Video: Five Steps to a Great LinkedIn Profile

This video, created by the fine folks at Alder Koten, an international executive search firm, lays out five simple steps to write a great LinkedIn profile.

Here are the key take-aways from the video:

Step 1 – Define your brand: Think about how you are trying to position yourself to your audience. Are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? A dedicated employee who adds value to your clients and your co-workers? A prime candidate for a new position? Everything that comes next in the profile development process should tie into how you define your brand.

Step 2 – Use the headline area to describe your brand, not your title: The headline under your name is a great place to emphasize your brand and include relevant keywords that will help your profile pop up in search results. Your title is narrow and pigeon-holes you into a specific role. A branded headline will tell a more holistic story and position you for the next step in your career.

Step 3 – Include a professional photo: In today’s world, your first impression happens when they click on your profile and see your photo, not when you meet face-to-face. Depending on your industry and targeted position, you should select an image that will convince people that you fit the profile of candidate they’re seeking. Your hair style, the clothes you wear, even the background of the picture can help people to see you in your professional role.

Step 4 – Tell your story: Use the Summary section of the profile to tell your audience 1) who you are, 2) where your unique skills and strengths lie, and 3) what specific value you can bring to an organization. Avoid over-used phrases such as “problem-solver” or “excellent communicator” and integrate relevant keywords that tie into specific industries, products, services or needed skill sets.

Step 5 – Include detail in your experience: Don’t simply talk about your day-to-day duties, show the impact that you had in each role. Detail how your responsibilities have increased over the years and how your experiences uniquely position you to move forward into a bigger and better role with a new company.

These recommendations just scratch the surface on all the things you can do to create an awesome LinkedIn profile. However, it is a great starting point and following each step will ensure that you have a great foundation to start connecting with people and showing up in search results.

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