How to Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile: Tips from the Queen
By Eve Mayer and Bryan Bennett | @LinkedInQueen
Today I’m writing with our founder and fearless leader, Eve Mayer, also known as @LinkedInQueen. To explain our relationship: She provides the LinkedIn profile knowledge and I provide the witty rejoinders.
We will be looking at the individual profile for Paul Allen, Founder and CEO of Embark, a Dallas-based management consulting and accounting firm.
Paul starts off right: with a good picture. If you showed up to meet Paul for lunch somewhere, you’d know exactly who he is. The first time I heard Eve speak, she said the picture should be within six months and/or six pounds, as well as be representative of who you are and how you dress. And for goodness sake - make it professional. If you are using a picture taken on Bourbon Street that just barely crops your friends out, that’s who prospective clients see.
Paul also filled out all the relevant information. You would be surprised how many a LinkedIn profile we come across that doesn't even have a heading! Again, this is how people will see you. Is that the message you want to send - that you can't be bothered to complete things?
We prefer third-person writing for the LinkedIn summary. There are a number of reasons for this. SEO is one, but most people also find it easier to brag in the third person. LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters for your summary. That is between 250-300 words. Don’t overwrite, but also feel free to use the space. Paul uses just over 1,000 characters for about 170 words.
Paul uses great descriptors in his Summary statement - which is great, because a recent study shows you have only six seconds for your LinkedIn profile to make an impression. Remember, the average customer or headhunter is going to weed you out based on your Summary so don't be afraid to name drop.
Here, you should create three or four tight sentences that tell people where you are and where you came from. Paul hits on his time with Big Four Ernst & Young and recruiting heavyweight Robert Haff.
We are big fans of the way he makes it a little bit personal with his reference to athletic and life skills training. If you have something about that sets you apart, then let it show. Unless, of course, you are a Brony - you should probably keep that to yourself.
At SMD, we recommend that you make your profile a place that explains what kinds of business you want to do and, by omission, what things you don’t. This a good place to highlight three to five bullet points, but not the laundry list of skills. There is a place for that later on LinkedIn.
Finally, include the way you want to be contacted. If your email address and phone number are available other places on the web, you should still provide them here as well. Paul uses this as an opportunity to generate business by offering a “two-hour Strategy Session” for free.
If you can’t get your profile looking as good as Paul’s does, or if you just find writing about yourself difficult, drop us a line. We would love to help you out.