Newsflash – LinkedIn is about more than just finding a job nowadays. It’s one of the last social media platforms with any organic reach, which means you’re not paying for people to see what you post.
Not only that, but LinkedIn isn’t industry specific. You don’t have to be a banker, lawyer or doctor to leverage the platform to your advantage. Let’s get started.
Put a Name to the Face
LinkedIn is one of the first places someone might look you up, so make sure you have an updated photo (not one from 15 years ago). A great rule of thumb is to keep it framed from the chest up so your face is easy to see.
Wear something that you feel good in as long as it’s professional for your industry and shows off some personality. We’re a fan of big smiles at Grapevine.
Don’t Be Basic
Your LinkedIn banner is one of the best ways to add a little flare. Some people include an image of a place, person, or thing that they love, like a sunset. Other users see it as an opportunity to brand themselves with contact information. You can check out our CEO’s page for an example of what that looks like.
Headlines are for Personality… Not a Job Title
Your headline is one of the only things besides your photo that will appear when someone searches for you. LinkedIn will automatically place your most recent job title here, but we recommend you use this for something different.
You may want to add your interests, location, or qualifications here. Think of it as a mini bio. Once you’ve landed on something, search for yourself to proof the formatting of the text.
Feature Your Website
If you’re working on a side project, have an online portfolio, or just want to showcase your company’s website, LinkedIn allows you to display one link prominently below your photo and headline.
As it currently stands, a personal page on LinkedIn will get more traction than a business page, so chances are someone might link to your website through you before a company profile.
Tell a Story
The bio section on LinkedIn is a place to share your passions, journey, and current interests. Don’t think of it as a stuffy cover letter. People want to know more about you than just your professional capabilities. We always think that a good blend of relevant work details along with more personal facts is the way to go.
No One Cares About Your First Job or Where You Went to High School
This might come across as a bit harsh, but if you’re going to take the time to beef up your experience and education, you might as well omit some of your earlier details (unless you’re a young professional).
Under the experience section, add timelines and brief descriptions in a bulleted format. We recommend this over paragraphs as short sentences can be skimmed.
When it comes to your education, one of the easiest talking points is connecting on an area of study or a university, so show it off.
Yes, Certifications Matter
Depending on your industry, you may have some certifications or licenses that are recognized industry wide. These accolades are important to display on your profile because they show you are credible and continuing to invest in yourself.
Show Us What You’ve Got
Skills are a great way to quickly showcase your capabilities. When you add a skill to your profile, connections are also able to endorse you. This ties into what we know as social proof which is one of the most powerful tools for gaining trust online.
Remember to check on your skills once a year and freshen up the list if you see fit.
Ask for a Review
Another great way to boost that social proof is to request recommendations. To start if you’re feeling apprehensive, recommend a close colleague. Chances are (if you choose wisely) that they will reciprocate.
We Want You to Be Popular
If staying busy is your thing, then you’re not going to want to miss out on adding your organizational involvement. This can include volunteer work to serving on a board.
Don’t Be a Lurker
Don’t expect your connections to grow if you’re not being social here. Getting your brand recognition goes beyond likes. It’s about posting, commenting, and sharing. All these things build community, familiarity, and trust. Set aside a few minutes in the morning to intentionally engage with what you see on your feed.
Follow Your Interests
We’ve heard a lot of people mention that they don’t like LinkedIn because the content isn’t relevant. Well, like any algorithm, you have to train it first. By connecting with thought leaders in your industry, joining groups and adding interests to your profile, you will begin to see things that resonate with you.
Create Content That Works for You
Depending on what industry you’re in this might seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Gary Vee of Vayner Media frequently touches on a very simple point about this. If you feel most comfortable writing, then make words your medium. If you’re great on the fly, use video!
Think about what you like to do and what you want to share. Then execute, post and test.