The professional headline is the first thing that someone sees when viewing a profile on LinkedIn. A good headline sums the person up. In 120 characters a good professional headline will manage to cover something about the person’s:
Role – job title or similar
Level – level of seniority in an organisation
Environment – the type of work in which the person specialises
Sector – the industry sector this person works in and serves.
The professional headline should be written with the next employer in mind, if the person is looking for a new job or with prospective clients in mind if the person is a business owner.
Good LinkedIn profiles have good summaries
The summary on LinkedIn is the place where someone has the opportunity to speak to that ideal client or to the next employer or to whoever he or she wants to engage with. A good summary seizes this opportunity.
Good summaries talk about success. They restate the important elements found in the LinkedIn professional headline. They focus on achievements and benefits and how to person whose summary this is actually adds value.
The summary may also encourage the reader to look at other sections of the profile or to get in touch or to take some other action. Perhaps the person writing the summary wants to draw more attention to the volunteering work that he or she has undertaken. If so, there may be more information on volunteering in the Projects section. Then again, the person writing may have lots of publications. If so, the Publications section may be the place to which the reader is directed.
When reading a summary, ask the following questions:
“Does this summary come to life?”
“Is this summary interesting?”
“Do I believe what is being said?”
Good LinkedIn profiles have interesting career histories
Interesting people often write and talk about themselves in boring ways. Take a look at what people write about their careers to date on LinkedIn to see lots of examples of this.
A good profile will craft a story via the person’s experience. It will be clear from the career history just how the person whose profile this is has arrived where he or she is today.
- What experiences have built towards the person’s current competence?
- What is about the person’s experience that has resulted in the recommendations that are set out?
Above all, is the person’s career coherent?
Good is the opposite of bad
In the post where I dealt with some of the characteristics of a poor LinkedIn profile I suggested some things to look out for. The opposite of these features will make for a better profile. For example:
It’s important to have a photograph.
It’s important to build up recommendations and endorsements.
Remember all these elements when you’re next ready to update your LinkedIn profile.
What have you seen in LinkedIn profiles that you really like? Give the question some thought before you next update your LinkedIn profile.
If you like this post you may also like to read:
Take a look at Rethink LinkedIn, a service for busy professionals, if you are ready to work on your LinkedIn profile and would like some help.