Is Linkedin still relevant today in 2021? Should you even bother updating your Linkedin profile?
Linkedin is not dead. Far from it, they’ve been growing at an accelerated rate in the past 5 years. Don’t believe it? Here are some statistics about Linkedin:
- 80% of B2B sales leads come from Linkedin
- 50% year over year increase in engagement on Linkedin in 2021.
- #1 Social media platform for hiring – Linkedin
- 2 new members every second join Linkedin around the world.
- 706+ million professionals are on Linkedin
- 46% of all B2B leads comes from Linkedin
- 9 billion content impressions on Linkedin every single week
Still not convinced?
Here’s a whole list of statistics and studies about the effectiveness of Linkedin
Even Gary Vee says to double down on Linkedin.
Whether you are looking for a job, generating leads or just looking to learn from peers, Linkedin is an excellent ecosystem for all professional and career goals.
But here’s the thing,
Whatever your objective on Linkedin is, it all start with this:
A Linkedin profile that stands out.
In this guide, we will cover the following:
Table of Contents
- What is a Linkedin Profile?
- Why is it important to have a Linkedin profile
- What does a Linkedin profile help you do?
- Basics: How to create a Linkedin profile
- How to create a good profile picture for Linkedin (with examples)
- What is the ideal Linkedin profile picture size?
- What makes a good Linkedin cover photo? (With examples)
- How to write a Linkedin profile headline (With examples)
- How to craft an impressive Linkedin profile summary (With examples)
- How to craft your work experience description on Linkedin (with examples)
- How to use Linkedin’s Featured section (With examples)
- How to view your linkedin profile in 2021
- How to customise your Linkedin profile URL
What is a Linkedin Profile?
A linkedin profile is a personal social page provided by Linkedin for you to showcase your professional life.
You can add your career achievements and share your professional experiences through different content types.
This space is where you tell your professional story.
It’s the gateway to how you can build trust, partnerships, endorsements. And ultimately grow your business and personal brand.
Many people already have Linkedin profiles. But not many Linkedin profiles are good (or even completed). This means opportunity for you, if you get it right.
Why is it important to have a Linkedin profile
If you ask anybody what they think Linkedin is about, they’ll probably say words like:
Personal/company branding, trust-building, networking, job searching, lead generation and professional communities.
And that’s true.
After all, Linkedin is rated by the business insider as the most trust social media platform. This is the perfect platform to deliver professional content and find opportunities.
Many people already have a Linkedin profile but they’re not using it well to sell themselves or company.
706+ professional members are listed on Linkedin. This is absolutely the place you need to be to progress your career or business.
It’s not just top influencers like Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Richard Branson who are on Linkedin. Many top VPs, Directors, Manager, and C-level and even start-up founders are on Linkedin.
If you’re looking to build credibility, connect with industry experts, grow your business or build your career, then your Linkedin profile is just as important as breathing.
What does a Linkedin profile help you do?
There are 4 primary reasons why someone might use Linkedin. These categories would fall under Marketing, Hiring, Selling and Learning.
How does a Linkedin profile help you with marketing?
Imagine you have a new technology that you want to promote to other companies.
You can’t reach out to professionals who would be interested unless you have a Linkedin profile. And even if you do have one, you’ll need to make sure it’s a good profile or they’ll just ignore you.
With a good Linkedin profile, you can showcase your story, your background, your company and how you’re trying to make a difference.
Members around the world will be able to discover and connect with you, if you have a clear Linkedin profile.
Also, you’ll need a Linkedin profile to access all the advanced Linkedin marketing tools
How does a Linkedin profile help you with hiring?
Linkedin is well known as a place for recruiters to find quality candidates. To be exact, there are 2.8 million recruiters on Linkedin looking for job-seekers. More than 4 million members were sourced and hired on Linkedin
Without a Linkedin profile, recruiters simply can’t find you. Having a profile also allows you to share content, build your network and get referrals into companies you want to work for.
How does a Linkedin profile help you with Sales?
To be honest, I think many sales professionals use Linkedin one way or another. But many Linkedin profiles of sales professionals does not stand out.
Having a clear value proposition in your profile gives you an edge. When you connect with someone, a credible Linkedin profile will increase the likelihood of connection.
We’ll cover a few examples later.
How does a Linkedin profile help you with learning?
People come to Linkedin to learn from experts, peers, and industry leaders. A Linkedin profile lets you interact with experts, get advice from peers, and share back your learnings as well.
