Grooming 101 for LinkedIn

Please nod your head if you’ve ever had that one profile picture the Internet (or your mom) doesn’t need to see. You know, the one where you had some broccoli stuck in your teeth or hair that would make Grandma cringe.

What if Scotiabank or Deloitte saw that while scouting for potential employees on LinkedIn? Do you think they would reach out for an interview?

If you’re lucky then yes, but chances are the person who gets that call already has the professional look they want. And how do potential recruiters know this? It’s easy. Just by taking a quick glance at their LinkedIn profile.

“With a professional photo, you are 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn”.  (Smith, 2016)

Really? Who knew a suit could make that much of a difference?

But it does. It means a better chance of you being discovered by those who would pay to have you on their team.

Now, the trick is to make your LinkedIn look as handsome/stunning as (insert favorite movie star) and it starts with doing a little polish (or “online grooming” as I call it).

This post will give you helpful tips on rebranding your professional look so only the best image speaks for you on LinkedIn.

Profile Picture

First things first. The profile picture.

Don’t give us a shoddy, grainy picture that would turn just about anyone away. Believe it or not, people can smell your effort with just one look at your picture. You want the best looking photo you can possibly find to grab the attention of any potential recruiters. All you need is a stunning headshot of you wearing what is the norm in your particular industry (i.e. suit, uniform) and you’re done. It’s that simple.

Sell it with your smile (no frowns please) and be sure to you look your best (i.e. well kept hair, clean teeth) before taking your profile picture. Look for a place with good, natural lighting and a neutral background that compliments your picture. Ask a trusted friend or family member if you need feedback just to be sure that your picture has that professional look.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun. Think of it as a modeling shoot. You might take more than one picture but just make sure the best one is what represents you on LinkedIn.

Looking for some more tips on getting that perfect picture? Here are some links you might find useful:

BeBusinessed

GQ

Entrepreneur

Resume

LinkedIn is about more than just having the best picture for potential employers to see. It’s also about having proper, relevant content which matches with the jargon in your particular industry.

The big question before we start: Is it all there? (And by all, I mean EVERYTHING). Your past experience, what you’re currently working on, your expertise and your interests/hobbies (just so they know you’re not a robot).

To create a masterpiece statue, you first need a marble block to chisel down and the same goes for your LinkedIn profile. Even if you cut and paste your resume to your LinkedIn profile, you still need to customize that information to ensure it delivers the best in every aspect.

Is every word you’ve put down helping your cause? Does it make you sound like the professional you are or that student who missed Grammar and Spelling 101?

Trim down what you have by checking it against your goals and the industry norms.

Is there a certain skill you see on every job you apply for? Is there an certain software that is the norm in your industry?

Have any experience with that skill or software? Then, add it on your profile. If you don’t have any experience then search online to see how you can learn by using a free trial version of the software or find a place (possibly volunteer) where you can use that particular skill.

Check out some of the LinkedIn profiles of those who currently work in a similar position to the one you want. Use their profile as a template then modify it according to your own experience. The end goal is to have a strong, solid profile that resonates with anyone in your industry.

Last, but certainly not least, you should review your LinkedIn once a month (or as soon as you have good and relevant experience to add). This way, you will start to see how your profile has evolved and hopefully, teach someone else how to do the same.

Image is everything. The same can be said about knowledge. So work smarter and always put your best face forward, be it in person or online. It could the key to your next job.

Have you received good feedback from implementing these tips? Do you have any suggestions on how to groom your LinkedIn image? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Bibliography

Smith, Craig. “By The Numbers: 133 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics.” Digital Stat Articles. August 16, 2016. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/.

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