Fairy Dust Aint Gonna Fix That!

I have a question for you:

Have you ever formed your first impression of someone based entirely on their LinkedIn profile?

Maybe you were browsing random people, finding out more about who’s viewed your profile, or checking out specific contacts, like a prospective colleague or customer.

If you answered ‘yes’, here are two more questions:

Has that first impression ever been negative? And if so, what created that negative impression?

Maybe it was the images – there wasn’t a profile photo, or there was, but it was dodgy. Or they’d added a background picture that left you scratching your head as to what it was.

Maybe it was their summary – a complete lack of one, or one that seemed bland and blah, blah, blah, giving you no hint of personality.

Maybe it was other details – an experience section with nothing but a job title and date, or posts and articles that were months, or even years out of date.

Maybe it was an overall feel that this person has a profile, but hasn’t stopped for a second to consider how it’s conveying their personal brand.

A whole lotta people fall into that bracket

I’m saying that based on the hundreds of people who have attended my workshops. Because if we’re discussing the subject of LinkedIn, I always ask the question:

Who here has a LinkedIn profile they’re proud of – one that they know creates a great first impression?

Do you know how many people have put their hand up over the 10 years I’ve been running workshops? Sad to say, but it only just runs into double figures.

Instead, the majority admit that their profile leaves a lot to be desired. Some even go so far as to admit it’s “totally crap”.

As I point out to them, there isn’t some fairy sprinkling magic fairy dust onto your profile, so that it suddenly looks amazing when viewed by another person. If you already think your profile is rubbish, that’s exactly what everyone else is going to think too.

You need to create your own fairy dust

If you have a LinkedIn profile that’s doing your personal brand a disservice, you need to make a decision:

Remove it completely, or spend some time bringing it up to scratch.

(If you choose the latter, you may want to get hold of a copy of my free guide: How To Create A LinkedIn Profile To Be Proud Of. Simply scroll to the bottom of my homepage to find a sign up box.)

And even if you’re thinking, “Actually, my profile’s already pretty good” it’s still worth taking a few minutes to review it. That’s because LinkedIn recently changed the design and layout of their profiles, so things that looked OK before can now look out of place.

For example, your photo now appears on the left hand side of the screen, instead of the middle (which can have knock-on effects for your header image). And the amount of your summary copy that shows before someone has to click ‘see more’ is different too.

Make sure you look at it on the desktop version though, rather than the app, to see the full extent of the changes.

If you really want to know what’s what though, I can highly recommend this podcast from Mark Williams, who is the #1 person for keeping me up-to-date with what’s going on with the site.

How often do you review and update your LinkedIn profile? Or if you don’t, has this post prompted you to take action? Let me know with a comment below. Thanks!

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2 responses to “Fairy Dust Aint Gonna Fix That!”

  1. Tony O says:

    Excellent prompt, Jennifer. Having taken a look at my own profile (which I put into the OK, but could do better category) I think that the change made to the Summary section of the profile now makes it even more important to ensure that you have got your reader’s attention within the first three lines. If you haven’t, then it is unlikely that they will take the next “Show more” step.

    • Jennifer Holloway says:

      Exactly Tony – so many people write their profile summary with an introduction that does nothing to grab or hold the reader’s attention.

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