What Should I Put On My LinkedIn Profile? Part One

Jan 11, 2020

Approach your LinkedIn profile with a sense of calm and ease. The great news is that it can be a work in progress and be updated and changed at any time. You are highly unlikely to write anything on there which will permanently damage your professional reputation. 

If you’re not feeling particularly calm, take a couple of deep breaths and relax. 

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account or profile, the great news is that LinkedIn guides you through setting up your profile step by step and will show you the generic steps you need to take to have an “All Star” profile. 

If you’ve already been through those steps you’ll have the foundations in place for a great profile. One which will make people want to connect with you and accept your connection requests and become your clients or future employer. Yay! 

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is no one perfect LinkedIn profile or a formula to copy. There are so many articles out there which tell you how to write your headline using x formula or to copy and paste stock text. I’m sure you’ve read some of those already. It is comforting to use someone else’s words, I understand that but the sad thing is that your profile then will never feel, sound or look quite like you. 

Why is that a problem? Put simply, formulaic profiles come across as less genuine and likeable which reduces the chance people will connect with you.

Your profile is the starting point in the relationship you’re going to have with that person and if there is a disconnect between your profile and how you come across in real life, your future customer or employer will feel disconcerted and that’s not a great way to start a relationship. 

The good news is I can give you the principles and advise you on how to apply them. Your job is to then make changes to your profile. 

If you’re worried about trying things out on your profile and people seeing it. The even better news is you can do this without anyone probably noticing or seeing you do it which takes the pressure off. As you’re making changes, you’ll see this box before you save a change. If you make sure the slider is “off”, no one in your network will be notified and unless they happen to be viewing your profile at that exact moment, you’ll have the time to change if it doesn’t look right or there is a mistake.

The most important thing is that everything on your profile answers the following questions: 


  • What do you do for your customers, future employers or collaborators? 
  • What is your expertise and experience in that field? 
  • What are you like as a person? 


Review your current profile if you have one as if you were someone you’d want to with now or in the future. 


Does your profile answer those questions?


If not, is there something that you’ve noticed that you could change or add? 


Are there any big gaps? For example, are you missing key information like your contact details? 


This blog is part one in a series and I’ll be posting the future parts over the coming weeks. If you want some more actions to take before then, I would highly recommend that you work on your recommendations. 


Why are recommendations so important? 


I wonder if you have heard this term ‘social proof’? As social animals, we take our ques from other people. If you have recommendations from others, it means people are more likely to connect with you and want to work with you. 


If you’re feeling bold and confident in your network, feel free to send recommendation requests to everyone. 


My personal preference is to give recommendations wherever possible before asking for them. Think of the people you’ve worked with in the past. People you’ve rated and who have liked your work. Write them a recommendation on LinkedIn and then as them for a recommendation. It’s much nicer to give first. 


Keep an eye out for opportunities to ask for a recommendation. Anytime you complete a project or a piece of work or someone says something complimentary. Ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn. It’s totally worth it and most people are very happy to do so. 


Coming up in future posts: 

  • What to write on your Headline and the dreaded About section
  • What to put in the Experience section and break free of the ‘CV’ trap
  • Why Volunteering should have pride of place on your profile 
  • What is the purpose of the Skills section and how to make it have an impact 


Come over and say hi on LinkedIn and check out my profile. You’ll see it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it works.


If it would help, I will see if I can give you some personalised tips to improve your profile. Send me a message on LinkedIn and I’ll see what I can do https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruthlthomson/


Love Ruth