LinkedIn Tips: Three Ways to Polish Your Profile for the New Year
Are you a LinkedIn "buzzword" abuser? Do you still use only text and images in your profile to describe yourself and your employment history? If so, these three simple tips can refresh and revamp that boring profile and help set you apart from the rest of the pack.
By Kristin Burnham
If your LinkedIn profile includes any of the terms “dynamic, motivated, results-oriented or innovative problem solver with a proven track record,” it’s probably time for a profile makeover.
Yesterday, LinkedIn released its top 10 overused buzzwords in U.S. member-profiles —descriptors, LinkedIn says, that are ambiguous and really don’t say anything.
The United States isn’t alone in its affinity for buzzwords, though. The U.S., Canada and Australia all overuse the phrase “extensive experience,” according to LinkedIn. Brazil, Spain and India excessively use the word “dynamic,” while the U.K. overuses “motivated.” For France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, the number-one overused word is “innovative.”
Want to start the New Year off fresh? Here are three quick changes you can make right away to your LinkedIn profile to ensure your profile sets you apart.
[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com’s LinkedIn Bible.]
Read through your profile. Are you guilty of using too many buzzwords? If so, remove them and start your profile from scratch, focusing on the simplicity of what you say. When you’re finished, ask yourself if a 12-year-old would understand the basis of what you do, says Howes.
“The key is to use simple words to tell others who you are, what you’re doing and how you can help others,” he says. “That’s the message you’re trying to convey, so keep it clean and make sure it’s easily understood.”
Breitbarth recommends taking some time to determine what you hope to accomplish in using the service and then develop a set of appropriate keywords that people could use to find you on LinkedIn. If you’re an IT consultant, those words might be “IT,” “consultant” and “technology consultant.” Use these keywords throughout your profile, but be sure not to overdo it, he says.
“If you can differentiate yourself from other business professionals, then you’re going to be noticed,” Howes says.
Record a one minute to 90-second video of yourself that summarizes the content of your profile. Include a quick introduction of who you are, what you do, how you can help others and the best way people can get in touch with you, whether it’s via phone, Skype or e-mail, Howes says. And make sure you dress professionally, record your clip in good light and thank everyone for visiting your page, he says.
To upload your video to LinkedIn, visit the Upload page on LinkedIn’s SlideShare app. Once the video is uploaded, you’ll be directed to a video page where you can share the video on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks.
Kristin Burnham covers Consumer Technology, SaaS, Social Networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Kristin at email@example.com.