By Diana Duque
For everybody out there, LinkedIn has become so much more than a social network. Think of it as your calling card, your CV, your head-hunter and your college reunion all blended into one (deadly if mismanaged) cocktail. If you factor in that, you’ll never get to meet everybody that could have an impact on your career, LinkedIn will be as close as you’ll be to your work-life gurus, crushes and potential employers and colleagues, so make sure you put your best foot forward!
This quarantine has been quite a ride, and at least the first part seems to be close to an end. If you’re starting to worry about what comes next, and feel uneasy about the eventual economic consequences of this forced staycation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’ve spring-cleaned your closet, your Netflix list and your pantry, join us now on this special series on giving a much-needed makeover to your LinkedIn profile!
I’m joining you on this trip and will be your guide. My name is Diana, and I’m Girls in Tech Switzerland CMO and a freelance marketing consultant. You’ll get to know me a lot because we’re going to be using my profile as an example (feel free to add me as a connection)! Today we’re going to start with the very basics of LinkedIn profile Bullet-proofing!
If you haven’t yet this is your chance. You need to change your LinkedIn URL from whatever random number and letter combo, to your very own custom URL. Why is that, you ask? Think about it. www.linkedin.com/in/dianacduque looks much better and much more credible than linkedin.com/pub/yourname/29/890/2b9/! If you personalize it, it will also make it easier to share on your email signature, CV, business cards and other printed materials you may need in the future. Don’t know how to change it? Click here to get to work or follow these steps:
Clear Professional Profile Picture
No rule book says you need a professional headshot, although if I’m honest, after a few failed attempts at taking a nice one at home, I gave up and went online to find a professional photographer who would make me look like my best self.
If you’re not a model and don’t have any ambitions of having a career in broadcasting, don’t sweat this issue too much. You surely won’t be hired because of your good looks, but a photo will help humanise your profile. It will also make your profile look credible and not something that has been created to spy on other people or to spam them – trust me, their out there, but in less quantity than fake Instagram and Facebook accounts!
If you’re worried about being discriminated based on physical characteristics or are very mindful of your privacy, be sure to click on your profile icon, and visit “Settings & Privacy” for more info on how you can protect your image from others. You can change who gets to see your likeness without hindering your chances of being contacted by a recruiter.
To learn more about the do’s and don’t of LinkedIn photography, click here. If you’re interested in testing how your photograph is perceived by other, check out Snappr’s LinkedIn analysing tool. Just don’t overthink it!
Your first 50 LinkedIn Connections
One of the primary metrics of the quality of a LinkedIn profile is the number of connections you have. And trust me, you shouldn’t just add anyone! Make every connection matter, because one day (in a few blog posts from now), you’re going to need to make those connections work for you, and you don’t want to be on a room filled with strangers! At least, not on this situation!
Cover your basis and add people you know. LinkedIn lets you import your email and phone contacts directly from your accounts, and all you need to do is sort through your lists. If you haven’t done already, it’s not too late do it. You know what I’m going to say next: this will also help you with your credibility. How? It will give social proof that you are who you say you are. Historically, it has never been easier to invent a whole other personality online and also to be caught on a lie because of the social proof you provided! Forget about recommendation letters (although not totally, keep them at hand to send to potential recruiters)! Most recruiters can learn more about who you truly are with some clever Social Media stalking than all the lies and half-truths some people might try to sell them on interviews!
I could discuss these three issues in dept and stay here all day waxing LinkedIn philosophy with you, but we wouldn’t get our LinkedIn Makeover on its way. If you want a quick read on more basic LinkedIn topics, read my fellow Swiss Girl in Tech article on how to Spring Cleaning your profile. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and Instagram, and I’m happy to answer all the questions you may have regarding these and other topics. I’m using my self-imposed quarantine to revamp my site and my professional social media channels, so think of them as your living breathing workbook! Connect with me and let me know what you’re up to.