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6 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile in 6 Minutes

You’re busy. Or you’re impatient. You never felt a compelling need.

Whatever the reason, you’ve resisted a complete makeover of your LinkedIn profile. I get it! It can be quite a task.

But if you’re willing to invest just a few minutes, you can make a substantial difference in the readability and effectiveness of your profile.

6 Simple Steps: 6-Minute Investment

  1. Edit your Headline. The default is your current or most recent job title, but often that says little about what you’re really good at, what you’re known for, how others view you.

It is a good practice to include your job title or other “who I am” information in your headline, but the headline allows up to 240 characters that you can use to say a bit more about your unique value.

Here are a few examples.

      • ORIGINAL HEADLINE (job title): Global Medical Director, XO Pharmaceuticals
        EXPANDED, VALUE-ADDED HEADLINE: Physician Executive and Global Medical Manager — Pharmaceutical Industry: Driving scientific discovery of new medicines for hard-to-treat diseases
      • ORIGINAL HEADLINE (job title): Behavioral Health Associate
        EXPANDED, VALUE-ADDED HEADLINE: Behavioral Health and Mental Health Associate—Creating pathways to progress for people with challenges and disabilities
      • ORIGINAL HEADLINE (job title): Chief Operating Officer
        EXPANDED, VALUE-ADDED HEADLINE: COO — Public and Private/Family-Owned Businesses — Calculated Risk Taker who devises strategies to grow companies, reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and maximize revenues
  1. Update/Improve Your Photo. Certainly, add one if you haven’t already! Your photo instantly personalizes your profile and makes you appear more friendly and more real.

It does not have to be a professionally taken headshot, but strive for that effect—full face, smiling, and without a distracting background.

  1. Break Up Long Content. Anywhere in the About and Experience sections of your profile where you have paragraphs longer than 3–4 lines, break them up. Long blocks of text are uninviting to read, so readers (skimmers) are likely to skip over them.

Simply add paragraph breaks when the content gets too long, and you’ll instantly add white space and boost readability.

  1. Write in first person, using the word “I.” Your profile is not your resume, so it shouldn’t be an exact copy, and it should have a different tone—more conversational and personal, appropriate for social/professional media.

You may need to spend more than a few minutes rewriting your profile (especially the About section) if it is currently a copy-and-paste from your resume. But you can get started, very quickly, by converting terse resume language to a more open and relaxed style using the word “I” as appropriate.

  1. Review and Reorder Your Skills. By default, your skills are presented in order of popularity, as rated by the number of people who endorse you for a particular skill. Sometimes that works out great—but often it doesn’t.

Your contacts may vote up a skill that’s outdated or that you no longer wish to use extensively. At the same time, your top (as voted by you) skills get pushed down the list and invisible unless readers click to “see more.”

Select 3 skills that represent your greatest value for jobs you’re targeting, and move those to the top of your Skills list.

  1. Don’t Upload Your Resume (despite LinkedIn’s urging that you do so). If recruiters and others are able to instantly download your resume from your profile page, they are just as instantly able to dismiss you as a candidate.

Instead, if they’re intrigued by your profile they will request your resume and you will have the opportunity for a dialogue so that you can:

      • determine if the opportunity is at all of interest and whether you want to submit your resume;
      • learn enough about the opportunity to tailor your resume, if needed, so that you appear to be as strong a candidate as possible;
      • expand your network by connecting with a recruiter in person and establishing mutual interest—for this job or a future opening.

There! Your profile is now stronger, more readable, and more distinctive.

Of course, the content of your profile is also of utmost importance. Now that you’ve made some quick fixes, you might be inspired to give the entire profile a makeover. To get started, request my free report, “The 5 Keys to Success in Your LinkedIn Profile” (available at www.louisekursmark.com), and/or contact me for a complimentary review (louise@louisekursmark.com).

One comment

  1. Wendy Enelow says:

    Great tips for all job seekers and for other career professionals. You always provide such insightful and actionable information which is greatly appreciated!

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