Putting Your Best Foot Forward - 5 Steps to a More Appealing Profile
Friday, January 19, 2024
by: Mara Dickson

Section: Newsletter Articles

By now, most of us have at the very least, a bare-bones LinkedIn profile. From networking opportunities, lead generation, and network collaborations, to recruiting, customer engagement, and establishing thought leadership, you know that automation companies can benefit significantly from participating on LinkedIn due to the platform’s professional nature and its ability to connect businesses with industry professionals, potential customers, and partners. So, you HAVE set up that LinkedIn profile, but do you USE it?

I am routinely asked by members of your teams – industrial automation executives both new and established:
How should I use LinkedIn?
How can I increase my connections properly?
What should I post?
How should I be active?and
How can I make sure I look professional on the platform.

The results? While you are ON LinkedIn, the answer is, “No”. You and your people don’t USE LinkedIn!

The FIX? Zhuzh that Profile
I always recommend that the first step is to improve your profile. Like sporting a new, stylish suit, crafting an appealing LinkedIn profile can give you the confidence to go out into the LinkedIn world knowing you are putting your best foot forward!

Improving your LinkedIn profile can help you make a stronger professional impression and increase your visibility on the platform. So… today I have for you:

Five actions you can take to enhance YOUR LinkedIn profile.
1. Make Your Profile Photo Professional.
Do you have a photo on your profile? (some of you don’t)

Why? Right now, as you sit here reading this Marketing Minute, someone you would like to meet is scrolling through a social stream filled with faces. You are in that stream, (even if yours is one with no image). Did they slow down? Did they stop? Make sure that your photo catches the attention you want!

Will you surprise people or will they recognize you when they finally get to meet you face-to-face?

Today’s first step? Tackle your LinkedIn photo. If you are one of those people without any profile photo, ANY photo is better than none.

For the rest of you, make a plan to update your photo.

How? Make sure your photo shows your face, is properly framed, has an approachable expression, uses color to your advantage, shows you dressed appropriately for your audience, and is professional-looking. Your profile photo is your first impression, so make it count!

2. Optimize Your Headline.
Why? Your headline appears immediately under your name on your profile. Since it can be read at one glance and is seen in the search along with your image in the short-form profile summary, it is one of the most important elements of your profile. Are you trying to hide out there or are you trying to stand out in the crowd!

The default headline is set to be the words from your current job title. That does not mean that it should be your headline! As a matter of fact, I would tell you that it means the opposite – your job title should NOT be your headline!

Today’s 2nd step? Edit your headline.

How? Pull up the most important thing about you, making sure it
 reflects your brand. Select words that will communicate the value you bring to your company, the focus of your job, the trajectory of your career, or the phrase that describes your contribution to any team you are on. Instead of just listing your job title, use this space to describe what you do and your areas of expertise. Make it engaging and keyword-rich to help with discoverability.

3. Craft a Compelling LinkedIn Summary.
Why? The “About” section is your chance to tell your professional story and showcase your skills and accomplishments. Potential clients will want to know why they should trust you. Potential reports will want to know why they should be working for you. Your current reports want to be inspired by you. And your potential employers want to know why they should partner with you! Not sure what to write? Start looking at other people’s “About” sections for inspiration, and then get crafting!

How? Begin to build your summary. Thought by thought, word by word, sentence by sentence, you will come up with your own concise, well-structured summary that highlights your career journey, your unique achievements, and what you're passionate about.

OH! And make sure to use keywords relevant to your industry for better search visibility.

4. Detail Your Work Experience.
Why? Clearly, the “Experience” section of the LinkedIn profile gives readers information about past and current jobs, from the subject’s perspective. Unlike your resume or CV, the LinkedIn “Experience” section gives you the opportunity to add detail and nuance to each of your previous roles, giving you the opportunity to tell the story of your personal and professional development. Don’t waste this opportunity!

 How? Along with each position title, provide thorough descriptions of your roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments in each position, and don’t skimp on the details! If you have been promoted within the company, be sure to include your job progression as well as the current job. LinkedIn displays this very well!

Be sure to use (utilize, employ, avail yourself, wield – you get the picture!) a variety of powerful action verbs and quantify your achievements with specific numbers or results. This demonstrates your impact and value in each of your previous roles.

OH! And in YOUR "Experience" section, make sure to not only NAME your company, but link to each company page.) If there is no company page, MAKE one!!)

5. Build a Robust Network.
Why? Your network does a lot for you. Like the saying goes, the people with whom you surround yourself reflects who you are, and the same is true on social media. You want to be connected with people from whom you can learn, those with whom you can partner, and those you can teach!

How? Intentionally expand your network by connecting with professionals you know, you have worked with, and those you intend to work with. The more connections you have, the larger your potential reach.

Also, consider joining relevant LinkedIn groups and participating in discussions to develop your influence and build your network further.

The Last Word: LinkedIn is Dynamic.

Because LinkedIn is a dynamic platform, this is not really a “one-and-done” thing! Regularly update and maintain all aspects of your profile in order to make the most of your activity on
LinkedIn. Be sure to share valuable content, engage with your connections, and seek AND GIVE endorsements and recommendations to further enhance your profile's credibility and visibility.

It is always great to share these Marketing Minutes during AHTD meetings and in our monthly newsletters, and I look forward to continuing these discussions in the time between now and our next in-person meeting! Consider signing up for our next AHTD Marketing Roundtable, a group of supportive Marketers in the Industrial Automation space who are working and learning together! Until next time, please remember to follow and use our LinkedIn community hashtags and connect with us and your AHTD contacts to stay up-to-date with everyone #doinghightechbetter together!