Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

As I continue to evolve the content and relevance of Socially Savvy, I want to provide real time feedback on tangible, actionable social profile improvements everyone should make. These basics continue to be areas where we see individuals (including myself) needing to kickstart their social business evolution and personal brands.

IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE YOU START MAKING CHANGES: 

Go to the right hand side of your profile. Scroll down until you see “Notify Your Network?” Click no. While you are in ‘edit’ mode, you do not want to send multiple notifications about each thing you change to the people in your network.

Name: Keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. It should be easily searchable. No phone numbers or websites.

Professional Headline: This should not just be a job title. Key words should be used for search optimization. (Unsure of where to find good key words? Go to the Skills section of your connections and/or people you admire in your industry).

Picture: You need one and a professional looking headshot is best. This is people’s first impression of you and a visual of your personal brand. You should also have a cover photo. Ideally, if you also have a Twitter account and/or a Facebook page that you use for work purposes, all three accounts should share the same visuals or at least have the same theme – this will unify your branding.

Background Photo: This can and should be customized. Use an image or photo that speaks to your personal brand/individuality.

Location & Industry: This should be complete for search optimization. Consider aligning these with that of your employer.

Connections: 500 is the magic number to be considered well connected. (Need more contacts? Search Company pages and Education alumni pages for people you know).

Contact info: Make sure it’s filled out completely but keep security and privacy in mind. Add a work email, phone number and other social profile information as appropriate. 

Public Profile URL: This should be customized. To customize your personal URL:                         

  • Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. 
  • Scroll down and hover over your personal LinkedIn URL to expose the gear icon.
  • Click the gear icon. This will take you to your Public Profile page.
  • The Your public profile URL is located at the top of the right column. 
  • Click the blue pencil icon to edit your URL. Use your first and last name, if available. 
  • Click Save. 

Website: This should be your current/most recent company or personal website and the name of the links should be customized for each website listed instead of being left as the generic "Company Website." To customize the website URL:                                                             

  • Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. 
  • Click on Contact Info (just below Connections). 
  • Scroll down to Websites and click the pencil icon. 
  • Click the drop down box next to Company Website and choose Other. 
  • LinkedIn will instantaneously add a second field and you can input the name of your website. 
  • In the second field add the internet address. 
  • Click Save. 

Publishing Platform: Publishing original content shows thought leadership within your industry.

Summary: This should be the focal point of your profile. Here you have a chance to differentiate yourself. This section should be warm, welcoming and written in the first person. You can add Video, Images, Audio, Presentations, Slide Shows, and Documents. Use your keywords here, too. If possible, give concrete numbers and examples that show how you have made a difference at each job.

Experience: This is your resume.

Groups – Use groups to gain insights and make connections with people who share your interests. You can join up to 100 groups at a time. When a potential new connection looks at your profile for the first time, they will scan down to your group section, so be sure that the groups you join speak to how you want to project yourself.

Following: Make the Influencers, News, and Companies you follow relevant to your job or your personal interests.

Volunteer Experience & Causes: Although LI is a professional networking site, don’t be afraid to share some personal information. This is social media, after all.

Recommendations & Endorsements: These are tricky because you don’t have control; it is up to your network to give these to you. Many times if you proactively endorse or recommend someone, they will return the favor. Try to get at least five recommendations and one for your latest job.

General Comments: Keep it organized and easily readable. No long paragraphs. Use bullet points. If you have more than one social media account for business purposes, (ie; LI, Twitter & a FB page) make them look unified; use the same key words etc. Make sure your current jobs match on all sites.

I plan to provide similar, action-oriented blogs as we at Socially Savvy learn more about what is important to influence personal engagement, advocacy and influence. Please share your feedback in comments and feel free to suggest other areas that you would like us to address.