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The bare essentials required for a successful profile on LinkedIn.

Ok, you might have a profile on LinkedIn, but does it make you stand out from the crowd of over 450 million other users on LinkedIn?

In this blog I am going to walk you through some of the most essential elements of your profile: its visibility, your picture, your headline, experience section, and the websites you link it to.

#1: Profile views. Let us consider how your profile appears. Do you think only one version of your profile is visible? If you do, you’re not alone. But you’re also wrong.

In fact your profile appears in three different versions. First, you yourself can see everything there is to see. Next, there’s a view which only those connected to you can see. And third, there’s a public version of your profile. Each subsequent way to view what you create is a diluted version of the original which you can see all the time, which means it’s important to ensure all key pieces of information accurately represent you, and you understand what shows up and where.

#2: Profile Picture. To get great results from your profile, you should have a high impact profile picture in place. This means something which is simple, professional, and appropriate for LinkedIn. Research has shown that those profiles with an image are fourteen times more likely to be looked at than those without. And how professional that image looks is key.

#3: Professional headline. LinkedIn will automatically populate the headline section with your current or most recent job title. However, you have the option of customising it to ensure it reflects how you want to be found and what you wish to emphasise. The words you use are also important for how you appear in search results, both on LinkedIn and in search engines. Think of your headline as the equivalent to introducing yourself at an event, when you are asked, “Who are you, what do you do, and what impact might it have?”

#4: Experience. In the experiences section you have the chance to illustrate the results and outcomes from the various roles you have held in the past. Using key words and mentioning skills gained from your career history is one way to ensure this section is working for you effectively. If you have over ten years’ experience, or an accumulation of different roles, I would weigh up relevance first when it comes to how you are perceived by your current audience.

#5: Websites. On your profile you can have up to three web links connecting either to different websites or blogs. These links are indexed by Google, and therefore will support any search engine optimisation (SEO) activities you may be undertaking for marketing purposes. You could also make these links to different pages or sections of your website, again directing people to parts of your online activity you consider most valuable to advertise.

Your profile should be a true representation of you and get you noticed, after all who wants to be lost in the multitude of bland profiles on LinkedIn?