LinkedIn Profile Header
The first thing you see on your LinkedIn profile is the LinkedIn Profile Header section. There are 6 areas that I want to address in this article.
Note: This is an update of a 2013 post called 5 Key Attributes to Your LinkedIn Profile Summary
Having a high-quality image of yourself is critical. The picture should portray the story you will be building using your LinkedIn Profile. In my honest opinion, the most important aspect of your LinkedIn photograph is the background.
If you do not have a photograph, the odds of someone clicking on your profile when displayed in a search drops dramatically.
To read more on LinkedIn pictures check out my post, 3 Key Elements of Your LinkedIn Photograph.
If you would like to test your LinkedIn photograph, check out Photofeeler.com.
Your Linked Profile Header should ALWAYS have a photograph
The LinkedIn Profile header headline field is 120 characters in length. Use all of it! It should be keyword rich and should demonstrate your personal brand. By default, LinkedIn will fill this with Your Current Job Title at Current Company. If you have multiple current positions, by the way, I have 3 current jobs, it will pick the first position. Do not let LinkedIn fill this in for you.
I point this out because this allows me to have 3 current job titles that could be found in searches. Please check out the post, Why Are You Not Being Found? Try Thinking Like a Recruiter for why this is so important.
Since most searches on LinkedIn are done geographically, setting your location is key. If you live in one city but are looking for work in another, you will want to set the location to the city where you are looking. I had a client living in Georgia but looking for a position in Dallas. I had them set the location to Dallas and they immediately were being found by recruiters in Dallas.
If you are looking for a job in a different location, then I highly recommend you get a Google Voice number with an area code where you would like to work.
Vanity or Custom URL
You should always generate a vanity or custom URL for your Public LinkedIn Profile. Your LinkedIn public profile is what LinkedIn exposes to Google and the other search engines. This can be found in your Public Profile and URL settings.
Your vanity or custom URL is what is used whenever someone is viewing your profile. LinkedIn changed to using the vanity URL when displaying a profile in 2016 or 2017.
Contact and Personal Information
LinkedIn has made it fairly easy to enter all of your social media properties, websites, and contact information in one place.
Take notice that the websites are clearly named. In order to do this, you must use the “other” option when filling in the contact info form. This allows you to customize the name of the website. See the contact info form below.
LinkedIn Background Image
Everyone now has the capability of setting their background image. This is the large (1,584 x 396px recommended) image that sets the tone for the profile.
You could use a personal photograph. See the picture of the railroad bridge in Austin Texas that someone is using.
This is a great example of using an iconic landmark to make a point.
You could use a stock photograph from websites like 123rf.com. Below is an example of the image used by a bi-lingual educator.
I suggested that she add some foreign language text to the image to deliver a more targeted message. I suggested she use Canva.com to accomplish this.
Lastly, you could construct a custom image similar to what I am currently using.
This was constructed by one of the members of the Career Pivot community using Canva.com. I want you to take notice that the email address and phone number are part of the image and cannot be screen-scraped by spammers.
Canva is one of my favorite tools that has a freemium option. I only pay if I use one of their stock images which are $1 per image. I acquire all of my images from 123rf.com and I have no financial relationship with either 123rf or Canva, I just love their products.
LinkedIn Profile Header Should Deliver a Consistent Message
I want you to think about the message the entire LinkedIn profile header delivers to the reader. The headline, your photograph, and the background should deliver a common and coordinated theme.
For those of us who are … artistically challenged, we need to get help. I have always found that one of my friends has been able to help me. My current headshot was taken by Sherwin Field from Field Photography and is someone who has pivoted from working in the corporate world to being a freelance photographer in the 2nd half of life.
Do you have all 6 components of your LinkedIn Profile header working together?
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