Writing a LinkedIn Profile vs. Writing a LinkedIn Post
There’s a big difference between writing a LinkedIn profile that’s effective versus writing a LinkedIn post to get high visibility. Writing a LinkedIn profile is a trained skill. A trained and certified LinkedIn profile writer will understand that SEO, keyword optimization, and other facets of the profile play an intricate part in getting visibility on the platform. True growth on LinkedIn takes time and is a natural progression. It’s not accelerating to 20K or 30K or 50K followers in 8 months or a year. If a person is on LinkedIn the entire day commenting on posts, they are not in the trenches of writing for clients.
Some will position themselves as a “LinkedIn expert” or “LinkedIn power user” because of their following or views/likes/comments on their posts. Writing a LinkedIn post is easy, particularly where many of them are in engagement pods (rapid growth of followers + comment-for-comment strategy from the same 10-15 people). The article I linked above is from someone who promoted the use of pods and accelerated his own following on the platform to get to the 30K connections — a strong network does not necessarily mean you need 30K followers. I do not participate in engagement pods because I believe they are a deterrent of quality not an accelerator.
Sadly, many of these individuals are “cheating” the LinkedIn algorithm to position themselves as LinkedIn experts (and invite you to sign up for their LinkedIn class). Look to the age range of the LinkedIn user — if they just graduated college a few years ago, they will lack the knowledge of the hiring market and careers industry to properly guide you. If they aren’t doing this full-time (you have to wonder what their M.O. really is), their lack of training will also be evident. In essence, these individuals are just glorified marketers baiting you to sign up for their “free training” and serve as lead gen for their course. If you’are a newbie in the job market, this may appeal to you. But, if you’re a seasoned executive, look to how the individual composes his/her LinkedIn profile — does the summary read clearly? Is the marketing solid? Are they contributing their thoughts and expertise as a speaker and to other media outlets?
On a weekly basis, I’m contacted by dozens of executives who need help building their LinkedIn profile for better visibility and optimization — in the past they haven’t had a need for it. Here are 4 quick fixes you can do right now to write a LinkedIn profile with better traction.
Customizing your LinkedIn profile URL takes less than 30 seconds. Here is how you do it:
- Click Me at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- Click Edit public profile & URL on the right side. A new window will open.
- Under the section, Edit URL, it says, “Personalize the URL for your profile.”
- Click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL: www.linkedin.com/in/yourname
- Type the last part of your new custom URL.
- Click Save.
LinkedIn Headline & Summary
These are the two biggest areas of concern for LinkedIn users. To create a powerful LinkedIn headline, you should focus on your current job title/target role, your industry, and 3 value-add skills. Remember, your headline must be SEO-driven and there is a 200-character limit on mobile, 120-character limit on desktop. Think about important and relevant keywords that recruiters and professionals search for and what will get you more “hits” in searches. BONUS TIP: use Glassdoor or LinkedIn to find a targeted role and copy the job description into wordclouds.com. Wordclouds.com will generate keywords and put into a word list you can use.
To create a compelling LinkedIn summary, you want to spend the time sharing your career story. Here are some key questions to answer:
- What are you most passionate about in your career?
- What are your best skills?
- What are big wins in your career? How have those wins shaped your passion?
- Who are you interested in connecting with?
Skills & Endorsements
Skills and endorsements are equally as important. Pin the 3 most important skills at the top of your skills section. Keep in mind that you can have up to 50 skills in the skills section. How do you determine which skills are important for your industry or career level? Review several job postings to see the relevant skills listed. This will help you narrow down the list.
Look at your resume. Now look at your LinkedIn profile. Do the job titles, companies, and dates of employment line up? They must align. If there is conflicting information, it can give the impropriety that you are being dishonest about your employment. If you aren’t disclosing employment on your resume, you should remove it from your LinkedIn profile.
The above-motioned quick fixes to your profile can assist you in getting more organic visibility on the platform. Have additional questions? Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Other resources: Thrive Global article, 20 Ways to Power Your LinkedIn Profile for a Job Search