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How to Position Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract the Work You Want

career executives leadership marketing professional development strategy young professionals Aug 23, 2022
How to Position LinkedIn Profile

Here’s a puzzle for you—how do you get the experience you need for a job you want if the jobs that will give you that experience also require experience you don’t have? Did you follow me? Sometimes bridging the gap between where you are today and where you want to be down the road can feel like mental gymnastics. Starting out in something new, whether it’s a new industry, a new capability, a new specialty, or a new side hustle, can feel challenging at the get-go. But, switching gears and starting fresh isn’t impossible; it just requires a bit of creativity and patience. 

I see this a lot in my work with clients. I’m continually inspired by folks who take on a new challenge. This could look like a financial advisor aiming to attract clients in a new market, executives branching out to start a consulting practice, or a mid-career professional changing industries. Whatever new territory you hope to conquer in your career, the right mindset and smart LinkedIn positioning can help. Here are a few of my top tips to help you position your profile to attract the work you want. 

1. Showcase your capabilities

Don’t neglect your featured section as an opportunity to demonstrate what you can do. For example, if you want to attract more paid speaking opportunities, help people envision you as a speaker by including featured images of past gigs. Maybe you have yet to speak in front of a crowd, but you were a guest on a podcast. Include a link to that in your featured section! Even if you have yet to experience the type of work you want to attract, consider the translatable skills from other roles and be sure to feature them in your skills section to increase your chances of being found. 

2. Find people who can speak to your credibility. 

If you want to position yourself for a big promotion, a career change, or a new side hustle, think about the qualities you’ll need to succeed in those endeavors. Then, use that information to guide the way you approach the recommendations section of your LinkedIn profile. Put your creative or critical thinking hat on and consider, “Who do I know or who has experienced me in the capacity I want to showcase?” Never underestimate the power of testimonials. A few kind words from real people can go a long way toward assuaging doubts about what you can do. 

P.S. - If you’re not sure how to get started with recommendations, check out this article

3. Reduce the friction of reaching out. 

Obviously, it’s unlikely your phone will start ringing off the hook for new business if you don’t even include your phone number in your LinkedIn profile. Make it as easy as possible for people who are interested in hiring you to get in touch. I recommend including your contact information in three main spots: your contact info section, where it will only be visible to your first-degree connections, as well as your at the end of your summary and featured sections, where anyone can see it if you make your profile public. 

4. Add dimension and interest with visuals. 

Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to “dress the part,” so to speak. In other words, pay attention to how your audience expects someone in your desired role to present him or herself online. This is especially true in the visual areas of your profile. Balance function and a clean aesthetic in your background photo. For example, if you’re hoping to attract new consulting clients, take a look at other consultant’s you admire and how they use the space in their backgrounds to feature, say, their phone number, tagline, or website URL. Your background serves as a barometer of sorts for people who are checking you out on LinkedIn. A clear, custom background demonstrates a level of professionalism and digital savvy to your profile visitors. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check your background on mobile! If you’re someone who doesn’t use LinkedIn regularly, keep it simple and without text. LinkedIn changes its display parameters from time to time, so it’s best to avoid including important information that could be cut off by new formats.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but with a few strategic moves, you can get where you’re going a little bit faster. To your next great challenge, cheers! I’ll be rooting for you wherever you go next. 

If you found these tips helpful, I think you’d also enjoy my free guide, Top 10 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn. I created it with you in mind to help you nail your first impressions and show off all the great talent you bring to your network. Click this link to snag your copy.



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