How to Make a Killer First Impression on LinkedIn

With more than 690+ million members across 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is the world’s #1 platform for lead generation, and with 4 out of 5 decision makers there is massive business potential!

About 90% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to reach out to potential job candidates regularly. Marketers on the other hand have found LinkedIn 277% more effective in lead generation compared to Facebook and Twitter.

This means that LinkedIn is a great platform to build your online professional brand and market your skills and services!

In comparison to other social media platforms, members on LinkedIn spend hours each day to create, consume, and share professional content and are most likely in a “professional mindset” when scrolling through the Newsfeed.

Hence, having a complete and well-optimised LinkedIn profile can be one of the most valuable assets in your business and career, BUT — it is important to understand that your profile is not just your “digital resume”.

If done correctly, it can be your powerful online business card that can help you to attract potential clients, recruiters, brand partnerships, speaking engagements, PR opportunities and more…

Here are 4 things you need to have on your LinkedIn profile to make a killer first impression and turn your profile into a powerful online business card:

LinkedIn Profile Checklist

1. Your Headshot

Your profile headshot helps to add credibility and likability to your profile, and, it is your chance to welcome your profile visitors with a warm smile! Believe it or not, but having reviewed thousands of profiles in the past 4 years, I still come across quite a few profiles without a headshot (or worse, a bad one) every single day.

Here are some tips for selecting a great LinkedIn profile headshot:

  • Use a recent photo.
  • Do not use selfies or cropped photos.
  • Avoid full-body photos — I recommend above the shoulder.
  • Do not use company logos (this is actually against LinkedIn terms and conditions).
  • Wear an outfit that represents your professional brand.
  • Make sure to smile!

You don’t need a professional photographer. Use a high-quality camera and take your photo in the morning or the afternoon for better lighting. And, don’t be shy to ask for help from a friend!

2. Your Banner Image

Your banner image is the top-right card behind your headshot and it’s actually the number one missed opportunity I see people make on LinkedInIt is your opportunity to create a killer first impression with your profile visitor and it allows you to visually showcase your work and professional brand.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Maximum file is 8MB.
  • Recommended pixel dimensions are 1584 x 396.
  • File type must be PNG or JPG.
Basically, if you are still using the “standard” blue banner image then you are missing out on a great opportunity to leave a great first impression with your profile visitor.

3. Your Full Name

It might seem like a no brainer, however I still come across profiles who make simple, easy-to-fix mistakes in their profile names every single day. While you might use a nickname on Facebook or Instagram handle, these don’t work on LinkedIn.  

Here are some tips to do it right:

  • Use your real name. I recommend including only your first and last name.
  • Try to avoid abbreviations like Dr., MBA., PhD etc. — you can include this in your headline instead (we’ll talk about that next).
  • Write your name in English characters. 
Using the above can help you boost your chances of appearing in LinkedIn and Google search results when people actively search for your name.

4. Your Headline

Your headline is one of the most important pieces of your profile. I like to call it the “one-line elevator pitch” as it is one of the few sections with the most visibility across the platform and, if done correctly, it can help you to attract your target audience straight to your profile!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your profile headline:

  • Who is your ideal profile visitor?
  • How can you help them?
  • What action do you want them to take?
Your headline is one of the sections that appears in LinkedIn search, hence, make sure to add relevant keywords to increase your chances to be found in search results.

Having a complete, well-optimised profile helps you to build a strong online professional brand, boost your connection requests, and more importantly, increase your chances of to land your next dream client or job opportunity through LinkedIn!

These are only the first steps to turn your profile into a powerful online business card. Download my free LinkedIn profile checklist to create a complete, well-optimised profile and create a killer first impression with your target audience.