The way you position your profile is just as important as how you interact with your peers.
People judge the book by it’s cover on social media. It’s sad but true.
So having a great linkedin profile will create more learning opportunities for you.
Most importantly, you’ll need a profile to access Linkedin learning. It has over 16,000 courses. Within those courses, you’ll be able to interact with other professionals.
Basics: How to create a Linkedin profile
Step 1: Add a profile photo
If your goal is to get noticed, then why wouldn’t you add a photo of yourself? A profile with a headshot is the first thing that visitors see, even before they read your background. How you smile, how professional you look, how trustworthy you are – all visual cues that form a large part of the first impression. Members with a profile photo also get 9x more connection requests, 21x more profile views and 36x more messages than those without, so you get the idea!
Step 2: Add your industry
Your industry association is the first step in determining your professional reputation on LinkedIn. Every week, more than 300K searches on LinkedIn are initiated by an industry filter – choosing the right industry is going to help you be discovered better (9x more profile views) by the right offers and opportunities.
Step 3: Include your header text
This is the text that appears just under your profile picture and name. This is quite important for standing out in profile searches from recruiters, or people looking to network with the right professionals.
Step 4: Drafting a compelling summary
This summary will appear in the About section in your profile, just above the part where your work history appears. This is what we call your personal “Elevator Pitch”. If you had 30 secs to explain what you are good at, why you are good at it, and how you can help the viewer – how would you write this section?
Some best practice is to keep it simple and under 40+ words – focus on career accomplishments over the years and your aspirations for the future. If you are willing for people to reach out with opportunities, mention and give permission in this section as well.
That said, best practices are meant to be broken.
If you have a compelling summary that is worth going beyond 40+ words, Do it.
If more individuals follow 40+ words, then try a longer profile to stand-out. When other Zig, you Zag.
Step 5: Fill in your professional history
Filling up your work experience is important for visitors to evaluate your past experiences, accomplishments, and current position. Understanding how your career developed over the years helps the visitor determine if they can trust your expertise in a particular field or industry, whether or not you are an authority or just a beginner. Members with up to date positions also get 5x more connection requests, 8x more profile views, and 10x more messages.
After filling up this segment with text, don’t just stop there! A picture paints a thousand words – so use visuals to spice up your professional profile. Within the media sections of each work experience, you can have the choice of uploading photos, presentations that you are proud of, videos that showcase your past accolades. Use this in a smart way to develop a dynamic, visually appealing representation of your professional story.
Step 6: Add volunteer experience and causes you care about
You might feel this is unnecessary, but if you care about a cause or have done work in the volunteering field – this offers visitors a glimpse into your interests and passions outside of the professional setting. In some cases, leadership roles in organizations outside of work can also go a long way in helping endorse your professional capabilities. Do this to get 6x more profile views compared to those without any relevant experience.
Step 7: Add job skills and remember to get endorsed
Job skills are an amazing way to get discovered – members who add more than 5 skills on their profiles get up to 17x more profile views compared to those without. LinkedIn has an algorithm that showcases endorsed skills by members also skilled in the same job skill – so the more you collect, the stronger your social proof for your skill sets.
How to create a good profile picture for Linkedin (with examples)
Let’s get to it, here are some great examples of a great Linkedin profile picture.
Linkedin Profile Picture Tip 1
Choose a recent picture that looks like you now. Make sure the picture is as similar as possible to how you look in real-life. Don’t catfish someone with a photo from 10 years ago. The test here is if someone does not recognise you in real-life from your photo, then you need a more recent authentic photo.
Linkedin Profile Picture Tip 2
Your face should take up more than 60% of the photo. Avoid long-distance shots. Make sure your face fills the frame. You could do this with the cropping tool within Linkedin when you add your profile picture. Zoom in and ensure your face is clear.
Linkedin Profile Picture Tip 3
Dress up well. The rule of thumb is to wear what you usually wear to work for your profile picture. There is no hard and fast rule. It comes down to what perception you would want people to have.
Linkedin Profile Picture Tip 4
Choose the right expression. Don’t look angry. Smile in your photo. Don’t be expressionless. You don’t need to have too much teeth in the smile. A simple approachable look is fine. This is especially important if you are in a sales role. Smiling makes you more likable and approachable.
Here’s some examples. Which of these profile pictures would you engage with?
