7 Steps to a Simply Awesome LinkedIn Profile

7 Steps to a Simply Awesome LinkedIn Profile

You hand your business card to a new contact at a networking event and immediately, anxiety washes over you. What if they visit my LinkedIn profile to connect? It is so boring. So embarrassing. So disorganized.

Fear not, Clindividual, my entire goal for GCP Cafe is to help you more effortlessly connect with your peers in clinical research. This article will provide the toolkit you need to tweak that dull profile into an extraordinary showcase for superyou.

I will help you put together an awesome LinkedIn profile

I’ve developed a practical checklist to help you turn that lifeless LinkedIn into an awesome LinkedIn profile that can unveil your superhero skillset.

I’m qualified to help you craft your awesome LinkedIn profile because I manage groups on LinkedIn, I write articles on LinkedIn, and I even make videos on LinkedIn. I built a top-ranking profile for myself when I worked at one of the top 10 biotech companies in the United States.

With a little bit of time and attention, you can benefit from more views on your awesome LinkedIn profile.

Simply-Awesome Operating Procedure (SOP)

I’ve worked for a variety of pharmaceutical companies, large and small. I learned that a winning LinkedIn profile is an incredible tool for networking with peers, being a more confident clinical researcher, and definitely not just for job-seeking.

I’ve spent months of my life reading and understanding Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in order to be optimally-effective in my work. I’m going to save you time and give you an SOP to deliver your awesome LinkedIn profile.

You too, need a standout LinkedIn profile. Your profile can go beyond simply listing background and experience.

Let’s get awesome

You can achieve legendary LinkedIn status with this 7-step mnemonic device: A-W-E-S-O-M-E

A is Appearance

Appearance is everything and your great profile needs a high-quality photo. I have paid for professional photography only to discover you can obtain a quality headshot for free. I’ve gotten two free headshots in the past 12 months from attending networking events.

Don’t just crop your face out of a blurry group photo. Go outside on a sunny day with a friend and ask them to snap a few pics of you with your city or a park in the background. Bonus points for blurry backgrounds, I’m certain.

Does your name show up in your LinkedIn URL? Edit your URL to make your profile truly all-star. Beyond vanity, this helps google get to know you…and that’s our next tip!

W is for Web-Searchability

What do you find when you do a web search for your name? Go ahead, I’ll wait while you try it. Check that your LinkedIn profile is there in the first 10 search results. You have the power to improve your ranking in search.

Are you listing your title(s) and a short description in your profile headline? Instead of just putting First Name and Last Name, add a sentence that describes who you are and the objective of your profile:

  • “Seeking a position in clinical trial management”
  • “Qualified to speak at your next clinical packaging event”

The more details you can add to your profile, the more likely you will be to move up in google search results. What words would others use to find you in search? Keywords like “analytics” “operations leadership” “revenue growth” might get more attention. What can you add?

E is Experience & Education

Experience and Education can include dates of employment but also keyword-dense descriptions of your accomplishments. Quantify your experience with detailed examples that will add interest to your profile.

Have you written any publications? Have you remembered to include volunteer experience? Feature anything that sets you apart.

S to Summarize

Summarizing your accomplishments sets you apart from LinkedIn users who only list their job experience.

A bold summary starts with a good headline. Imagine you are purchasing yourself from a boutique catalog, what does the sales text say? “One of a kind clinical researcher, recently led a cross-functional team from study start-up to first patient enrolled two months ahead of timeline on a global multi-center clinical trial for diabetes.” “A team-builder who expertly-mentored two clinical trial assistants to become lead vendor managers in less than six months.”

Use this sell yourself technique to showcase your unique and differentiating characteristics. Don’t just list your skills, frame them with specific outcomes and discuss the impact that your contributions made to the company. If you need a little more inspiration, go back to your past performance reviews and look for major accomplishments that you can feature in your LinkedIn summary.

O means Openness

Openness to connection. Do you have over 100 connections? Having many connections gives you a better ranking in LinkedIn search and makes it more likely that you will show up in a “related profiles” view in other people’s search results.

Add connections with a search for past colleagues and other professionals you know from your alumni network or through church or volunteer efforts. Invite the people you know to connect with you on LinkedIn.

No matter your industry, connecting with others enriches you as an employee. You can get to know others in a variety of free professional groups on LinkedIn. Are you in the Clinical Research Insider’s Exchange LinkedIn group yet? Collaborating leads to improving health of people around the world, let’s connect!

M because Multimedia

Multimedia profiles are much more interesting to navigate. LinkedIn offers a SlideShare integration so you can put visual content in your profile. Have you given a presentation at a conference? Could you upload the slides or a subset to your profile? You can make professional graphics using templates at canva.com.

You can update your header background and show off your personality

You can attach images and links to publications or videos, too. Could you make a 45 second video introducing yourself and post it for free to YouTube then embed that video link in your profile?

E is also for Endorsements

Endorsement and skills section is very important for surfacing in a LinkedIn search. It can be customized to move specific skills up, down, or remove them totally from your list.

What do you want to be known for? Ask and be endorsed.

When I reconnect with someone I will often send them a quick note and ask them to please endorse me for a specific skill. Then I go to their profile and write a recommendation or vote up a few endorsements for them. Give and receive.

Ask your connections to add endorsement flair to your profile

Your Simply Awesome LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is an easy-to-manage platform for your personal brand. You can even post updates and articles there all for free.

More importantly, your LinkedIn profile is a tool for the focused career explorer. Imagine the future-state of your profile in order to have more direction as you navigate your career path. What skills would you love to list in your profile? What accomplishments would you be proudest to summarize?

About The Author


Nadia Bracken, lead contributor to the Lead CRA blog and the ClinOps Toolkit blog, is a Clinical Program Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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