LinkedIn 2021. Just Be Your (Professional) Self!

It's 2021. Linkedin has been around for 19 years. 19!! Over the years the thoughts and theories around what makes a great profile have changed. I'm going to tell you how to make sure your profile stands out from the pack this year.
Written by
Ali Williams
February 23, 2021
Read time

I've had many people asking me about their Linkedin profiles lately, and I've been writing alot of profiles lately. So because my head is so immersed in it all right now, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some advice. I'm going to be straight with you. There is one common theme I see over and over and over → super formal, bland and boring profiles! Now is the time to add some more 'you' to your Linkedin presence to help you stand out (in a good way!).

One of the things I often encounter is individuals cutting and pasting their resumé directly into the various sections of their Linkedin profile. Or they write a very formal bio about their experience in the third person and list a whole pile of their job duties from previous positions. It starts out with something along the lines of (read in a very stuffy British accent) "Ali is a very strategic and accomplished marketer of both business and individuals looking to secure a new career position. She works exceptionally well under tight deadlines to produce compelling work." Yawnsville, USA. Come on! We can do better than this, people!

As we all know, Linkedin is yet another form of social media, this one for our work life. While we're not going to post selfies of ourselves partying on the weekend (when we could still do that!), we can express ourselves and our personality both authentically and professionally. It is so much more compelling to share our career stories and tout our achievements in a less formal and removed way.

You Had Me At He-adline

You have 220 characters to get noticed. It's always a good plan to include your current job title and company here. Okay, so that's 30-40 characters done. What else? Why not include keywords you want to rank for, a top achievement, or your 20 years of experience? And hey, if you'd like to throw in a little fun and a little personality in there, that's okay too, especially if you're in a more creative industry.

Here's mine for reference:

My Linkedin Profile promoting who I am and what I have to offer!

I've made myself a fun job title because it feels right for me and who I am. After that, I've included my company, senior-level marketing experience, my resumé and Linkedin writing, my rockstar communication skills, the fact that I am a fun human AND the benefit I offer– I get people hired. It is unique and gives you a sense of my personality.

Slay Your Summary

When it comes to your summary, now called "About", again, talk in your voice and tell your career story. Say you're an IT professional - something like "Hi, I'm Amber. I have been called a technical genius. While that may be getting carried away, I do love to learn how things work and have a talent for fixing them when they don't!...." From there, you can talk about what makes you do what you do and your achievements. Next, talk about your most recent position or two if they are both relevant to the direction you're heading. Include any recent accomplishments– numbers are always great, so bring on the quantifiable results you've produced. Don't be afraid to close in on the 2,000 character limit for this one. Sell yourself, and include those keywords!

I like to close off by listing out particular areas of expertise to spell out your marketable knowledge and skills while also using it as an opportunity to include, and you guessed it– more keywords. After that, a friendly sign-off with a call to action if you want and you're open to it. "Hey, you want to talk more about IT? Well, so do I! Get in touch to chat at"

Make Your Experience Section an Experience

Like your summary, you can use conversational paragraphs to describe each job. You can also use a list of bulleted achievements or a hybrid of both. But it's helpful to give context and talk informally about your experience and what you accomplished in a particular role, your top successes, and obviously anything that communicates your expertise and makes you marketable. It's not a spot to list off your list of job duties and tasks. This is not the place to cut and paste your job descriptions from each of your roles because that doesn't help you stand out from the crowd. Those hiring want to know what you achieved for yourself and the business (mainly the business, if we're honest).

Skills to Pay the Bills, Baby

Next, we get to the skills section. Here is where you include fundamental skills that you have got under your belt. Max this section out with as many skills (that you actually have– it must be said) a hiring manager in your industry looks for. Of course, it's going to be better if people have endorsed you for those skills. If you're adding these late in the game many times, you may find people aren't endorsing skills as much as they used to these days. I'm not sure what the LinkedIn algorithm is doing with requesting, "Hey, will you endorse this person for this skill?". It doesn't seem to come up as often anymore. There was a period when that first started where you were constantly getting requests to endorse people.While it happen with less frequency nowadays, it shouldn't hold you back from adding more to ensure your profile is up to date. And you can always ask people to endorse you for specific skills to bring your numbers up.

Add Some Icing to the Cake!

Do you have any certifications or extra courses you've taken? Have you received any awards or recognition in your career? Have you done any speaking engagements you can provide links to? Has there been media coverage on projects you've worked on? Do a mental inventory of any value-added information you can include to help you sell yourself.

If you want to ensure people see a top achievement almost immediately upon visiting your profile, be sure to include it in the "Featured" section that appears immediately after your summary.

But Wait, There's More

This post touches on just the tip of the iceberg, as they say. There is much more to talk about when it comes to Linkedin, including creating and posting content, sharing content and more to ensure the people you want to see you - see you! Stay tuned to the blog for "Linkedin 2021 | Part 2," where I will dive into all of that. In the meantime, if you need some help telling your story, I've got you– drop me an note down below and let me help!!

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I'd love to help you with your job search. Send me an awesome message and I will be in touch.

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