Having a great LinkedIn profile can be your ticket to a variety of new opportunities, job openings, volunteering work, business opportunities, and internships, so it’s important your profile is up to scratch and is bringing the right people to you… but who has the time to update their LinkedIn profile these days?!
We get it, you’ve got deadlines and a wicked hangover, so here’s
5 (quick) updates and fixes you can add to your LinkedIn profile right now:
- Customise your LinkedIn URL
- Update your LinkedIn Profile and Cover Images
- Add Keywords and Relevant Information to your Headline
- Add some Personality to your About Section
- Make sure your Skills Section is still Relevnant
Let’s take a look at these LinkedIn profile updates in a bit more detail…
Customise Your LinkedIn URL
The easiest first step you can take to improve your LinkedIn profile is to customise your URL. It’s a subtle touch, but will look 10 times more professional when linking it on your CV or directing an employer to your profile.
To do this, log into LinkedIn on your desktop, head over to your profile and near the top right of your screen you should see an option to ‘Edit public profile & URL’. Click on this, and again in the top right there should be an option to ‘Edit your Custom URL’. Click the little blue pencil icon next to your current URL, and get it updated.
If you have a slightly unusual name, you could be lucky and get your entire name included without having to use any extra characters. E.g. www.linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname.
However, if your name is already taken, try adding dots or dashes to keep it as simple as possible,
If all these are still taken add a simple number, the shorter and more concise the better.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile and Cover Images
It might seem like a fairly easy thing to do, but trust us when we say your profile picture can do a lot more than just make you look presentable. Did you know that LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 21x more visitors and 36x more messages?
We as humans are an inherently social species, and so we often reflect the emotions of others when interacting with them. You literally see people sitting on TikTok all day long laughing at videos of other people laughing at videos. It’s kind of insane when you think about it, but it also makes perfect sense in the broader context. So having not just a good LinkedIn profile picture (i.e. nice clear headshot), but a positive LinkedIn profile picture can work wonders on how others view you.
One of the best ways to do this is to have some fun when taking your profile pic. Why? Because you want to be smiling, or even better laughing. Most phones have some form of Apple’s famous ‘Portrait Mode’ now, so rope in that creative friend of yours, or the friend that knows how to really hit the angles for their insta, and go and have some fun.
Here are our top tips when taking your LinkedIn profile picture:
- Go outside to take your photo. (Yes in daylight)
- Get the framing right – you’re looking for the top of your shoulders and above.
- Get your assistant to take the piss. Having fun here is paramount, and will not only give you a more natural smile or laugh, but you’ll appear more genuine and happy in your photo as a result.
- Don’t be afraid to put it through an insta-edit! (keep it light though, catfishing isn’t advised)
To compliment your profile photo, your cover photo is a super easy way of not only making a good first impression, but also telling the people visiting your profile exactly what you’re looking for.
There are 39 million students on LinkedIn, and the vast majority of those accounts are inactive, incomplete, and underutilised. This means you have yourself a major opportunity to capture attention, stand out, and connect yourself with the experiences and opportunities everyone’s looking for.
A simple cover photo can make the world of difference in achieving that, by simply doing two things:
- Creating an attractive visual
- Summarising in 6 words or less what you’re looking for ‘aspiring digital marketer’
Approach your cover photo like you might approach designing a billboard. Ultimately that’s what this is – a big attractive representation of you, trying to attract a buyer (employer) for your product (you). Show your skills off and don’t be afraid to get creative. It can make the world of difference to anyone visiting your LinkedIn profile. You can do this through Canva’s LinkedIn Templates to add your name, industry and contact details or through using websites like Unsplash to find images that match your vibe or visually represent your industry or skills.
Add Keywords and Relevant (and Interesting) Information To Your Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is extremely effective at boosting the visibility of your LinkedIn profile to others. The main reason for this is because your headline is what comes up when you comment on other people’s posts, and is ultimately what drives people to engage with you further (connect/stalk your profile etc).
This means that having a really good catchy headline will not only serve to attract people relevant to you, but it will also help drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile, which is crucial in making the opportunities come to you.
Things to avoid in your headline are the ones everyone makes the mistake on – stating your degree, your university, or constructing some bullshit sentence about how passionate and driven you are. You want to capture attention after all, not send people to sleep.
There are 3 main things to do here:
- Think about who your audience is
- What value you can bring to an industry
- Who you are / what makes you unique
An example of someone who is looking to break into digital marketing for an agency might be something along the lines of:
GenZ Digital Marketer looking to bring a fresh perspective to an Agency in Leeds.
In this example, you can clearly see that we’ve identified the audience *an Agency in Leeds*, we’ve discussed the value you’re bringing to the industry *a fresh perspective* and who you are *GenZ digital marketer*.
Give it a go and watch your LinkedIn profile views skyrocket.
Add Some Personality To Your About Section
Adding personality to your about section is what will make you stand out from the millions of other students who have just written ‘passionate and driven individual looking for opportunities’… if this is you right now, thank god you’re reading this!
Your about section is the first thing people will read when looking through your profile, and so you need to make sure it’s engaging. What this means is telling people what makes you tick, what makes you different and exactly what you’re looking for. A general format to use when writing your about section should follow:
- One line opening sentence to capture their attention. Similar to your headline, this should be fun, bold and very personal to you. ‘GenZ marketer, lover of blogs and mother to a Tortoise called Barry’. Made you laugh right? Exactly.
- Main paragraph. This doesn’t need to be one big chunk of text. Use sentences to identify different points. Cover what you’re doing right now to make yourself more employable, or to increase your experience, knowledge or skills, and talk about the main challenge you’ve faced in that journey so far. Use emojis to break up the text if you like – it doesn’t have to be boring.
- Jot down 10 key words relevant to future job opportunities you want to find, and then go back through your about section and include them wherever you can. Note: just because you haven’t got any experience in ‘digital marketing’ doesn’t mean you can’t write ‘I’m trying to gain as much experience in digital marketing as I can’ – you’ve still hit your keywords, and you’ve not told any porkies.
Most importantly, write in your natural tone of voice. Don’t try to sound overly professional and smart if that’s just not you. If it helps, record yourself out loud saying what you’d like to include, and write it down as so. This is your opportunity to let potential employers know who you actually are, not just who you think professionals would like to see.
Make Sure Your Skills Section Is Still Relevant
Chances are if you made your LinkedIn profile during second year after your tutor told you to (and you’ve ghosted it since), your skills section is out of date with the industry you’d like to work in. The skills section is a way for recruiters to find your profile, and it’s likely that every other student out there also had ‘communication’ and ‘teamwork’ listed…
To keep your skills section relevant, it’s time to do a bit of stalking. Sorry, research. Just as with your about section, look at the profiles of established professionals and note either the skills they have listed or ones mentioned in their profile or recommendations they’ve received. Try to look for industry specific ones. To take this a step further, look at job descriptions of roles you could see yourself having after graduation. What skills do they tend to require?
Obviously, don’t include any skills you genuinely don’t have or wouldn’t be able to provide an example of in an interview.
To summarise, your LinkedIn profile truly is the gateway to your future career(s), and so investing just a little bit of your time now to get things right, will go a long way in the future in not just attracting the right people to your profile, but attracting the right opportunities to you as well. Need some help getting your profile in shape? Book a virtual LinkedIn profile review with a member of The Grad Soc team today.