If you would like to portray a more serious look according to your brand, that’s fine as well. Align your expression to what your audience might be expecting.
Linkedin Profile Picture Tip 5
Linkedin now provides up to 7 filters for your profile picture. Use the one that gives more life to your picture. You can even adjust the colors manually after.
What is the ideal Linkedin profile picture size?
Your picture has to follow these dimensions and file size:
- 400×400 (width x height)
- File size – 8MB Max
- File type has to be PNG or JPG.
- GIFs are not supported (I knew someone was going to ask!)
Taking a good profile picture
- Usually taken professionally (go for LinkedIn events they usually have a booth Or join a local chapter of LinkedIn
What makes a good Linkedin cover photo? (With examples)
To find the best cover photo for yourself, first start thinking about your brand. What do you want other professionals to know you as? Do you want to be known as a speaker? Are you offering services? Are you a coach?
You only have a split second to convey what you stand for and the cover photo is a great way to do that.
Here are a couple of great examples and why these cover photos work.
This is a clear call-out to her audience and what she offers. There is no second guessing what she provides and how you can reach her.
The photo on right where she appears on stage also showcases her authority in the field. While this is overlaid with red, it’s still visible that she’s a speaker as well.
On the top left, you can see her logo. An overall well branded cover photo with a great profile picture to top it off.
Another angle to explore is to showcase the brands you work with or support. Alternatively, you could also list down the customers that you have worked with. The angle here is to ensure your brand is seen. This would work especially well if you’re the founder or the marketing/sales team of the company. It aligns to branding goals.
Have you shared stages with prominent people? Do you have a picture of yourself interacting with well recognised industry leaders? If yes, this angle of cover photos would suit you.
Showing a cover photo of yourself with authority figures would cause others to associate you with them. Which means, you’ll be seen in a more favourable light. It’s a psychological bias called the halo effect.
This example above is from Jennifer Lopez who many know as an actress. It’ll be hard to imagine her as a serious entrepreneur. She needed to change that perception of herself so others will see her as a business leader.
This picture of her sharing stage with Arianna Huffington helps. It shows that she is more than just an actress (Or so it seems at least).
Here’s another masterclass on a great cover photo. Although I’m not a fan of that mask even though this was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What stood out in the cover photo are the big brands that he has worked with. He could highlight it clearer but he has worked with Entrepreneur, GrowthHackers, The Hindu and more. These are big brands.
These trust signals on the cover page enhances his credibility.
If you have a specific action that you want audiences to take, the cover photo is a great place to call it out.
“Follow” is the targeted action in this photo. And she gives her visitors a reason to follow. Always remember, if you want someone to take action when they visit your profile, give them a reason. Think: What’s in it for them.
It does help that she was a speaker on Social Media Marketing World as seen in the center picture. While it’s small, she started her website on the top left and explain what we will find that.
She truly makes a picture speak a thousand words, metaphorically of course.
How to write a Linkedin profile headline (With examples)
As members scroll through their feed or Linkedin search results, the 2 things they’ll see are your profile picture and headline. Arguably, this makes your headline just as important as your profile picture to capture attention.
Start with these questions: What keywords do you want to appear for on Linkedin? What do you want to be known for? What’s your value proposition? Why should people talk to you?
If you’re still not sure how to begin, you may search for the keyword you want to rank for in the Linkedin search bar. Study the top 5 profiles that come up.
What are the common keywords they’re using in their profiles?
Use it on your headline as well.
Of course, don’t copy their entire headline. Be original and be yourself.
Here are a couple of Linkedin profile headline formulas that you can follow.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 1: Be straightforward and simple Job title headline profile
If you have an impressive job title, it could be as simple as calling it out on your Linkedin headline. For example, CEO at Linkedin, CMO at Salesforce, VP of Marketing at Netflix.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 2: Showcasing Company’s Achievements
In this example, you could also call out the special achievements that your company has made. In this example from Dave Gerhardt, he calls out his company’s achievement as the “#1 Sales app on Shopify”. Well, this reflects well on him too especially since he’s in a marketing/sales role.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 3: Be specific with what you achieved
X3 Linkedin Top Voice? Now that headline is gonna grab some attention. That’s also really specific. If you noticed, String uses emojis well to stand out too. Her audience knows she likes chicken wings too much. The chicken wing emoji is sort of her personal brand. She also stats important keywords of what she does so people can find her. In her example, she clearly states she helps with Personal brand marketing.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 4: Show unique certifications/qualifications.
