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Crafting a LinkedIn Profile to Position You as an Industry Expert

A person working with a laptop.
25 Mar 2022

Your LinkedIn profile is a place for you to build your personal brand, showcase skills and achievements, network with other industry professionals and be a stand-out to future employers.

People come across your profile in many ways. This may include a Google search, someone remembering you from an event, or they may simply want to learn about your accomplishments. No matter how people come across your LinkedIn Profile, you want it to be a true standout. 

But what does the perfect LinkedIn Profile look like? 

Well, simply put, it’s one that gets you noticed for all the right reasons and helps you achieve your goals – whether this means expanding your reach, finding new contacts, or getting a job offer.

So now you may be wondering: what exactly is the recipe to getting your profile just right? 

Or, perhaps, you want to position yourself as an industry expert? 

Well, the team at Piccolo PR have done all the research for you and in just a few minutes will unpack the must-do steps.

Let’s begin with the basics:

  1. Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn.

First things first, upload a good profile picture! Yes, to our dismay, people still get this one wrong and it directs future employers impressions from the start; however there is a simple fix!

LinkedIn professionals say your profile picture should be a recent look, like you and your face should take up around 60 percent of the total space. So just wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile with your eyes!

This also makes it easier for prospective contacts who may have only met you virtually to recognise you from your profile picture.

 

  1. Add a background photo.

Your background photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page, which means you want it to grab people’s attention and tell the viewer a little more about you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable. So for example, If you’re a freelancer working from home, include a picture of you in your office hard at work. If you’re a professional fitness instructor, go for an action shot of you in the gym.

 

  1. Write a great headline.

Your headline can also help make your profile a stand-out. Add a bit more about yourself professionally, detail your current role, what it means to you, what you’ve accomplished and even, what makes you tick!

There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. Use the headline field to say a bit more. Take a look at sales people’s headlines for inspo, they will almost certainly have more than their job titles in there.

 

  1. Tell your story.

To get the most out of the summary section of your profile, tell your story.  

Too many people misunderstand this section of LinkedIn. We see many people simply listing their recent job titles when it is actually meant for the telling of their story, background, how they got the skills they have and how they apply in their profession. Additionally, this is an opportunity to really connect with industry professionals and future employers. Try to bring to life why those skills matter and the difference they can make to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time in writing this section because it’s the most personal piece of content marketing, and it sure is worth the effort!

 

  1. Eliminate buzzwords.

Buzzwords are used a little too much on LinkedIn, these types of self-promotional sentences are common, however they become almost completely meaningless. This is because they actually won’t convince people that you have these qualities. You actually need to demonstrate them as well – both in the way you describe yourself, and in the way you explain how you are those things through your professional experience and qualifications. Best bet is to be clear and specific about your accomplishments. 

 

  1. List your relevant skills.

This is an important feature on your LinkedIn profile and will back up all that you have said about yourself in your headline and summary section, as well as providing an opportunity for others to endorse you. 

However, it is easy to go overboard with the amount of skills that you can list on this feature so be careful to keep the skills curated and relevant.

Quick Tip: It’s often worth it to take the time for a spring-clean of your skills list every now and then.

 

  1. Spotlight your services.

Maybe you’re a freelance writer, software developer, or marketing guru?

Well, Services is a new LinkedIn feature that helps consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses to showcase the range of services they offer. Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to highlight these skills and let people know that you’re more than just your job — you’re a talented, interesting, and knowledgeable individual that brings significant value to any role.

By using this feature correctly, you will be crafting your profile to look like an industry expert. 

 

  1. Endorsements

LinkedIn endorsements are a simple way for your colleagues and connections to recognise your expertise in a specific field. These seemingly simple endorsements can elevate you and your profile above all your other competitors and make you stand out from the crowd. So how do you get endorsed on LinkedIn? The best way is to go through your connections and see who genuinely deserves an endorsement from you, this often triggers people to return the favour. But in saying that, don’t be afraid to reach out with a polite message asking for endorsements as well; however, keep in mind the relevance of the person to you, you want people’s endorsements that you really value. 

 

  1. Take a skills assessment

Another tactic to positioning yourself as an industry expert, is to take a skills assessment on LinkedIn. This enables you to demonstrate your level of skills and display a verified skills badge on your profile, which is hugely credible. 

Experts say that candidates with verified skills are around 30% more likely to be hired for the roles they apply for; need we say more?

 

  1. Request recommendations

Where endorsements are skill specific, recommendations are a level up as they are a personalised testimonial usually about time spent working together, projects completed or skills developed.

We definitely recommend reaching out to close contacts for recommendations that are relevant to your current role, or next career goal.

 

  1. Get credit for your thought-leadership with Publications

If you want to be seen as a thought leader in your area of expertise then it’s a good idea to be published. Having that “proof point” is huge when proving to your audience that you really are qualified to talk about that area of expertise. 

However, this may take time and money, which are two things usually hard to come by! So, in the meantime, you can start publishing your own articles right on LinkedIn for free. 

Showcasing your expertise on LinkedIn is the perfect way to demonstrate your thought leadership, and it doesn’t cost you anything but a few hours of your time.

The Publications section is one of the most under-used elements in LinkedIn profiles, which means you really have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. 

Last but not least, don’t let your profile sit idle for too long. One of the most important parts of succeeding on LinkedIn is to regularly interact with the site to make new posts and engage with new connections. It’s a good idea to regularly update your profile with new information, and remember: consistency is key!