5 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members.  For that reason, it has a lot of clout and Google SEO juice.

Let's look at 3 reasons why having a LinkedIn profile matters:

  • You'll have an "all about me, what I do, my websites, and how you can contact me" spot on a highly reputed website.  
    Think of it as a one-stop-shop about you.  This is a very advantageous marketing strategy when done right.  For instance, did you know you can share your blog posts and content to LinkedIn?  Most social media managers sync with your LinkedIn profile to help you do just that.
  • You get endorsements that add value to your profile, your brand, and what you're doing.
    Having people endorse you on your "marketing" skills, "copywriting" ability, or being an "Adobe Illustrator" wizard can go a long way.  Remember that clout I was mentioning earlier?  Think of clout as the more you have, the more you are an influencer or expert in your field.
  • You network for free with fellow professionals in your industry.
    That's a pretty big deal.  You can't always make time to have quality conversations on any social media network, but having the ability to network with peers is valuable.  Discover and connect with professionals you don't already know as well as influencers and other like-minded people that could develop into either a business or personal relationship.

How about those tips, now?

01. CUSTOMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN URL

Did you know you can do this?  I'm not sure if everyone does because we still see URLs with alphanumeric language.

How to change your linkedin url/permalink

In order to change this, log in to your LinkedIn profile and hover over "Profile" in the top navigation bar.  Select "Edit Profile" in the dropdown.  Next, find the gear icon next to your profile URL.

How to Edit LinkedIn Profile

Deciding what to change your url to

LinkedIn consists of personal profiles so linkedin.com/companyname is not the way to go for it.  As much as I would have liked simply linkedin.com/amysmith, I wasn't able to get that name on Instagram, Twitter, or on other social networks. To be consistent with my brand, I made everything the same.  Consistency is always key.  

If your LinkedIn profile is the only location where you use your name instead of your company then that's a different story. 

Essentially, here is the order of URL options you should use:

  1. linkedin.com/FirstnameLastname
  2. linkedin.com/FirstnameMiddleinitialLastname
  3. linkedin.com/FirstnameLastnameIndustry*

*or Occupation: example AnnaLiesemeyerBlogger or RichardHammondTV

Throwing in numbers not ideal, but in my case I simply needed to match my branding.

02. Update your profile picture

Having a professional profile picture with good lighting, no one else in the picture, and high resolution is pretty much the golden standard anywhere on the Internet, LinkedIn being no exception.  In fact, if LinkedIn determines that you have not uploaded a headshot, the image isn't of you (much less there isn't even a human in it), they will remove the image.  In addition, too many disqualified profile pictures and you'll be banned from ever uploading a profile picture.

A few more things to note:

  • LinkedIn will only display profile pictures as a square but you can certainly upload a vertical or horizontal picture.
  • Images larger than 4 MB are not supported, either, so upload smaller images.
  • Ideally, cut down on the level of creativity.  Eg, don't use props unless it reflects your profession and avoid overly filtered images.

Lastly, this goes without saying at this point, but don't opt out of uploading a profile picture and using the default LinkedIn silhouette or else you will lose out on a lot of profile views and possible connections.

03. Keep Your jobs and Responsibilities Up-to-Date

You don't know how often people are viewing your profile.  Ensuring you have information as up-to-date as possible will help viewers get the most out of your profile.  You'd be surprised how many opportunities could present themselves if you start adding new responsibilities, skills, and relevant keywords.

04. Use language appropriate to your profession / industry

Use language and copy that correlates appropriately to your profession or the industry in which you are a member.  Very few industries allow slang and even fewer allow expletives (eg swear words).  However, most entrepreneurs, small business owners, those in the creative industry, and the like can definitely get away with more casual phrasing within the body text.

Here are a few more considerations:

using the correct tense

make sure past jobs and responsibilities are in past tense.  Recruiters and other viewers often times get confused and turn away from your profile when past and present tense alternates inappropriately.  

Paragraphs versus lists

If you are writing in paragraph form, use correct sentence structure to the best of your ability.  However, you want to avoid long paragraphs.  It's the 21st century, you're trying to sell yourself, not bore the reader.  Use lists where able, for instance when listing job descriptions.

05. create a winning headline

How to edit LinkedIn headline

A quality headline (or author's bio) matters on more than just LinkedIn.  This is the second most important part of your first impression -- the first being your profile picture.

The headline portion of the LinkedIn profile is 120 characters long.  Theoretically, this is supposed to be about what you do.  But here is a challenging location to add personality if your industry allows it.

You can learn more from Thursday's blog post about creating a winning headline on LinkedIn.


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