The key to ensuring a successful career is positioning yourself as a leader, no matter what role or title you currently have. No matter your title, you absolutely can show up as a leader. It can be particularly difficult when you’re a female in a male-dominated industry, or an immigrant in a new country. But it is always possible. Learning to analyse your personal strengths and put them into practice is the first step toward developing a leadership mindset. And it is something you can start doing right now! Take Success Blueprint Vault founder, Andrea Martin. At just 22 years of age, she embraced a career male-dominated industry. With brutal working hours working (24 days straight each month) that would have caused anyone to throw in the towel, Andrea quickly realised that she needed to employ a hustle mindset to climb her way to the top. After just two years and two months, Andrea had accomplished just that, by positioning herself as a leader within her company. Below Andrea outlines the power LinkedIn has in positioning yourself as a leader in any industry.
Have a professional profile picture.
LinkedIn is not the place to use that cute family selfie you took over the weekend as your new profile picture. You need to ensure that you are presented professionally in the picture. It should be a recent photo of yourself and should not feature anyone else. Ask a family member or friend to take a picture of you, or you can hire a professional to take a headshot of you. Your picture is a representation of you. If you are looking for a corporate job, then you need to display a picture befitting of a corporate job. A good picture helps you stand out from the crowd.
Also make sure not to not leave your profile picture blank! Consider this; what do you first think of accounts on social media without a picture? They are probably fake accounts. It’s hard to take someone seriously when you can’t put a face to a name. Recruiters will think the same. Without a profile photo, your profile will easily get thrown into the ‘no’ pile.
Have an eye-catching personalized heading.
While your picture is the first thing recruiters will see, your heading will be the first thing they’ll read. These are the two immediate opportunities you will have to make a great impression, so make sure your headline helps you to stand out even further to make recruiters want to click on your profile. You can use the headline to highlight your specialty or how you are an amazing benefit to your current or past employer. Using just the headline, you can reveal your industry and exactly what you bring to the table. Make sure to use targeted and relevant industry keywords in your headline, so that it will make you easier to find when recruiters are searching for professionals in your field or industry.
Complete every section.
A completed profile puts you in a better position for success. The probability of job opportunities are greater and as you’ll be more likely to appear in search results.
Cross check your profile with your up-to-date resume to make sure you didn’t miss any information.
Have a custom background image or on-brand color.
The custom background image on your profile can speak volumes for you and your brand. It should complement your headshot; however, it should not be too distracting as to draw all the attention away from your face. You can use tools like Canva to create a custom background image. Choosing the right background image can give your profile a little boost to make it stand out to recruiters.
Ask for recommendations from colleagues and bosses.
Recommendations give you credibility, so they are another great way to boost your profile, impress recruiters, and get more interviews. Think of LinkedIn being your online resume, and recommendations serving as your references.
You need to be proactive here, and ask your colleagues and/or bosses to write recommendations for you. When you ask, make sure to be courteous and professional and pay it forward by offering to write a recommendation for them as well. Give them context as to what you are looking for it to include. For example, you can request a recommendation that includes feedback about key skills required of the position you’d like to get.
There are two opportunities to ask for recommendations. You can ask while you are currently employed. A great time to ask is during a performance review. Another opportunity to ask is when you leave an employer on good terms. Just as you would ask for a reference, you could also ask for a LinkedIn recommendation.
Share industry-relevant articles or write up your own.
A key LinkedIn activity you can participate in to show hiring managers that you’re up to date on latest happenings and trends, is by sharing posts that are relevant to your industry. Sharing articles positions you as a thought-leader, and also endures you are kept well informed of your industry.
You can also write your own articles. Writing your own articles is a great way to showcase your expertise, industry knowledge and raise your visibility to recruiters. Use sharing or writing articles as a way to engage with your connections on LinkedIn. Just like on other social media platforms, the more engaged you are, the better the relationship you build with your connections.
Share your achievements, awards and certifications.
To increase the likeliness of appearing in more specified searches, add any relevant achievements, awards and certifications to your profile. This will allow you to be found in searches that focus on specific honors and achievements, as well as being another opportunity to showcase your expertise and qualifications.
Have a strong summary statement of your experiences.
First of all, never leave the summary section blank. Using keywords in your summary statement will ensure your profile comes up in keyword searches. A strong and well-written summary will help your profile appear more often and a key way to stand out amongst a sea of other potential candidates.
The summary statement is the first thing a recruiter will read when they go into your profile, and it is your opportunity to state who you are professionally and why you should be hired.
Don’t use the summary to try and tell your life or entire career history. This should be a short, straight-to-the-point summary of your accomplishments and skills.
You need to make those first few sentences count! Since LinkedIn only shows the first 300 characters of your summary, make sure your first couple sentences are interesting enough to hook the recruiter into wanting to read more. Also include industry keywords so your profile will show up in searches.
Remember to also be authentic. Your profile summary should tell who you are, what you stand for, and it should speak to the position for which you want to be considered.
Finally, proofread your summary before posting it to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. It’s ok to ask someone you trust for feedback.
A great summary makes a great first impression and sets the tone for the rest of your profile.
Unless you become open to constantly focusing and working on your LinkedIn profile, then you’ll probably miss out on many career opportunities.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource that continues to be underutilized by many job seekers. It’s usually the first-place recruiters go to when looking for the best person for an open position. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, use Andrea’s tips to create a profile that will provide the best visibility to recruiters and even hiring managers for more senior positions within your current company. After following the guidelines above, be sure to continually audit your profile to ensure it remains up to date, you never know when you may appear in a search!
If you’d like more advice from Andrea, grab a copy of her LinkedIn Ebook here.