When was the last time you went to update your LinkedIn profile? Chances are, it’s been quite some time and your profile is not giving the best impression of who you are professionally.
Are you a LinkedIn “newbie”? Do you rarely update your LinkedIn profile or maintain your LinkedIn connections? Do you not know how to “Connect” on LinkedIn or even what a “connection” is? If you answered “Yes” to one or all of these questions, do not fret! Below are quite a few easy ways to boost your profile.
1. Complete and Improve your LinkedIn Profile.
Most of us took advice from colleagues and friends to create a LinkedIn profile; however, we only put the bare minimum of information and then let it be. Your profile acts as a virtual first-impression, so adding as much information as possible is key. Edit your Profile and add or update your information. Keep it current and accurate. If you are not sure what is missing or what needs improvement on your profile, pay attention to LinkedIn notices on your Profile page. LinkedIn is amazing at reminders and suggestions to complete or improve your profile.
2. Use Keywords.
When updating your profile, be sure to use as many keywords as possible. The more you use, the higher up you will be in search results for your industry. Add them to your Name, Headline, Summary, Experience, everywhere! A great way to find effective keywords is to search LinkedIn with words that best describe your skills, expertise or interests. Those that appear towards the top of your search results are the best.
3. Sell Yourself and Get Noticed.
Your Headline and Summary are both perfect places to let the business world know who you are and what you can do. Your Headline is a great way to grab someone’s attention. It defaults to your job title, but it doesn’t have to be. You can change it to flaunt your skills and expertise or just stand out in a crowd.
Similarly, your Summary can work as a way to promote yourself. You have 2,000 characters to describe yourself and your work, but it always best to keep it short and to the point, with a few attention-grabbers scattered throughout. Summarize your current position and duties along with your specialties, experience, and interests (from your current and past positions). Remember to use keywords and also try to add a little flare to it. Only listing your skills is boring. Come up with a short and fun description of yourself and people will pay attention!
4. Make Quality Connections.
Since joining LinkedIn you have probably been bombarded with emails inviting you to “Connect” to other LinkedIn users. These connections are vital to promoting your profile within your industry, so accepting them is crucial. However, you should not just accept anyone’s invitation. The number of connections you have can grab attention, but the quality of those connections is even more impressive. Try to accept invitations from other professionals in your industry or from people who share similar interests and experience. Think of “connecting” as virtual networking. Ask yourself, “how can these connections benefit me and how I can I benefit them?”. And do not forget to send out your own “Connect” invites as well.
5. Endorse and Write Recommendations.
When you add information to your Skills & Expertise section, LinkedIn allows your connections to also “Endorse” them. For example, if you add “Blogging” to this section, your connections can then endorse that skill on your page. The section will then prioritize your skills and expertise based on how many endorsements you received for them. Your connections can also help build a trustworthy profile by writing recommendations that are added to your profile. This all being said, you should take action and start endorsing and writing recommendations for your connections. They will be more willing to reciprocate (LinkedIn will even remind them!) and do the same for you – creating positive buzz on your profile.
6. Stay Active.
Recently LinkedIn has been promoting a user’s “Activity” on their home pages and profiles. When you first login, you are taken to your home page that lists recent activity by you, your connections and businesses you follow. This activity stream lists changes made to user profiles (like new jobs or promotions), but you can also share content. Not only can you share an article you found interesting, but your connections can choose to like or share it and their connections can choose to like or share it and so on. Make sure you also reciprocate this for your connections by liking or sharing their content as well. The more you do this, the more your profile gains buzz and trust.
7. Add Sections.
Over the years LinkedIn has grown in popularity, especially in the business world, and added quite a few new features and improvements. Adding Sections is one of those features that can help promote your profile. When you click Edit Profile, look over to the right and LinkedIn will list sections that you have yet to utilize. Just click on one of the sections, add as much information as possible and it will be updated on your profile. If you have any awards, certifications, projects, publications, languages, patents, volunteer work, test scores or courses that you want to show off, this is the way to do it (and you should do it!).
8. Create a Vanity URL.
When you created an account, LinkedIn gave you a URL for your public profile so you can share it with others. Unfortunately, that link probably includes a long string of numbers and symbols, which might make it difficult to share or put on a business card. It does not have to stay that way! You can customize your own self-explanatory, vanity URL and here is how:
1. Hover over Profile from the menu bar, and select Edit Profile.
2. Under your profile picture, there should be a URL, next to that click Edit.
3. You are then taken to your Public Profile (the page where people can view your profile without signing in). On the lower right-hand side click Customize your public profile URL.
4. Write something easy to remember, easy to share and unique to you.
5. Then click Set Custom URL.
By following these simple steps you can make the best impression possible and increase your visibility on LinkedIn. Still feel like you could use more guidance? Let us help you!
Updated: 11/9/17; Originally Published: 9/28/13