5 Tips for your LinkedIn Profile

5 Tips for your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has over 690 million users worldwide. Unfortunately, not everyone has optimized LinkedIn profile page or uses the possibilities to its fullest extent. Do you use LinkedIn before you pick up the phone? Do you keep a close eye on your competition? Do you follow interesting companies? Do you join interesting groups? Do you share content and write your own articles? Having an eye-catching power profile becomes necessary if you become active on LinkedIn because people will visit your profile. That profile needs to reflect your professional you! Below you can read my 7 LinkedIn Tips for ambitious professionals.

Tip 1 Engaging headline

The headline (5–7 second power pitch) is the second part of your profile that will be seen and read after your photo (see tip 3). This headline should confirm to the visitor that you could help them with something. Therefore mentioning only your job title (Marketing Manager) doesn’t cut it because it does not tell visitors how you can actually help them and what makes you, you! The headline should be the essence of you as a personal brand. Think: skills and experiences! Remember this headline will be shown everywhere next to your photo on LinkedIn. Whenever you share and update or post something in a group, your headline will always be visible. Here is your challenge: create a headline that is you on a silver platter in under 120 characters. Yes, that includes spaces!

Tip 2 Create a personal URL

When I visit profiles it still surprises me how often people forget to change the automatically generated personal URL such as http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-doe/5/607/98% into their own. If you change it in something like this http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexisvandam you can use it in an email signature. It also does wonders for your position in a search engine such a Google. It makes it much easier to index that URL, not to mention that it looks much better when people view your contact details, don’t you think? How to make it your own? Go to ‘Edit Profile’ > select ‘Contact Info’ > hover over the URL and select to change. Hopefully yours is still available!

Tip 3 Professional Photo

As mentioned, the first thing a visitor on your profile sees is your photo. For starters it is helpful to recognise someone (ex-colleague, former classmate, connection you made during an event). Upload and cut your picture so it only shows your face. Preferably look directly at people and have a warm and welcoming smile. People like to do business with friendly people. Are you unsure about your photo? Test it with family, friends or colleagues!

Tip 4 Create an About (summary)

The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. It is the first part visitors read after your photo and headline. You can start clean and are not forced to fill up predefined parts. Using the right keywords is important and be sure to make it all about you professionally. It is about how you can help your audience.

Think about Simon Sinek: It starts with WHY. Use your summary to stand out from the crowd. Remember to close off with a clear call to action. It makes visitors want to read on and make contact or stop and click away. As with everything written, it is better to be to the point than use up the allowed 2000 characters. It is also possible to spice up your summary with icons or emojis

Tip 5 Add Skills

You have probably seen a skill set on a LinkedIn profile. On the plus side, it makes it easy for connections and visitors to endorse you for certain skills. On the other side, it does not help if you listed your top-10 skills and only a small amount of people endorse you for a skill. How would it make you feel if you are a corporate lawyer and only 6 people endorse you for your skill: corporate law? Think of the skills that best describe you and your ambitions. Ask familiar connections if they want to endorse you while you are on the phone with them or about to send them an email. Remember it says much more if people endorse you for skill than if you would say how great you are!

Bonus Tip, start your working day by opening LinkedIn. See what is happening in your network, what they are talking about and use that throughout the day when you are in contact with your network.

What is your opinion?

Do you have any other tips you use? Please mention them below in the comments field. I’d be interested to hear your views!

Using Zoom Virtual Backgrounds The Smart Way

Using Zoom Virtual Backgrounds The Smart Way

We are using Zoom more and more since we are working from home. Video conferencing, Zoom Calls, Skype, Google Meet, and FaceTime seems to be the new norm when it comes to communicating with your clients, prospects, and team.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Meet from Google and a slew of other tools raised up and are now our goto tool for communicating. However, Zoom seems to be the most popular and has a set of interesting options.

Video Calls From Home

To have an as-real-as-it-gets connection with the other party, people are using the video option more and more. When we use these tools in the office we’re already in an office environment, but working from home has significantly changed this backdrop.

Zoom.us has a great feature to be able to simply change the background or even add a video as a backdrop. There is no real need – at least for video calling – to tidy your room and paint the walls. At the moment, this feature is available in the free version of Zoom, which comes with a few photos and video backgrounds. You can add any type of image/ photo/ video as background.

Professional Appearance

There are dedicated websites offering highly professional photo and video backgrounds as a paid service, specifically for Zoom. Others are using royalty-free stock sites to find a nice looking office or scenic backdrop. Have a look at sites such as Pixabay and Unsplash and search for your perfect backdrop.

Graphic design platform, Canva, has ready-made templates with office and other backdrops where you can add-in your name, company logo, and role, check them out on Canva.

Smart ways to use backgrounds

When you are joining a call with a group of colleagues, imagine how it would look if everyone has the same background. Right, that would come across as professional with a high level of detail. 

You can even use a photo of your company’s boardroom setting. Go the extra mile and add your company logo on that photo with a tool such as Canva. Do you have a corporate value wall in the office, and have a photo of that, suggest your team to use that as a background. If you don’t have a picture of your boardroom, you can always find one in the beforementioned sites.

If you are pitching to a prospect, think of the impact to show his/her company logo behind you. Or go the extra step and add your and the prospect’s logo next to each other, eg. Your Company X Prospect’s Company. 

How to change your zoom background?

  • open the Zoom desktop app (Mac, Windows)
  • click your profile picture
  • click on Settings
  • on the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab 
  • in the Virtual Background tab, select a default or upload your own image or video
  • Note, if this tab is not there: log in to the Zoom website and go to Settings and toggle on virtual background

Prepare your background in time

Needless to say, come prepared for your next Zoom call and select the correct virtual background in the settings. This is important when you are using logos of prospects. Make sure the background is not mirrored and that your face is not blocking the logo. 

I am looking forward to your thoughts and tips. Please leave them in the comments below.