Did you know that in Bulgaria from about 3,243,187 people of the working population there are 663,522 registered LinkedIn accounts?
That makes 20.5% of the working population that possess a LinkedIn profile. With that, Bulgaria ranks number 29 in the relative usage over 44 European countries. Another interesting fact is that worldwide only 24% of Millennials use LinkedIn.
Some of the biggest benefits of having a profile on the most popular professional network are the opportunities:
- Gain exposure to Hiring Managers and Recruiters;
- Demonstrate your knowledge, credibility, and leadership expertise;
- Get social proof of these skills;
- Find your next career experience.
The sign-up process is the easy part, but what best practices can you apply in order to boost the performance of your LinkedIn Profile? How to build your Prof-ersonal Brand?
To learn the answers, keep reading:
Social Selling Index
In order to have an all-star profile, your goal is to reach an “All-Star status”. To get there, you need to have at least the following:
- Industry & Location;
- Profile Summary;
- Experience and Education;
- 5+ Skills;
- 50+ connections.
LinkedIn’s team created a tool to check the score of your profile and follow its progress
Choose the Right Profile Picture for LinkedIn
As obvious as it seems, your profile photo should show you in a professional set up – not you with your friend, family, etc. You can use the photo from your passport if you have a digital copy, however, smiling photos prove to perform better than serious faces. Another important DO is to look at the camera. That way the person who is visiting your profile will have the sense of staring at you at the moment. And last, but not least capture yourself from the shoulders up.
Add a Best-Selling Headline
The three things that LinkedIn constantly uses to reference your activity on the network are your name, your photograph, and your headline. You have to make sure then it stands out and says something about who you are within a maximum of 120 characters. It should include essential keywords about your WHY (customer focus), your title, and your company name. It’s not necessary, but recommendable to also put a contact there – an email, a phone number, or a Twitter handle, however, you can leave this part for the summary. Let us give you a quick example to distinguish ordinary from a great headline:
- Standard Headline: Sales Executive at Acme Inc.
- Improved Headline: Helping our customers to build great homes & workplaces as New Business
Sales Exec for Acme Inc.
Fine-tune the Experience Section
In order to enhance your profile’s completeness, you need to choose an Industry and Location. Our best practice advice is that you should choose the industry of your employer! And not your profession. That way, the LinkedIn algorithm will show your content to people from the same sector. Always think about where your customers/target recruiters/hiring managers that you would like to be noticed by are working and residing. This brings us to the next point – choose the postal code of the location where you are working/selling/recruiting if you work remotely.
When you are writing your company’s name, choose from the Suggested List by LinkedIn. Make sure that the logo of your company is right beside the job description. If it’s not it’s probably either because you haven’t put in your company name correctly, or because your employer hasn’t registered on LinkedIn yet.
In the second case, we highly encourage you to make an improvement suggestion to them and point out the benefits of exposure that your company can get if they have an organization page on LinkedIn. Also, if you choose your employer correctly, some benefits for you are that LinkedIn will show colleagues who endorsed you, people will be able to see you in the People section of the organization’s page, etc.
Your experience should demonstrate your expertise, but also how you help your customers. Our advice here is to keep it short and straight-to-the-point. Avoid “fluffy and sugar-coated” language like “great interpersonal skills”.
Let’s check an example of the duties’ description:
- Standard sentence: My main duties included lead sourcing and new client acquisition.
- Improved and rephrased with a smart customer focus: During 2015, I helped 50 new clients
improve their sales productivity by an average of 25% resulting in new sales for my customers of
over $500 m.
Craft a Great Summary
Anybody that reads your LinkedIn profile will probably peak into your Summary because by default it’s up the top. This is your free text space allowing you to use a maximum of 2, 000 characters (incl. spaces). It’s what most people read right after the headline, so better make it interesting!
Focus on what you do to help your customers (30%), what your company offers (20%), what is your motivation to be part of this industry/profession (20%), what your hobbies are, and who you are as a person (20%) and leave your contact details with a call to action at the end (10%). Write it in the first person, not in the third as it sounds odd.
Fill in the Education section
You might not see the immediate value of expanding on your education to try and engage prospects, however, adding your educational achievements is essential to your All-Star status.
Furthermore, adding your High School education might seem unnecessary, but it leads to more alumni connecting with you and an expansion of your network after all since you will be added to your University’s Alumni page.
List Skills and Get Endorsements
You need to list at least 5+ skills in order to reach your All-Star status, however, we do recommend you to list as much as you can think of. The maximum number of skills you can add is 50. Just be careful with their relevance! This is important as your connections will be asked to endorse you for these skills, and they can suggest new ones. Of course, you don’t have to accept those suggestions in case they are not relevant to you.
Another way to get endorsements is to give some and rely on the reciprocity rule. It states that if someone does something for you, you then feel obligated to return the favor. In order to boost your SEO, enter variants of your skill terms. This will also help you when looking for a new job by showing recruiters how many of your skills match their requirements. To sum up, adding more skills not only improves your appearance in search but also shows credibility.
Other Important Actions
As mentioned above, you must have a minimum of 50+ connections in order to reach the All-Star status. Think of all your high-school comrades, your current and past colleagues, your friends, professors, peers from university, and any other social communities you have been part of and send them an invitation. You can also find people by their Facebook names or emails.
Additionally, upload a Cover Photo to enhance the look and feel of your profile. We encourage you to attach PDFs of your product brochures or videos, presentations, blog posts, white papers, and research documents you’ve created but don’t forget to check for confidential information beforehand.
Proactively request recommendations from your colleagues, clients, and peers! The power of this section resembles the power of review for products.
Engagements and Activity
Sharing updates on your LinkedIn account is a great way to get yourself out to your network. You can share a link to your organization’s website with a blog post, a new role, an interesting article, etc. Or you can reshare an inspiring quote, a meaningful event, a podcast, or a free text that is somehow related to professional life in general. In order to receive more engagement from your network, make sure to tag people related to it, e.g. to credit the author of an article, to bring the content to an influencer/prospect or contact’s attention
Also, put your own description with a question, a call to action, or simply your opinion on the matter. Last but not least – try to include at least one hashtag in every post for better exposure. You could check your feed for popular hashtags and make a note of them.
If you have done all the work we outlined, you should have achieved an All-Star status. You have optimized your profile and summary with keywords, concrete descriptions of your roles, and how to help our customers achieve their WHY. You’ve also included some multimedia, asked for recommendations, added skills, certifications, courses, honors, and awards. If you’ve done all that, then congratulations! You have a kick-ass profile, that’s going to get you in front of the right people (recruiters, hiring managers, clients) and it’s going to make you win against your competitors!