Having an online presence is a necessary part of today’s professional world.
Gen Xers and Millennials expect to be able to find information about you and your funeral home online. By creating a professional LinkedIn profile, you can represent yourself to potential client families and other members of the funeral profession as a hardworking, skilled funeral director.
Follow these steps to build a successful LinkedIn profile that highlights all your accomplishments and capabilities.
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Setting up your LinkedIn Profile
One of the most important things to include on your LinkedIn profile is a profile photo. By including a professional headshot, your profile is 14 times more likely to get viewed. If you don’t have a professional photo, ask someone to take a photo of you in a location with a plain background and wear professional clothes. You also can add a background photo to your profile, but make sure it represents your brand, such as something related to the funeral business or a solid color or pattern.
Your LinkedIn headline should use keywords to represent your top skills. For example, a descriptive headline for a funeral director could be “Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Grief Counselor” or “Funeral, Event Planning, and Public Relations Professional.”
The general information in your LinkedIn introduction section includes your education, location, current place of employment, and industry. For industry, since LinkedIn doesn’t have an option for funerals, the most relevant industry option for funeral directors is either Consumer Services or Individual & Family Services.
Your LinkedIn summary is a place to share a brief description of your experience, skills, and passions. When writing your summary, determine who your target audience is and cater to their wants and needs. You also can include links to important media or documents, such as your funeral home website, blog, or online portfolio.
An example of a summary could be “Licensed funeral director and NFDA member for 25 years — experienced in funeral directing, embalming, grief counseling, event planning, and fundraising. My top priority is giving families the best funeral experience for their loved ones and providing them support for coping with their loss through educational seminars, grief counseling, and other grief resources and programs.”
The background section includes your work experience, education, and volunteer experience where you can highlight how your funeral home is involved in your community. You can list all of your skills in the skills section, and your LinkedIn connections can endorse you for your skills — which confirms your ability to do the things you have listed. Some examples of relevant skills for funeral directors are memorial services, community outreach, cremation, public speaking, and marketing.
In the accomplishments section, you can add any publications, certifications, courses, projects, honors, awards, patents, test scores, languages, and organizations. Some examples of organization memberships to include if applicable are NFDA, SIFH, ICCFA, or other local organizations. Some examples of certifications to include are CFSP, CFD, and CCO.
Now that you’ve set up your profile, the next step is finding connections. Your LinkedIn connections are the people you’re “friends” with on LinkedIn. To add a connection, you send someone a request to connect and if you don’t know them well, include a short message explaining who you are and the reason for wanting to connect.
You can include your contact information on your profile such as a phone number or email address to make it easier for people to find you, but don’t include information you don’t want online. LinkedIn gives you a profile URL people can use to find you, but you should customize it to something more memorable and relevant. It could just be your name, or if that’s already taken, try including something funeral related after your name like “funeral director.”
For example, let’s pretend a funeral director named John Smith is creating a LinkedIn profile. He could have the profile URL “linkedin.com/in/johnsmith,” or, if that URL isn’t available, he could use “linkedin.com/in/johnsmithfuneraldirector.” Also, if you have a common name like “John Smith,” it’s a good idea to add “funeral director” or something else funeral-related to stand out amongst the other LinkedIn users named John Smith.
Engagement is one of the keys to success on LinkedIn. By creating content, liking and commenting on posts, and sharing posts, you can engage with other funeral professionals and potential client families and show them you’re knowledgeable about the funeral profession and care about helping your community. You can engage with other funeral professionals and stay updated on funeral news by joining LinkedIn groups such as Funeral Service Insider. You also can follow funeral homes and organization pages such as NFDA.