How to turn your weakest spots into your sweetest spots on LinkedIn
Anne is looking for a new job. Her experience as a project manager in the sports industry is vast and impressive, spanning years of expertise. She decides to update her LinkedIn profile and quickly fills in the “Experience” section, followed by “Education” and “Courses”, bubbling with her achievements & results. It goes effortless. So far she’d be an interesting candidate for hiring managers or recruiters.
But when she gets to the “About” section the writer’s block kicks in. She knows how crucial this section is in order to stand out from the mass. But what to write?
Anne is a great project manager, but so are many of her industry peers. They all worked on similar projects, overachieved, did Cadence or Prince2 courses, trainings in how to lead a team, are multi-lingual, performing under budget and excelling in their work.
Same same but different, and mostly exchangeable. So how then can she differentiate herself that recruiters would pick her over others?
Like Anne most our clients are struggling when it comes to the “3 weak spots” on LinkedIn:
Headline – About – Banner
And yet these section are THE chance to show your unique selling point and to clearly express WHY people should choose you! This is the chance to become more visible for those who need your vision, your specific niche, your personality.
In other words: This is your stage to present your authentic Personal Brand and make people curious about you!
Here are some handy tips for you:
1. The Headline Section
The headline should be literally impressive, captivating and triggering curiosity like the headlines of a newspaper! Just as it wants to hook the reader to continue reading the story, you want to catch your viewers’ attention to keep them reading your profile. It’s like your first digital handshake. Is it a firm one? A wishy washy one? So, in Anne’s case it simply says:
Dang, what a missed opportunity. Just look at the unused space. Anne is so talented, quirky, humorous and visionary with a heart for team work. And none of this is reflected in her headline. Ouch!
LinkedIn takes by default your last job of the “Experience” section and the company you work at for the Headline Section. Most people just leave this automatic-fill-in-functionality, like Anne.
But you know better now! Grab your chance to customize it around your very personality: Point out your niche, the essence of your expertise, your motivation.
In addition to the professional part we recommend to add your personal touch to it: that “special something”, the twist that makes you different. Maybe you’re a passionate marathon runner? A hobby chef? A talented gardener? The go-to hobby photographer among your friends? Or organizing charity events in your spare time? Now it’s getting interesting! Share what’s important to know about you. Be specific and authentic!
2. The About Section
There are two main/pain situations our clients come to us with:
- The About section is blank. Empty. Nothing. Like in Anne's example, she knows that she is experienced and great at what she is doing, but she cannot bring it down to paper. Not to mention that she finds it simply awkward talking about herself. Her mind is blocked and she procrastinates: “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
- The About section consists of bland and replaceable phrases which read like:
Committed and driven project manager. Utilises sound organisation and planning skills to execute international projects within set timeframes and to high quality standard.
Would not all project managers be committed, driven, having planning skills and high standards?
This is the space where you can craft your very unique brand story and tell them more than the obvious and replaceable facts. If you want to really captivate your audience this is the chance to hook them with your message! Everyone has a story that people want to hear, you too! So how can you get started writing a gripping story?
Like a good wine, the creation process comes in stages. First of all, get your ingredients together. Think of:
- What makes you tick as a (professional) person?
- What is the red thread in your career and in your personal life?
- What do you want the reader to know about you?
- What is your Why of doing things? For example, if you are a project manager like Anne, what do you love about the job? The people aspect?
- What kind of projects do you love most? The data driven ones? Why? Is it because you love to make sense of data, translating them into a story?
- What’s your motivation to start a new project? Is it the thrill of leading a new team of people thrown at you? Is it because you have always been curious to learn new things, or because you’re dealing with the most diverse projects?
- What ever your story, give your reader a hook to relate to you, or get inspired by you!
Recruiters checking your LinkedIn profile want to see more than what is on the CV. While your CV is factual and tailormade to a specific position, your Linkedin profile shows also your personality. Ideally it should amplify who you are including your personal side.
So show them how you are wired, what a great fit you are for the company culture, and reveal the authentic you.
3. The LinkedIn Banner
While enriching your profile with a headshot is becoming more and more normal, the LinkedIn banner is still massively underused. Another missed opportunity, as research says that LinkedIn profile with visuals get 11 times more viewed than those without. So, let your visual do the talking … because it says more than a thousand words.
When choosing an image ensure that it emphasizes your Headline information and your About section. Let it be a visual extension of your Personal Brand. You could for example also enrich it with a quote that summarizes your work ethic, your dreams, your values, your definition of success.
Dare to be creative, out of the box thinking, different and – first and foremost – a reflection of yourself. With these strong authentic elements you will surely attract the like-minded and win them over!
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