If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you already know I’ve got a big spot in my heart reserved for LinkedIn. It has helped me connect with so many people and even land projects and consistent clients. But, I’ve already talked about how amazing I think LinkedIn is for freelancers and business owners.
However, I don’t think I’ve ever actually shared any helpful, actionable LinkedIn tips you can implement to take your profile to the next level and make the most of the platform. So, that’s exactly what I’m doing here today!
Open up a new browser tab and let’s get started, you tech-savvy go-getters!
Most people make the mistake of thinking that their LinkedIn headline absolutely has to be their current title and company—after all, that’s what LinkedIn autofills. However, like most things on LinkedIn, that field is completely customizable by just clicking the pencil icon next to your headline on the “Edit Profile” screen.
Swap that out for something that accurately describes what you do—and not necessarily where you do it. This is especially important if you’re a freelancer or business owner, as it allows potential clients to find you easily. If someone searches for a “freelance writer” on LinkedIn, I’m sure to pop up.
LinkedIn isn’t just for regurgitating the bullets you include on your resume. Since it’s a digital platform, you have plenty of opportunities to showcase your recent work, accomplishments, and projects—including links, videos, and even documents.
On the “Edit Profile” screen, you can add media to your education section and your previous jobs. So, don’t hesitate to put that stuff up there! Saying what you do is one thing, but showing what you do (and how well you do it) is a totally different ballgame.
You know those generic, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” messages that are autofilled when sending a new connection invitation? Kiss them goodbye right now.
Personalizing your invitations is absolutely crucial. After all, your goal is to build a network of real, professional contacts—not a web of people you sent half-assed messages to.
So, delete that autofilled message, and insert something more personal. Briefly explain who you are, what you do, and why exactly you want to connect with this person. Not only will they be likely to accept, but you’ll also likely spark a meaningful conversation.
Be forewarned that connecting with others from the “People You May Know” screen doesn’t allow you to customize your message—so avoid that.
Nobody likes those long, complicated, mumbo jumbo URLs. Luckily, LinkedIn allows you to simplify yours.
On your “Edit Profile” screen, click the little gear that shows up next to the URL under your profile photo. On the right side of your screen, you’ll have the option to set your URL to something more memorable. Voila!
You’ve seen those people whose profiles are stuffed full with recommendations and endorsements from their peers and colleagues. And, you probably immediately thought, “How did they do that?”
The best way to go about collecting these endorsements and recommendations is to offer some up yourself. Visit a few different profiles of people you’ve enjoyed working with, and write a thoughtful recommendation or endorse them for a few skills. I’m willing to bet they’ll return the favor.
Leave those short sentences and the dry language for your resume. LinkedIn is still a social network—even if it’s more “professional” in nature. So, go ahead and show a little personality! Your summary section is great for this.
Make an effort to let your voice shine through. People want to get a sense for your personality and what you’d actually be like to work with. Your standard job descriptions aren’t really great for that purpose.
Are you a LinkedIn-lover like me? What tips do you have to share?
Until next time!