My career has always been important to me. Now that I am a mommy however I have less energy and time. That doesn’t mean my personal brand should suffer. Taking care of your LinkedIn profile let’s you shine in the professional market, exudes confidence and might even lead to new job opportunities. I think all mommies (and women in general for that matter) deserve to be noticed. If you are able to juggle laundry day, bottle time and read up on the blogs, you sure as hell can handle a project. So boost your confidence and create a kickass LinkedIn profile.
#1 LOOK AT ME: posting an awesome profile picture
Just remember what LinkedIn is for: you are presenting yourself to the job market. That picture of you on a holiday in Spain or with your Mini is very cute, but not suitable for your profile picture. Nor should it be of bad quality. Think of how you would like to be perceived as a professional. Now convert that into a photo. As a little check: would you include this photo in a brochure or a magazine? If the answer is yes, that is the profile photo you should use.
Below of list of things you shouldn’t do:
- The photos are tiny: use headshots instead of full body shots.
- No holiday shots. Even if you look serious and it is taken from the right angle.
- Look professional. Leaning in to the camera does not exactly scream ” I am very competent at what I do”.
- Do not put a photography of you holding alcohol in your profile. Unless you work for Heineken or some other liquor company. And maybe even then it is a no-no. If you have excellent “social skills” illustrate it in a different way.
- People should be able to recognize you: no vague or blurry pictures.
- Do not wear attributes likes hats or sunglasses.
And a list of things that work:
- Stand in front of a neutral background. It makes your face stand out.
- Wear make-up to look your very best and boost your confidence. It will shine through in your picture.
- Use an outfit that fits with your ambition. If you work in fashion, you can go for a more polished, fashionable look whereas banking requires a formal attire.
- Ask someone to take the photograph or have a professional photo taken. I had one taken a few years ago and it still comes in handy. It is a good investment in your career.
- Do not be afraid to use colours. It is not without reason stylists use colour schemes to fit your personality type.
So now I have to walk the talk: below my profile picture (so is it a good profile picture??).
#2 MY STORY: Write a kickass summary
Since a few years ( I don’t remember the exact time they introduced it so somewhere in the last years) you can include a summary in your profile page. This is an excellent opportunity to distinguish yourself AND present your ambitions. Write about your passion, track record, inspiration and industry experience. Do not be modest: you are trying to sell yourself. Be just as enthusiastic about your skills as you are about your new MAC lipstick.
Also take an example from the other half: the male population. They use titles like manager, leader, director, VP etc. It is title inflation and I know for a fact it often doesn’t mean anything. In one of the places I worked for everyone was a Vice President. But if you cannot beat them, join them. Use the same tricks. Also when a man works on a project, they often exxagerate its importance. It is often a “strategic initiative”, they are a “project lead” contributing an “essential contribution” to the “major KPIs for the company performance”. It is bullshit bingo but it works.
#3 ME, MYSELF AND I: Be yourself
In contrast with what I stated above, do not be afraid to be yourself. I believe it is best to stay true to yourself and do things your own way. If an opportunity falls through, it probably wasn’t right for you in the first place. Every person has a unique set of skills and it is best to sell yourself like that. But ofcourse it helps to present the best version of you.
I hope these tips help. Let me know what you think.