With millions of members, LinkedIn is still growing as the leading professional social network. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and a good representation of your professional success. When someone searches your name on the internet, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be one of the first results that appear. First impressions are important so make a good one with a stellar LinkedIn profile.
Here are five ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Update your job history
List all of your previous jobs and be sure to include these for each one:
- Company title, logo and location
- Your title
- Your key responsibilities and achievements (ex: landed 3 large customers from the prospect list)
- Quantifiable achievements (ex: raised revenue 10% in X amount of time)
It is acceptable to make your responsibilities bullet points OR paragraph form.
LinkedIn allows you to upload files into your profile. Use this feature to:
- Upload your resume as a PDF or other file type
- Insert portfolio items such as:
- Writing samples
- Links to other websites that show your work
Give it personality
Add in as much extra info as you can – even the non-career related stuff!
- Your interests (ex: politics, animal welfare, travel)
- Volunteer work you’ve done
- Awards and honors
- Other languages you speak
- Educational background
- Courses you’ve taken and certifications
- Skills (ex: recruiting, sales, interviews, employee relations)
Write your summary
This is the big one people struggle with. Just remember it is personalized to YOU so let your personality show!
- Always write in the 1st person to connect with the reader
- Write your summary like a story, not a biography. Keep it interesting and engaging
- Write a compelling first sentence to hook your reader so they keep reading (ex: The achievement I’m most proud of didn’t start with a business plan. It started in a dumpster.)
- Let your story unfold. Write about your experiences, accomplishments and how you add value in a way that is meaningful and shows your personality. Do not write it like a resume
- In your summary, use keywords that you want to be known for. This will help you come up better in search results
- Carefully proof your summary, and have a trusted friend or coworker look it over
- End your summary with your specialties. This also helps your search rankings (ex: Specialties: Personal branding, social media, public speaking, talent development)
Here are some more things to remember to get the most out of your LinkedIn:
- Use a professional headshot in which you look likeable – avoid dark or blurry photos, mirror shots, selfies, or anything to take away from your professionalism
- When you Connect with someone, always write a personalized message
- Ask close connections for endorsements – short recommendations that will be displayed on your profile
- Join Groups that pertain to your interests and professional pursuits, then chime in on conversations and post relevant articles and information for others in the Group to see. This establishes your presence and knowledge – leading back to thought leadership!
Use these tips to update your Linkedin profile and you will be sure to increase your credibility with your connections and grow your network of clients, customers and colleagues.