Over the last year between professional networking and job searching I’ve found that LinkedIn has become the quintessential Social Media platform for doing just that. In this easy to follow read article by Bill Crosby you will be taught how to completely optimize your LinkedIn profile with just a few tweaks. I hope you find Mr. Crosby’s tips as helpful as I have.
A version of this article was featured on billcrosby.com on April 6th, 2011.
My LinkedIn Profile
Many of you will hopefully already have some of these “Must Dos” in your profile. Others are probably really incomplete. Here’s what I think you must be doing and why (*note: if for some reason any of this violates LinkedIn’s terms of service, I’m not aware of it- so feel free to correct me):
Top 12 LinkedIn Profile Setup Tips
- Understand Your Keywords: Understand what keywords you want to rank for first before completing your LinkedIn profile. Once you know the keywords you want people to find you from, you will be using these extensively throughout your LinkedIn profile. This is how people will find you in the search. Tip: LinkedIn is one of the only sites I know of that still ranks the density of keywords in your profile to where you appear in their search results, so the more you use your keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile, the higher you will rank for that term in the search results. If you want to get an example of what other people are searching for, just use the search bar on LinkedIn. If no one is searching for the keywords you think are good, find one they are search for and use that.
- Complete Your LinkedIn Profile: Make certain you complete your entire LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn will tell you what percentage your are complete and exactly what to do. Not completing your LinkedIn profile is a guarantee your LinkedIn profile will not rank high in LinkedIn search.
- Use Your Main Keywords in your Headline: Your headline, the line just below your name, is one of the most important factors in search. Make sure you use your keywords there!
LinkedIn Profile Heading
- Select the appropriate industry: How do you know where best to put yourself? Look at what other people have used that rank high for the terms you want to be found for and use what they used (don’t recreate the wheel if not necessary)
- Fill your profile with interesting facts about you: Use real captivating words up front, not like “works at XYZ company”, but instead, like an advertisement for you, because that’s what LinkedIn is!
- Add Multiple Current Jobs: Current jobs is another way you will be found for your keywords on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t worry if you really only have one job since all of us wear multiple hats nowadays. If you have a blog (or multiple), use it. Then in each job description, use your keywords (I hope you are starting to get the point of keyword importance in your LinkedIn Profile about now)
LinkedIn Profile Current Jobs
- Add Multiple Previous Jobs: The same rules apply from the above LinkedIn profile Tip.
- Add your email address to your last name: For someone to connect to you without directly knowing you, they need to know your first and last name, as well as a valid email address. Make it easier by turning the last name field of your LinkedIn profile into your last name and then your email address (example: LastName firstname.lastname@example.org). This gives people an easier way to connecting.
- Complete Your Summary: Make your LinkedIn profile summary section complete and really easy to read. I suggest using your main keywords by section and breaking down each section using simple headers for each with a colon afterward (example: Internet Marketing Strategist:).
LinkedIn Profile Summary
- Use Your Keywords in Specialties: In your specialties section, use all of your keywords followed by a line break to make it easily readable.
- Solicit colleagues and friends for recommendations: People love to read reviews. And there is no better review then someone else talking about YOU. Make sure you’ve got some great recommendations for the work you have done. Don’t be afraid to solicit recommendations. I always recommend in return for every one written about me. The trick is: write what you truly feel about the person in the nicest possible terms, and never oversell someone you don’t recommend. That can come back to bite you.
LinkedIn Profile Recommendations
- Add plenty of passion: People who are going to bother to read your profile want to know who you are. If you merely put down that you’re an operations manager at XYZ company, that’s all they have in their minds about you. Add that you’re passionate about Cub scouts and that you play guitar and sing in the shower. Make sure people know about YOU, not just your job history.
The trick of setting up your LinkedIn profile is spending a little focused time upfront to reap the benefits thereafter. If you put up a LinkedIn profile that poorly covers the details, and barely populates the profile with much of interest, you will likely not get connections beyond former coworkers looking to make a lame connections. Should you be seeking to cast a net, develop relationships, and eventually find other opportunities through your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to put a little more effort in and use these LinkedIn profile tips.
How are YOU using your LinkedIn Profile?
Has LinkedIn opened doors for you? Do you have LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn Marketing tips I didn’t cover that you’d recommend to other LinkedIn users? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, and let’s open the discussion to better understand the ways to change/use your LinkedIn Profile for building opportunities for you in the future. Also, you may want to take a look at other relevant articles on this site to help you with your social media marketing.
Update: Where Did I Learn This Great Information About LinkedIn Profile Setup?
A few people have asked where I learned so much about LinkedIn Profile setup. Well, my good friend Lewis Howes gets the credit on this one. He is a total whiz on LinkedIn and has a complete training program on using LinkedIn HERE(affiliate link). Check it out if you want to really master everything about using your LinkedIn profile effectively for marketing on LinkedIn.