5 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Storytelling

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A LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to show case who you are and what you can do for others.  To effectively show case yourself with your LinkedIn profile, you need to be able to tell a story that is credible and engaging. How do you tell a story on LinkedIn with your profile? There are 5 Steps you need to take in order to optimize your profile for storytelling.

1. Creating a Great Headline

A headline is  equivalent to the title of a book, essay or story. The headline should be engaging. Like a story, the reader decides if they want to read more or move on. This is the Attention Economy. Using the automatic headline that lists your job title is a mistake. It is boring and makes you just like everyone else. It demonstrates that you lack creativity.

Your headline should be a short introduction of how you help others in your current role; if you are happily employed or if you are looking to advance in your current field. People who work at LinkedIn do this effectively. If you are looking to change careers, the title should demonstrate how you can take skills and insights that you have developed and apply them to the career that you aspire to obtain. In other words, the headline should be able to answer the question “What are you looking to do or what do you want in your next role?”  Next, every great book title needs a visual to impact readers.

2 Uploading a Photo

LinkedIn profiles includes large amounts of text. Similar to a story, text alone is not visually appealing. This is where a photo can help. When you upload a photo to your LinkedIn profile, your profile comes to life; similar to cover art on the front cover of an autobiography. Remember your profile is your story & brief  career autobiography.

When you chose a picture, make sure that it is clear and makes you look professional. Get a professional head-shot if need be. LinkedIn is offering a Picture Opportunity across the United states where users can obtain a fresh professional head-shot along with profile optimization advice. I am using the picture that I received from the event in New York City.

3.Crafting and Creating a Summary/Presentation

Your summary should reflect and expand on the headline. This is the place where you provide a brief overview that supports your headline, thesis and title of your story. Your summary can be used to briefly introduce yourself to your audience. It is important to keep your audience in mind. Put yourself in the place of the reader. Would want to read your profile if the roles were reversed? If the answer is no then make it better! Ask for help if need be.

Once you introduce yourself, tell your story. Explain your background , where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Make sure to include how your current skill set and experience has helped others and how these skills can be applied to a new role. When you list your work experience, make sure to back up your headline and summary. Think of this as your body paragraphs.

4. Describing your work experience

As I mentioned above, the work experience section of your profile are the body paragraphs of your essay and story. It should be listed in chronological order. Each position that you describe should have specific examples of how you helped others in the role. LinkedIn also allows users to upload presentations and videos of their work. This can serve as a digital portfolio of your work that people can view. The next thing that I would do is to obtain recommendations. You can also share your presentations from Slideshare on LinkedIn as well.

5.  Obtaining Recommendations and Endorsements

A LinkedIn recommendation serves as proof that you have done excellent work in your position. These recommendations should be from coworkers, supervisors and customers that you have served. They should serve as the conclusion to your story and essay where your claims are verified and validated. Recommendations should not be given away freely; doing that will undermine your credibility.

Endorsements are a quick way for someone to say that you are good at a particular skill with out needing to write a recommendation. LinkedIn allows users to list up to 50 skills that connections can endorse.

Putting it all Together

Using these 5 steps will allow you to create a LinkedIn profile that can help you tell a credible and engaging story to potential customers and employers.

How have you used your LinkedIn profile to tell your story?

image by http://www.thesba.com

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