Last week, I had the honor of doing a LinkedIn Workshop for the Apex Chamber. We had a room full of professionals at different LinkedIn skill levels who were all able to make improvements to their profiles. After the workshop, I realized that the information would be helpful for a lot of people I know, hence this series of tips for beefing up your LinkedIn profile.
This post focuses on what you can do to passively let LinkedIn support you. Future posts will talk about how to actively use it.
Let Your Profile Do Some Heavy Lifting
1. Update your photo.
Get rid of that glamour shot from 15 years ago and exchange it for something that looks like you. People often look up your profile before meeting with you… it helps if they are looking for you and not who you used to be. It’s also good to have the same profile pics on all your social media accounts for consistency. I’m also a fan of using a photo that’s professional, yet shows my personality. Show the real you!
2. Use the name people know you by.
Make it as easy as possible for people to find you when they search for you. If you recently got married and your name changed, keep your maiden name, as well as your new last name. If you go by your middle name, don’t use your first name in your profile.
3. Create a search-friendly title.
Again, the name of the game is to be easily found. People aren’t searching LinkedIn for gurus and wizards. Don’t be afraid to have a personality, but don’t sacrifice value for quirkiness.
- Use a headline that displays a variety of titles people are likely to use to search LinkedIn to find your services.
- Write a descriptive headline with key words included.
- Use a combo, like mine: Brand Strategist, Brand Manager, Branding Consultant, Marketing Specialist at Holy Cow Branding
4. Claim your vanity url.
My url is http://www.linkedin.com/in/loranaprice. Create yours by selecting “Settings” from the drop down menu under your name, choosing “Edit Your Public Profile,” then selecting “Customize Your Public Profile URL” from the box on the right. Ideally, you’d want to use your first and last name.
5. Customize your website links.
Rather than having the generic “Company Website” listed on your profile, you can change it to be more personalized. Simply click on “Edit Profile,” then select the “Edit” option next to your website. Use the drop down menu on the edit page and select “Other.” This gives you the option to rename your site. You can do the same for blogs, and can also drive people to specific landing pages on your site. Use search friendly terms here to help generate traffic to your profile.
6. Create a functional summary.
Your summary is the place where you can brag about what you’ve done to get where you are today. Make yourself shine here! Add key words and phrases to help support search (noticing a trend here?). LinkedIn is a silent sales person, just like your website. Use your summary to help make it as functional as possible. Don’t forget to also list your specialties here.
7. Show that you’ve got skillz.
Skills is a relatively new section that will have more functionality in the future. For now, it’s a good way to show specific areas of expertise.
8. Take advantage of sections and applications.
Sections allow you to add more custom areas to your profile, such as certifications and awards. Applications allow you to
connect to other sites, such as your blog feed, Slideshare and Behance. This gives you the opportunity to really cross link
information and expand LinkedIn’s capabilities.
9. Rearrange your profile.
Now that you’ve added all this info, you may want to put some sections higher than others. All you have to do is click and drag when you’re in the edit mode. This is especially helpful if you participate on a board and want to have it secondary to your profession. Just click and drag it beneath your current position, et voila!
Feel free to creep on my LinkedIn account to get ideas.
Next time, we’ll be talking about how to get more out of LinkedIn.