8 tips for creating a quick, easy professional profile that passes the cringe test

Your professional profile is an important part of building fast credibility. Start with this proven framework to create a quick, easy professional profile that passes the cringe test.

Firstly, a high quality professional photo is not optional – the high impact of a good profile shot is well documented but many professionals fail to spend the time (about 2 hours) or money (around $200). At Hum we regularly collaborate with Meagan Harding of Meagan Harding Photography – an experienced, Melbourne-based photographer who produces great portrait-style professional shots.

It’s also important to take the time to write an engaging profile focused on how you want to position your skills and capabilities in the market. Remember, LinkedIn (along with other social sites such as Facebook and Twitter) is increasing becoming as much a personal marketing platform as it is a job-seeking platform.  This is good news for thousands of professional consultants and advisers who want to raise their profile and grow their professional networks. Don’t squander this opportunity by having a dry, boring profile or worse still, no profile at all (surprisingly common).

Ensure your LinkedIn profile summary is written in first person (after all it is you who is writing it!) Follow these 8 steps to get the most out of your profile summary.

Tip 1: First get your headline right - if you don't it defaults to you job title, which is not always enough to tell people how you can help them.

Example: Strategic, multidisciplinary marketer helping professional services firms create better, stronger brands. Director, Hum Consulting. (120 character limit)

Tip 2: It’s social networking - start with a personal greeting.

Example: If I met you face to face I’d say hi and ask you what’s on your mind and how I can help.  If you join my network I’ll learn more about you, but to get the conversation started, here’s a little bit about me:

Tip 3: Describe who you are you in a nutshell.

Example: I’m an experienced, strategic, multidisciplinary marketer and co-founder of Melbourne-based brand and digital marketing consultancy, Hum.

Tip 4: Reference your experience and ethos as an expert in your field.

Example: I have worked for leading brands and SME’s across B2B and consumer sectors and I believe strategic discipline, bold marketing and genuine engagement are at the heart of most successful brands.

Tip 5: Describe what do you do every day and why you do it.

Example: Specialising in brand development, digital and content marketing; I spend my time creating stand-out websites, whitepapers, infographics, print magazines, social and email marketing to help professional services firms create better, stronger brands.

Tip 6: Demonstrate who benefits from your expertise.

Example: My clients include lawyers, recruiters, accountants, financial advisers, educators and consultants, who rely on my creativity, tenacity and expertise to transform their brand and communications.

Tip 7: Give an insight into who you are as a person – perhaps the trickiest part to write to pass the cringe test. Be authentic and ask a group of friends/peers for their feedback.  Better still pair up with a friend or colleague to write and critique each other’s open and close.  Like all first and last impressions – they stick!

Example: I am addicted to coffee, a terrible morning person (the reason I’m addicted to coffee) and a committed foodie, secretly planning my eventual escape to a small olive grove in the Mediterranean.

Tip 8: Only add qualifications to your summary if they exceed industry standards or you are updating your profile for job-seeking purposes.

LinkedIn profile summary example (utilising the 8-steps)

Karina Ward Hum Consulting

Website profile description

The way in which you write about yourself for your website differs from LinkedIn – the main difference being that your website description is more effective when written in third person. Here’s an example utilising the 8-steps above.

About

A strategic, multidisciplinary marketer, Karina is a results driven professional and co-founder of Melbourne-based brand and digital marketing consultancy, Hum. Karina has worked for leading brands and SME’s across B2B and consumer sectors and believes strategic discipline, bold marketing and genuine engagement are at the heart of most successful brands. Specialising in brand development, digital and content marketing; Karina her working life creating stand-out websites, whitepapers, infographics, print magazines, social and email marketing to help professional services firms create better, stronger brands. Her clients include lawyers, recruiters, accountants, financial advisers and consultants, who rely on her creativity, tenacity and expertise to transform their brand and communications. She is addicted to coffee, a terrible morning person (the reason why she is addicted to coffee) and a committed foodie secretly planning her eventual escape to a small olive grove in the Mediterranean.

Career background

Her early career was spent in in sales, marketing and management roles in the training, professional development and recruitment sectors in Australia and the UK, before her passion for all things gastronomique led to a much-loved detour in the food and wine industry. Previous roles include Head of Marketing Communications, Thomson Learning International; National Marketing Manager, LINK Recruitment; Head of Sales & Marketing, All Saints Estate. 

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