THE POWER OF LINKEDIN
If there’s one thing most media commentators now agree on, it’s that The Donald’s brash approach and frequent use of social media was a key factor in victory. At the time of the election, the Republican had 11.8m Facebook followers v Hillary’s 7.7m, and streamed three times as many videos as his rival in the month before the election. Modesty, it seems, is not in vogue – so give your profile pages a new year revamp and turn them into incredible networking opportunities. With more than 400 million users, Linkedin is a key part of a professional online arsenal – an endless source of leads, sales and influence. Digital marketer and head trainer at Linkedinxpress, David Hobson, tells GQ his top tips for making sure a profile is the best that it can be.
1. Smile for the camera
A Linkedin profile is not an online resume, “it’s a piece of personal branding,” says Hobson, adding that an up-to-date professional profile photo is mandatory. That’s right, avoid that dodgy shot of you a mate posted on Facebook a few years ago – the one taken towards tea on the third day of the Boxing Day test, your face shadowed beneath a garish green and gold sombrero. “Recruiters will instantly and instinctively judge you based on your profile photo, no matter how impressive your achievements are,” says Hobson. Better get some new headshots.
2. Claim your name
You may have missed out on your favourite Gmail address 10 years ago, but you don’t have to make the same mistake with your Linkedin vanity URL (or ‘public URL’ as Linkedin calls it). With your name, it’s possible to create a personalised link to your profile. When someone searches you in Google, your Linkedin page will appear in the top rankings.
You get 120 characters to work on a ‘professional headline’ to sit under your name. Take a lot of time over this because it’s the second most viewed part of a profile and also appears in Google’s search index. “Use this real estate as a mini-introduction to what you do and who you work with.” And remember – headlines are supposed to engage, be succinct and, also, be alluring.
4. Perfect your pitch
Consider the professional summary your ‘elevator pitch’. It’s how you’d introduce yourself when networking. It needs to be an engaging and snappy introduction focusing on who you can help, as well as relevant calls to action such as your email address, website or phone number.
5. Tell a visual story
In a visual-digital age, looks count more than ever. Linkedin can display up to five photos or videos per section of your profile. Tell a visual story of who you are and what you do with photos, logos and videos, in addition to text.