LinkedIn is such a great platform and wonderful tool for business, but it sometimes gets drowned out in the roar of the Twitter and Facebook frenzy. Industry experts in the past have likened LinkedIn to the “company water cooler” as a source for information, connection, and yes…even clients and joint ventures and jobs. That being said, the #1 way to have your LinkedIn account not performing the way it should for you is not having a complete profile. Hubspot has even gone as far as to say that, having a complete profile (one that is at 100%), will provide you with a 40% greater chance for networking success. Now granted, mine is only at 95%, but that’s only because LinkedIn wants me to upload my resume to complete the profile … and that I won’t do because I’m not looking for a job. You can find out more about me by visiting my website than you ever could by looking at my resume.
Not sure where to begin? H ere are some tips that are quick and easy to implement, and will optimize your LinkedIn profile to its full potential:
1. Your Headline: The title that appears under your name automatically defaults to your current job role. If you are not working, it defaults to whatever the last job role you had. What many people don’t know is that this is an editable field that you should take advantage of changing it for three reasons:
- Anyone viewing your profile can scroll down to see your past and present job titles so it’s redundant.
- It needs to be the place for people to see what your area of expertise is or what you are doing NOW rather than having them read through your lengthy online resume or summary (bio). Anyone viewing your headline should be able to easily see what you do in one glance.
- You only have 120 characters next to your name – make it count.
Changing this is simple as well. To change, click edit profile, and click the “edit” next to your name, scroll to Professional “Headline” part, and edit it there.
2. Summary: Create a robust and thorough summary section. This is your chance to really shine and let people know who you are and what you have done. Many LinkedIn experts recommend you write this summary in the third person to avoid too many of the “i, I, I” which, believe it or not, puts some people off. One additional tip would be to not fall into the “slab-o-words” trap. Write your summary as you would any document or blog post by breaking it down into easy to read and digest paragraphs.
3. Your Website: In the section that says “website,” people will often have “Company Website” or “Personal Website” or “Blog” which quite honestly doesn’t tell the r eader anything. It would be way better if these options actually said the name of your company or the name of your blog or personal website.
4. Your Public Profile URL: When you view your profile, your LinkedIn Public Profile URL is at the bottom of the first section. You can customize it so it reads: linkedin.com/in/yourname. Why should you care about your public profile URL?
a) It’s “purdier” for adding to your email signature, business cards, or marketing materials.
b) It’s easy for others to remember, especially if you have a name that is uncommon or not so easy to spell. Being invisible won’t help you build your network.
If you’re a business professional and you don’t have a powerful LinkedIn presence, you are missing valuable opportunities.” -Rebecca Corliss of Hubspot