LinkedIn is more than just your online resume. It’s a place for you to advertise your professional skills and what you have done in your career to attract clients, future employers and anyone else who needs to know who you are and what you can do. With more people looking to social media to get deeper insights into who you are as a person, it’s imperative that your LinkedIn profile leaves a great first impression. Here are three must-haves your profile should possess.
Your headshot is the first thing people will see when they look at your profile. Not having a picture at all is frowned upon and can be seen as unprofessional and like you don’t take LinkedIn seriously. The name “headshot” denotes the type of picture it should be. Your face should take up 70-80% of the frame. Full body shots and pictures taken in a more casual setting are a “no-no” and should be reserved for the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Pictures that are grainy or where you clearly cropped someone else out should also be avoided. If you cannot afford to have professional headshots taken, you can get creative by taking a picture in front of a white wall wearing professional business attire.
A lot of articles encourage people to use creative descriptions in their LinkedIn headlines. That may work in other professions, but in the legal profession, a mix of practical and creative is best. This is because if I’m looking to find a family law attorney, I’m not going to search for a “preserver of families”. Your headline should state clearly that you’re an attorney, the type of law you practice and anything else about you that you want people to know. After that you can get as creative as you want.
Using my family law example, your LinkedIn headline can be:
Nicole Smith- Family Law Attorney, Mediator, Preserver of Families, Keeper of Peace
I’m always amazed at how many people don’t utilize the summary section of LinkedIN. A summary gives people a more detailed look into who you are, what you do and why you do it. However, it should not be a resuscitation of your resume. Use this section to brag on the results you’ve gotten for your clients
There are many more things you can do to make your LinkedIN profile standout from the rest. But if you have these three things going for you, you're in pretty good shape for making a great first impression to land you the client, job or connections you desire. .