The first thing I look into when someone connects with me is their Linkedin profile. Right from there, I decide whether to continue the further conversation.
But let me explain to you why.
I don't do that because I value the more enriched profiles over the ones with less info or fewer followers. But I appreciate the effort people put into making their identity clear and transparent for others to understand what to expect from them.
Also, this way, I know that people reaching out are serious about their intentions and commitments.
People who do not care about their Linkedin profile will likely:
- Respond to your messages with a delay or never reply to those,
- Create ambiguity about who they are and what they are looking for,
- Not keep up with current trends and not keen on continuous improvement,
- Leave the impression of fake accounts.
So these are the types of people I would not like to work with.
Now that you have your profile let's examine the common mistakes people make, no matter how experienced they are.
1. Profile photo
Always have a picture of your current age. I don't care how good-looking you are; I want to see the person behind the profile.
Don't use attributes like sunglasses or hats that cover your face.
Try to abstract yourself from the traditional images of the "serious face + crossed hands on your chest." Be creative while keeping a clear focus on your face.
2. Cover image
That's a great place to put your pitch and showcase what you do or care about.
A nice image with a short text and a link to your website /blog /article /testimonial would be great.
Please, do not put all your certificates next to your name!
This makes it complex to tag you, first of all.
It shows that you are overfocused on certificates and creates the feeling that you are your certificates, which should not be the case.
It sounds like, "Hi, I'm PSM1." See how ridiculous that is?
There is a specific section for writing those there. Alternatively, you can add those in the description.
Having a headline like Scrum Master/Project Manager/ Product Owner/ Agile Enthusiast / Entrepreneur / Philanthropist / Founder / Healthy lifestyle lover / Tech lover / Cryptocurrency ….Just reduces your influence power and the significance of what you do.
Have something clear there and highlight your core interest and experience. Something like a "Scrum Master at X company" sounds much more professional and gets better attention from recruiters.
5. Link in Intro
If you have something to showcase, help people reach out to it easier by putting the link there with a clear pitch naming.
6. Contact info
Feel free to provide an email for contact. Many fear others would use their contact info to send different sales emails. Think from the perspective of the opportunities you might miss due to lack thereof.
I love this section!
You can put anything important to you, like your website, newsletter, program, article you've written, testimonials, youtube channel…anything that will help people quickly understand what you can provide.
Refrain from overworking to put everything you've done, from development to bicycle riding, here. Make sure it has a clear focus so people know what they should contact you for and how.
A clear mission statement, value proposition, key skills, and major achievements should be enough.
9. Work experience
I never look into the dozen lines of the description people put under each job, especially if those are irrelevant to the current positions and goals.
I value it when people explain what they have been doing in that job with a sentence or two.
If you are a scrum master, there is no need to enumerate all the scrum events with bullet points; all those things should be clear from your position.
Write things that are unique about your specific role or job.
Sometimes people recommend you for skills you have been using many years ago. But let's say your focus is somewhere else now, so make sure you drag the ones that make sense in your current state to the top.
Those are VERY IMPORTANT and showcase other people's trust in your work. So don't be afraid to ask for those from your previous employers, colleagues, and customers.
12. Honors and awards
This section sounds too official or severe, but this place can be easily used, for example, for adding all the conferences where you have been a speaker.
As with the Honors and awards, the same is true for this section. You can add your articles written on other platforms there, if you don’t have any written books to showcase.
I hope this sheds light on how you should use your Linkedin profile. Now go and have a second look at yours.
Hope you found it helpful. :)