19 Nov 2020

5 Reasons to Get a Professional LinkedIn Profile

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Focus On LinkedInWhy would anyone need a professional LinkedIn profile? Isn’t it good enough just to throw up your resume, fill in a few of the blanks, take one of your selfie photos, and quickly put it together in an hour? Is LinkedIn really that important?

Don’t let anyone kid you about the importance of an optimized, professional LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn usually appears on the first page of Google for your name, quite often it’s the first listing shown. This means that when someone is searching for you – say a potential employer, lender, or relative – the first thing they’re going to see is your LinkedIn profile.

And if it sucks, you’re not going to look very good.

A LinkedIn profile should not be your resume. Instead, the idea of LinkedIn is to present your information as if you were talking directly to me. A resume is stiff and formal, and usually written in the third person. It has long lists of boring information, it’s tedious, and it doesn’t really say anything about you. All resumes talk about is experience, skills, and education.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is meant to give people an idea of who you are on a professional level. What kind of person are you, what are your skills, how do your experiences relate to each other?

The best LinkedIn profiles tell a story about you and how you grew from school through each job to where you are now. The worst ones just present boring facts, tedious lists, and keyword stuffed summaries.

A professional LinkedIn profile shows you in your best light, and makes you look like you are an expert at what you do.

Your LinkedIn Profile Communicates Your Brand

Regardless of your employment status, your LinkedIn profile communicates your brand.

What is a brand?

You can think of a brand as a persona that’s presented to the world. The CEO of a major company presents himself as knowledgeable, firm, yet relaxed and fair to his employees. Everything from the way he dresses to his posture lends credibility to that presentation.

A technician might want to present herself as understanding the technology of her position thoroughly. She wants to look competent, easy to manage, and be understood as a team player with a friendly demeanor.

An actor, on the other hand, might present herself as having well honed acting skills, good connections in the industry, and a strong portfolio of work showing her strengths in minimizing any weaknesses.

A sloppy LinkedIn profile tells viewers that you are disorganized and perhaps difficult to manage. Others might get the opinion that you don’t understand the power of social media, and question your abilities to get along with others. They might believe that you have we communication skills simply because your profile doesn’t communicate well.

The interesting thing about a brand is that if you don’t define one, others will define it for you. They will come to conclusions about you based on what they see and hear from others. The best strategy is to ensure that you use every channel available to define your brand so that you are perceive the way you want to be perceived.

Well Written by a Professional Writer

An optimized profile, written by a professional with experience at branding and writing will present you in the best possible light. Good writing, with excellent grammar and no spelling errors, tells people that you are meticulous, confident, and understand the value of communicating. Poor writing does exactly the opposite.

It’s important to find a writer who specializes in branding and optimizing LinkedIn profiles. Not every writer has these skills.

LinkedIn has very specific requirements. You have 2000 characters in the summary and each of the experiences to write a story that makes you look good and support your brand. There are other fields such as your accomplishments – classes, honors and awards, certifications and so on – that are important to build your credibility. The value of each one of these fields is not obvious, and is not something that your average writer will understand.

Because of this, it’s important to search and find a professional LinkedIn profile writer, who has the experience and training to do it right.

SEO Optimized

Your LinkedIn profile will be indexed by many different search engines. Google, Bing and LinkedIn are the most important of these. Google and Bing use different rules than LinkedIn to index your profile. LinkedIn is a much simpler animal and indexes based upon fields, keywords and phrases. Google, on the other hand, tries to build an understanding of what every page it scans is about so that it can do a better job of finding the exact right match for any search question.

A professional LinkedIn profile writer understands search engine SEO as it applies to both types of search engine and optimizes your profile accordingly.

Understanding What is Important

As I said earlier in this article, a professional LinkedIn profile writer understands the importance of each of the fields provided by LinkedIn. It can be confusing to the uninitiated. How important is the summary? What about each of the experiences? Is the newest experience more important than the oldest one? What about the achievements – are they important? Are recommendations important?

Your LinkedIn profile writer understands where to spend the time on your profile, and what can be skipped if needed. They understand that sometimes too much information is harmful, and yet not enough information can be equally bad.

Make Your Profile Pop and Uniquely Your Story

Most importantly, your profile should pop, meaning it stand out and make your unique story shine among the crowd. When someone reads about you on LinkedIn, they should come away with the feeling that you’re an expert, that you understand what you’re doing, and that your extremely competent. If your profile doesn’t do this, then it has failed and is harming you.

In summary, your profile needs to communicate your brand clearly and effectively. You should be presented in a positive manner, and anyone who looks should come away knowing what you do, why you’re an expert, that your competent, and that your experience and schooling supports all of that.

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