If you’re working on your LinkedIn profile (again), good. There is probably some room for improvement. Don’t take that as an insult. Many people have trouble with social media profiles in general, mostly because normal people don’t like to talk about themselves. We usually wind up feeling like we’re somehow being arrogant (if we talk ourselves up), or we look back at our life and feel that we haven’t accomplished as much as we would have liked to.
Or, we really dislike typing because we’re lazy (don’t lie, you know someone that this is true for).
So, go take a look at your profile. See that spot at the top, called your professional headline? I want you to take a good hard look at that. You see, it’s the one thing that will help people decide if they’re going to click though to your profile. If you’re looking for a new career, or you’re using LinkedIn to find new clients, this is life or death.
Write something catchy and intelligent.
Don’t try too hard to use it to sound like the best. Don’t be generic (Product Manager for A.C.M.E. Roadrunner Traps). And, for the love of God, don’t be boring. If they don’t click through, you’re dead in the water.
That little 120 character box is what’s separating you from a better future. In combination with a good profile picture, it should let your prospective client or employer know that you’re the kind of person that they want to work with, and not just because you say you’re good at what you do. It should let those that you want future business and career relationships with know that you’re going to improve their future if they connect with you.
There is no magic formula of what to do, but there is a list of things you probably ought not. Jeff Hadden, one of my INC favorites, put together this comprehensive list of the most overused descriptors on LinkedIn profiles everywhere and the way that they add a nail to your career’s coffin. Read up before you hit that “Done Editing” button.