Are you certified in specific skills or technology? List them down as well. Think about certifications you have that are hard to achieve. After listing your certification, state how you can help others with the skills you gained from the certification.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 5: Author and listing your content
While many of us are not best-selling authors, you can still list down publications or blogs that you have written. Don’t have a blog or a book? That’s fine. You can state your Podcast channel or youtube channels too.
Although, make sure that you’re a best-selling author before calling yourself that. There are plenty of best-selling authors (like this) who don’t seem real. It will backfire and hurt your image if it’s too fake.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 6: Use a Call-To-Action
What action do you want your profile visitors to take? If you’d like them to follow you, tell them clearly, and use an emoji to point at the “follow” button. In the example above, Joe Escobedo wants you to learn more about his content. The call-to-action is clear with a “Learn More”. The down emoji arrow directs your attention downwards into his content stream.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 7: Demonstrate what problems you solve
Your value proposition will fit nicely here. What challenges do you help solve? How do you solve it? Are there tangible results that you can show? What’s in it for the members to connect with you.
In the 3 examples above, you’ll notice exactly the service that they provide. Their headlines also calls out the audiences they work with. Clear measurable results and specific benefits makes these headlines stand-out.
You can use this headline by starting with “I help (Audience) to do (Achievement)”.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 8: Keyword stuffing
I’m on the fence for this but it seems to work for a number of profiles. If you search on Linkedin, you’ll see a couple of top searches with this similar strategy.
Keyword stuffing just means putting in as many keywords as you want to be known for, in your headline. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coherent sentence.
This could backfire because it doesn’t say much about what you can do for others. It doesn’t what you help with or problems you solve.
That said, if you want to appear in the search results, your work description is more important (which we’ll cover in a while).
So if your purpose of keyword stuffing is to rank higher, then just know it doesn’t really matter.
Linkedin Profile Headline Example 9: Product type headline
You could list your product name in your headline and provide a call-to-action to it. Product-type headline seldom works if it’s the only thing on your headline. It’ll make you seem narcissistic.
Tie in your product with other credibility and proof points. Don’t just tell them that your product is good, show them through results and customer stories.
How to craft an impressive Linkedin profile summary (With examples)
I use Resume Worded quite often when it comes to optimising a Linkedin profile.
If you already have a Linkedin profile, just plug your profile in and it will give you a score with recommendations on how to improve it.
If you do not have a completed Linkedin profile, you could use Linkedin profiles of industry-leaders you want to model after. Paste in their Linkedin profile into Resume Worded. They will give a score and what they like about the profile.
Apply these recommendations into your Linkedin profile.
There are a couple of examples and structures that makes a good summary.
Linkedin profile summary example for Small Business Owners
If you’re a small business owner, this example might be useful. What stands-out here is the call to action right at the start.
This summary starts off with a question that qualifies the audience. In one sentence at the start, you know exactly whether this person can help you in your goals and how to contact him.
Not everyone will read through the entire summary, but they already know how to contact him.
He introduces himself next and his achievement. Not too self-centered but impressive enough.
In the middle section, he goes on to share the process on how he helps his clients achieve ROI.
At the end of the summary, he reiterates the call-to-action. Remind prospects what you want them to do.
Linkedin profile summary example for Service providers
The profile starts off with something provocative. This captures attention and causes members to wonder what is next.
He bridges into what he offers and the key challenges he solves. By now, if you’re not his target audience, you’ll probably leave. Which is a great filter.
Next, he talks about what’s in it for the member and how they can get involved.
The following section is something I absolutely love but do not see enough – Customer Testimonials. If you have case studies and testimonials, list a few in your summary.
He ends off with a section of the various services he offers. Straight forward and clear call to action.
Linkedin profile summary example for Influencers
Do you have a long history of achievements as an individual or with your company? Then this approach will suit you.
While this profile might sound obnoxious, it gets to the point that he’s an authority.
The first section are personal achievements, the second section showcases corporate achievements and the third section features specific ROI numbers achieved.
This summary ends off with a clear call to action and how to connect with him.
Linkedin profile summary example for marketing
In this example, it starts off very clearly with what this member wants to be known for – Brand builder.
Although this is a marketing example, the formulae could technically be applied to other functions and industries as well.
