A few months ago, I was freelancing and looking for more web work. While I was researching how to get a good paying position, I learned about the importance of having a quality Linkedin Profile.
When I started, I only had 1/3 of my work listed on Linkedin, and did not put any effort into it.
When I came across the notion of “Personal Branding” I understood that my Linkedin Profile was able to tell an important story to future employers, and curious users about my past, my skills & talents and the value that I can provide.
I started to gather together my past projects, my past work positions and to weave together my work life narrative. Once I started improving my Linkedin, the profile helped me gain more attention, and often bring me more work.
Here are a few strategies that I used to create a solid profile:
Write A Revealing Summary.
Your summary should be the introduction into who you are, and what you stand for. Explain why it is you went into your profession, and what you hope to gain. In this moment, give the reader a chance to understand your passions and your inspirations.
I also used the summary section as a way to emphasize certain skills that I have for “quick note” reference.
Stack out the Skills Section
Dig Deep, but organize the skills by your biggest value points, and then include the deep reaches that pertain to your profession that you are experienced in.
By researching other profiles in your same field, you can gain more information on skills and talents that overlap that you can add to your profile.
Craft the Experience Section
Take some time to make yourself a timeline of your work history. Use an old resume or just take out a sheet of paper and think about all the work that you have done in the past working for companies, or your own businesses or ventures.
Then take quality time to tell a story with this and show us how you got into your profession with each progression and change in the work field.
Ex: Worked as a cashier >> worked as an intern >> worked in a small business >> worked for a corporation >> worked freelance >> ran own business.
In each of these steps, you should tell the reader what skills you gained there and what sorts of value that you provided for each customer or organization.
Languages, Interests, Volunteer Causes
If you are skilled in multiple languages, make sure to include it. It takes discipline to learn a new language so anything level of fluency shows competency to learn new things.
The Interest section should be partly professional and partly reflective of you as a person. Be sure to keep things that are superfluous to yourself.
Highlight any volunteer causes, and write brief sentences to readers know about each cause you contributed your time to, and that cause aids the community or humanity.
If your education background is noteworthy, (Bachelors, Masters, P.H.D) include it while also telling the reader how this education enhanced your knowledge or helped to put you on your current path. If you happened to work at the school in a volunteer or paid role, include that in your experience section.
If you were in any college organizations that fit in with your career path, include those also.
Pinpoint Important Projects
This is where you want to show readers and HR why you should be paid $xx,xxx to $xxx,xxx+ per year. Show them what you’re made of, and let them know your level of involvement in each project to emphasize the value & impact you added to each project.
Become Highly Recommended
Gaining recommendations is something that needs to be done whenever an opportunity arises. Since we do not always stay in the same work positions as time progresses, it’s a good idea, to get recommendations from satisfied customers, and employers when you can.
Writing & Outreach
If you can write some informative posts on Linkedin’s platform every so often in your career field, you will gain some credibility in the eyes of employers and in the minds of readers that will benefit.
This can be very effective if you write two types of articles:
Type I: Articles aimed towards helping your field’s target audience
Type II: Articles aimed towards benefiting other workers in your field.
Type I articles or videos that are aimed at benefiting the recipients of your work are usually “How to” articles, or tips to help readers solve simple tasks themselves.
By empowering your target audience, you save them time and resources, and in return, you gain gratitude and respect. More importantly, people that you have helped may come to you for professional help, if the problems that they have are out of their depth.
Type II articles gain you respect among your working peers, and help spread your name within the social circles of your profession. Some of the best content you can provide will come from the most heartrendingly difficult situations that you found yourself in while working in the past.
The wisdom and hindsight that you gained can help those who are facing that problem now or people who are interested in working in your profession.
Combining both types of content will help garner attention, and push your personal brand to the top of your field in expertise if you continually add value to each post.