Bring Out The Human: Tips For Warming Up Your LinkedIn Profile
When evaluating a LinkedIn profile, I’m often struck by how dry and impersonal they come across. While it’s true that LinkedIn is a business networking platform, it’s important to remember that people are looking to connect with other humans on the platform and to do that successfully, it’s helpful to give them insight into who you are and what makes you tick. This includes
your leadership style, personal interests, and accomplishments, as well as things most people may not know about you that are indicative of your ability to lead and innovate.
Here are my tips for “warming up” your LinkedIn profile:
Smile For The Camera
The first thing anyone visiting your profile will see is your headshot and you’ll want to make the right impression. Engage a professional photographer and put your best self forward – that means show sincerity in your gaze and smile. The right photo will entice people to want to know you and read on…or not.
Connect The Dots Through Background Imagery
The area behind your headshot is prime real estate but you’d be surprised at how often it goes underutilized or completely ignored. Use this area to tell another part of your story through imagery and language – if you’re a CEO, then a photo of you at a podium delivering a speech at a conference or ringing the NASDAQ bell is in order. A background image featuring logos of the other company brands is another way to link your profile to a bigger organizational story. With graphical tools like Canva, you can also add a line of copy to communicate more about your experience and talent so that viewers instantly understand who you are.
Spice Up Your Headline
I’m always attracted to individuals whose headline – the line of text just below your name – tells me more than just their job title, such as Vice President of Human Resources, Culture Architect or CEO and Chief Listener.
With a headline, you have creative license to showcase something unique to your personal brand. This can make your profile more appealing to potential connections; although it’s wise to use industry keywords and phrases, steer clear of buzzwords that are too overused. A good headline can pique the interest of readers and entice them to learn more about your profile. Note that there’s a 220 character limit for headlines for desktop and 240 for mobile.
The About or Summary section of your profile is where you can elaborate on your backstory. I’ve seen some C-level executives break this section up into bullet points which makes it easier to scan and digest different parts of your background. Share your biggest accomplishments, personal hobbies, and top line career path of how you go to your current role and why you enjoy it. Summarize your role in your own words vs. using a staid job description to give readers a sense of what you do in an authentic way.