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Melanie Goodman


LinkedIn Consultant, Trainer & Employee Advocacy Specialist

Read more from Melanie Goodman

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Is your LinkedIn profile doing you a disservice?

The L&D industry has a competitive jobs market and having the right knowledge and skills isn’t enough. You must also showcase them. How? With a fully optimised LinkedIn profile that packs a punch. The advice below will help you curate an impactful profile.
focus photography of woman's fist: optimising your LinkedIn profile

The importance of a fully optimised LinkedIn profile cannot be overstated. You work tirelessly to help others in their careers but need to make sure that your own doesn't take a back seat.

There are so many people vying for employment these days and merely having a LinkedIn profile is not enough.

Not only must it be fully optimised, but you also need to actively engage with your network if you want to be recognised as an L&D thought leader of true worth.

How to showcase your skills

A shop window containing a naked mannequin will attract no shoppers, just as a skeletal LinkedIn profile will attract no candidates, clients or employers. 

LinkedIn serves as a vital platform from which we can showcase our skills, experience and value proposition to the world.

The following are some key strategies on how best to optimise your profile:

Merely having a LinkedIn profile is not enough

Photo tips

  • Choose a high-quality photo - Pick a professional real headshot, not an AI-generated one (which is against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions)
  • Convey a friendly approachable demeanour
  • Avoid selfies or cropped group photos
  • Rename the photo with a keyword for your role eg. human-resources.jpeg to rank higher in searches both on and off LinkedIn

Headline considerations

  • Go beyond your job title – you have 220 characters at your disposal
  • Highlight your expertise in an L&D niche eg. learning design or upskilling
  • Add awards and contact details (make it easy for a reader to reach you)

Display skills and services and regularly update

Write a concise keyword-rich ‘About’ section that encapsulates your professional journey, core competencies and career goals.

Detail work experience by focusing on quantifiable achievements made in each role performed so far while at the same time emphasising how you obtained them.

In the  'Skills & Endorsements' section, list up to 100 skills, reordering them so that the top three that you wish to be found for are listed first as only these are visible to new profile viewers. Encourage connections to endorse these abilities by endorsing some of theirs for them – it’s usually a matter of the old adage “you scratch my back…”

Add a personal Services Page (not a Company Page) by pressing ‘more’ and ‘add section’ next to your headline and completing the details. You will rank much higher in search results.

Revisit and update each section regularly to remain current and ensure that you are exploiting all of LinkedIn's latest features. Otherwise, if you are behind the curve, then so will your profile be in the rankings!

Revisit and update each section regularly to remain current

Engagement is (almost) everything

Sharing valuable content and engaging with your LinkedIn network is crucial for establishing your personal brand and building meaningful relationships. By consistently providing insights, responding to comments and reaching out directly, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your sector and create your own opportunities for collaboration and growth.

This subtly shows you are focused on professional growth while maintaining top-of-mind awareness among peers.

Be specific – share content that will genuinely add value and not fill white space.

Some ideas:

  • Industry news and trends
  • Practical tips and best practices related to your area of L&D expertise
  • Personal experiences and lessons learned
  • Thought provoking questions or polls to encourage engagement
  • Start your own LinkedIn newsletter on topics such as ‘Practical Tips for Improving Employee Engagement and Retention’ or ‘How to Create a Culture of Recognition’

Be chatty and responsive

You need to actively participate in conversations and respond promptly to comments that people leave on your posts for two reasons: it helps with the algorithm and also creates goodwill within your network.

This enables you to build relationships, showcase your knowledge and show how much more you can learn about subjects related to yours by asking questions and giving feedback and insights when appropriate.

You need to actively participate in conversations

Don't be afraid to reach out

Don't wait for people to come knocking at your door! If there’s someone interesting who could be a valuable connection or has connections that might help you professionally, send them an email expressing your admiration for what they do and propose collaboration if relevant.

Approaching someone with genuine interest instead of only trying to utilise their resources shows as much the respect that we have towards ourselves as well as speaking volumes about our character both personally/professionally over time.

Think about personal branding

LinkedIn offers a range of potent features that can help you significantly enhance your personal branding efforts and engage with your network in new and exciting ways. By leveraging these tools strategically, you can create a more dynamic and impactful presence on the platform.

Go live!

LinkedIn Live allows you to broadcast real-time video content to your network, providing an authentic and engaging way to share your insights and expertise. Use this feature to host Q&A sessions, interviews or workshops. 

Polls are invaluable

Polls encourage interaction and gather valuable insights from your network. Use polls to ask thought provoking questions related to L&D, seek opinions on current trends or crowdsource ideas for your next project. You can show your interest in their viewpoints by creating polls, and the LinkedIn algorithm still heavily favours this content genre.

Collaborate with fellow thought leaders

Collaborating with industry thought leaders and showcasing successful L&D initiatives are powerful ways to establish credibility, demonstrate expertise on LinkedIn and highlight the impact of L&D initiatives on organisational performance. 

Use specific metrics and data to quantify the results of L&D projects, demonstrating the tangible value of your contributions.

Emphasise how your L&D expertise aligns with business objectives and contributes to the organisation’s success. Share insights on how L&D strategies can drive innovation, enhance employee satisfaction, and improve overall organisational performance.

Polls encourage interaction

Create your own future

To maximise your LinkedIn presence:

  • Optimise your profile with a professional photo and compelling headline
  • Share valuable content consistently
  • Engage actively with your network
  • Leverage LinkedIn’s features to enhance your personal brand and demonstrate your expertise
  • Collaborate with thought leaders
  • Showcase your successful L&D initiatives

While shaping others' careers, don't forget that, as management guru Peter Drucker said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it”.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out: Surviving disruption and L&D redundancies: What really counts?

Author Profile Picture
Melanie Goodman

LinkedIn Consultant, Trainer & Employee Advocacy Specialist

Read more from Melanie Goodman

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