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EPISODE #17 Creating a Standout LinkedIn Profile with Eleanor Austin




This week, we’re trying something new on TechTalks. Instead of our usual podcast format, I hosted our first live webinar with my friend and LinkedIn expert Eleanor Austin, founder of New Marketing Today. Much of our work here at TechImpact is about connecting talent and employers in our sector, and this seemed like a great way to help job-seekers put their best face–and profile–forward. 

But even if you’re not in tech, this is a terrific session full of actionable advice, even for savvy LinkedIn users. Eleanor serves up lots of tips and insights on optimizing your profile, strategically building your network, and engaging and influencing others. 

“LinkedIn is so much more than a resume,” she says. “Think of it more as your marketing brochure. Think of it as the home of your professional identity.”

Eleanor’s 10-Step Formula to Rocking Your LinkedIn Profile

  1. Complete your profile. It sounds obvious, but only 51% of users have done this, so if you’re in that other 49%, get to it. An all-star profile gets 40 times more opportunities. “The other cool thing if you have an all-star profile is that Google really likes LinkedIn,” Eleanor says, so you’ll show up higher in searches. 

  2. Get a professional profile photo. First impressions count, and you want to look the part of a professional. So hire a photographer. You’ll get more profile views, connection requests and messages. “You want your LinkedIn headshot to represent you, to say that, yes, I am competent. Yes, I'm likeable.” 

  3. Add a relevant background. Behind your headshot is a big long rectangle of prime real estate that’s a great way to promote the brand that is you. It could be a photograph or montage, a graphic design element in your brand colours, or your logo or tagline.  

  4. Create a headline. You have 220 characters to convey the “brand of you” and entice people to want to know more. The default headline is your title, but it doesn’t have to be. Get creative. ”What are you doing for whom, and what is the benefit?” Eleanor says.  “That’s your headline.” And make it as keyword-rich as possible. 

  5. Fill out Find Me. Add your location, industry, and claim your personalized LinkedIn URL to up your searchability.  

  6. Craft your About section. You can write this in the first or third person. Either way, you’ve got  2,500 characters to convey your unique value proposition. Write in short paragraphs in your voice. Think about your audience–who are you writing for?  Make it relevant for them. “And at the end, you could put a call to action in there. What do you want people to do now?” Eleanor asks.

  7. Add your education and experience. This will significantly increase your views. Your top job should be your most recent. If you're a student, don’t let it go blank. Add a relevant volunteer position to make the LinkedIn algorithms happy.  

  8. Add your skills. The key here is to choose the top three skills that you want to be known for, not just those for which you have the most endorsements. And then endorse others and ask them, in turn, to endorse you. This is another great way to improve your SEO. 

  9. Make and request recommendations: These are more powerful than endorsements because they take more time and effort, and the endorser is putting their reputation on the line. So make it easy for them. Remind them of the details of when you worked together, or even draft a recommendation for them based on how you want your brand reflected. And, of course, pay it forward by recommending someone else.

  10. Add your volunteer experience: This is so important for rounding out your profile. Your volunteering says a lot about your character and what you care about. “Some hiring managers will say that your volunteer experience, especially if you're starting out, is as important as your actual experience,” Eleanor says. 

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Eleanor’s 30-day LinkedIn Challenge: 

  • Add a professional photo

  • Add a banner image (1584x 396 pixels; 8MB)

  • Personalize your LinkedIn URL

  • Create a 90-220 character “Headline”

  • Create a compelling “About” section

  • Add your education

  • Add your most recent job

  • Recommend and endorse at least one person

  • Ask for a recommendation and an endorsement

  • Add your volunteer work

  • Connect with 30 people

  • Follow one group and two influencers 

Check out our full conversation by clicking here to listen or watch the webinar here


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