Formula: “Regards as the leading (your job function) in (your industry)”.
The first section goes on to summarise his biggest past and present achievements. The first section provides a great snapshot of who this member is and why you should trust him.
In the next section, the member goes more specifically into what he believes in. Reviewing past achievements in detail also gives his summary a lot more weight. People are suckers for stories.
In the final section, you may consider listing where you have spoken before.This area is about social proofing. If you do not have past speaking gigs, you may consider listing out either testimonials or customers you’ve worked with. Social proof this section.
How to craft your work experience description on Linkedin (with examples)
The work experience section should be almost the same as your resume. So if you already have a killer resume, then simply replicate your work experience description over from it.
This example got right into it. It stated what the company was, her role in it and her specialities – All in one starting paragraph.
Bulleted points dived deeper into the top achievements she’s made. The key to making these bullet points impactful is being specific. Take note of how she name dropped other brands consistently. This further establishes her authority.
In the next example, you’ll notice how effective adding statistics and ROI to your achievement make your work experience more compelling.
If you’re leading a team, state it as well. Some might say that this work description is too long but the length of your work description is relative.
How much detail you put in your Linkedin profile shouldn’t matter – As long as it’s important points that aren’t repeated.
If you’re a prominent leader or in sales/marketing, you might want to position your latest job description a little differently.
Talk more about the company. Share about the exciting new products you are working on or the mission of the company that you believe in.
Why? Because if your role is to sell the company, then this work experience space is a great way to promote your products.
How to use Linkedin’s Featured section (With examples)
What is the Linkedin Featured Section?
Linkedin featured section was launched in February 2020. The featured section is a new way for Linkedin members to showcase their skills, experiences, and content. If your profile is made public, Visitors of your Linkedin profile will be able to see your featured posts. This is a great way to show your expertise and build credibility.
Where is the Linkedin Featured Section?
You can find the Linkedin featured section on your profile home page. If you have not added any before, go to your profile page and click on “Add Profile Section”.
Click on the “Featured” dropdown menu and add it.
Linkedin Featured Section Examples
Here are some great examples of how others are using Linkedin Featured Sections.
Feature your solutions
Be clear about the services that you offer in the creatives. Note that the first sentence of the link description is viewable, so remember to either call-out your audience and state what to expect in the post-click.
The above examples are direct links to service web pages.
Add featured content, documents, images, videos, and presentations to your Linkedin featured section
In the next example, you can see how you can embed documents, images, videos, and presentations in your featured section as well.
Showcase your top content here. Establish yourself as a thought leader. Don’t be afraid to give away your best ideas and content for free. That is the most effective way to build leads, connections, and credibility.
Use your top post and articles in your Linkedin Feature section
If you’re getting great engagement from your posts and articles, featuring them would be a great idea. It showcases all the engagement that you’ve received. The perception of you being a thought leader would increase.
This is especially useful if you’re a CEO or senior executive. People want to hear about your thoughts about the industry.
Ending off your featured section with a strong Call To Action
The last tip is to end off strong. Be concise about what you want your audiences to do. Tell them how you would like to be communicated with.
Noticed how the images in the featured section are huge? Customize your creative and add your call to action within it.
How to view your linkedin profile in 2021
To view your own profile from the LinkedIn homepage, click on the “Me” icon on the top right hand corner, then select “View Profile” from the menu. This should bring you to your profile homepage where you can view and edit your own professional profile.
If you copy and paste the current URL in your browser’s search input bar while you are at your profile page, this is also your public URL for your LinkedIn profile.
How to customise your Linkedin profile URL
From your profile page, you should see “Edit public profile & URL” in the right rail display.
Once you click on that you will be brought to an editing page for your public profile. Click on the edit icon next to “Edit Custom URL” to edit your custom URL for your profile. This is a great way to add additional search-ability on your profile for people trying to find you online. Note: This custom URL must contain between 3-100 letters or numbers, and no spaces, symbols or special characters are allowed.
Once you are happy with the custom URL, hit save!
Your Linkedin profile is the best way to build credibility and trust with your target audience. Google search people’s name and if they have a Linkedin profile, it will be ranking on the first page. That is how important your Linkedin profile is.
Apply these Linkedin profile tips and examples to build a Linkedin profile that impresses.
Once you’re done with this foundational set-up, then i recommend you progress to reviewing Linkedin’s top hashtags that you can use on your post and profiles.