What Makes Someone Stop and Actually Review Your LinkedIn Profile?

One of the things I’m asked most often about is LinkedIn. People realize how important it is for professional networking but there’s still lots of uncertainty about how to make a great first impression with your LinkedIn profile. Often times LinkedIn is the first, and only, chance you have to get in front of a recruiter or potential employer, so it’s key to put your best foot forward. If you get someone to actually go to your profile, you want to keep them there!

When I look at someone’s LinkedIn, I quickly scan for the following things:

  • Do they have a professional-looking headshot?

  • Do they have a background image behind their headshot that showcases their professional passion?

  • Do they have a great headline below their name?

  • Is their summary well-written and does it make me want to learn more about them?

It takes about three seconds for me to assess the first three things and about five seconds to skim the last one. If the answer is NO to any of the four questions above, I typically don’t scroll to read further and simply move on. This is what most HR managers and recruiters will do.

Last month I talked about How to Optimize Your LinkedIn So Recruiters Find You and this month I’m featuring a well-known LinkedIn expert to give you her advice on how to maximize use of this incredible tool. Shelly Elsliger could very well be called a “LinkedIn Master.” She is the President of Linked-Express and is a globally recognized LinkedIn Trainer/Coach who has helped many professionals find their "LinkedIn Why" and reach their goals. I’ve been following Shelly on LinkedIn myself and love her perspective so asked her for her advice on three things people commonly miss doing on LinkedIn. Here’s what she had to say:

“A well-crafted LinkedIn Story is amazing to develop your personal/professional brand. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Here are three top tips to effectively enhance your LinkedIn profile so it is working for you:

1. If you are using the blue background for your background marketing photo, it is time to customize it and make it the cover page to your career story. Connect it with industry, your expertise, and/or your brand and give your profile some personality. Canva.com is a great tool to customize it and already comes with a LinkedIn template for you to upload an image.

2. Personalize ALL invitations to connect. It will change the way you build relationships and community on LinkedIn. Mention your "why". The personal touch will go far and keep in mind, you can do it on your mobile as well (just look for three dots, more, or a downward arrow) and it will take you to "personalize request.”

3. Customize your LinkedIn URL. When you first created your LinkedIn profile, you were given a URL made up of letters and numbers. It was always meant to be customized and for you to make it your own. Omit all of the useless jargon and replace it with you full name. Then, market this everywhere: marketing materials, signature, business cards, resume, and website. Encourage people to visit so they can get to know you better.”

Between the advice from Shelly and myself, you have several simple, yet effective ways to update your profile and your approach to invitations. If you need more help, I offer a LinkedIn profile review that will give you honest, direct feedback on how you’re coming across in your profile.

Merryn Roberts-Huntley