With 238 million users LinkedIn has become the network of professionals worldwide. Forty percent of these users check the network daily, and with three million company pages and 1.5 million groups, there’s plenty for users to do, but how can users make the most of LinkedIn for others looking to network with them? Here are the 10 easiest ways to optimized your LinkedIn profile.
People want to see what you look like. Having a professional headshot helps when networking in person and helps to make your profile more personable. And when we say professional headshot, we don’t mean your company logo, a photo of your dog or a picture from the last family reunion or happy hour.
Ninety-nine percent of LinkedIn users use their job title as their headline, but that leaves a lot of good real estate on the table. Use industry terms in your headline in addition to your title. Are you a speaker, author, thought-leader? Are you an Emmy Award winner or creator of 100 patents? Or maybe you’re just an expert in mainframe, helpdesk or cloud computing. Let the world know by including that in your headline.
3. Rich Media
Add videos, links, documents or presentations to your profile by using the “square plus sign” icon into your Summary or under the Experience section. This media can be presentations that you’ve had, papers or collateral about your products, press mentions and more. This type of media definitely helps to tell your story, both as a working professional as well as a job applicant.
Much like the headline, most folks only list their current job duties in their summary. Use this as a space to tell your story, a mini-bio, or to help tout your skills within your profession.
Keep this section up to date, but rather than only listing job duties, describe how you’ve impacted the company, and use the section to tell the larger story of your professional experience.
6. Privacy Settings
Most folks that don’t use their LinkedIn profile do so because they don’t know what is being displayed. Take a look at your privacy settings and you have the opportunity to change the information others see including contact information, your contacts and more. You can even adjust preferences based on how they’re connected to you. If you’re snooping on others’ profiles, you can set your profile to anonymous, so the people you’re checking in on won’t know who you are, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to see your profile visitors’ info at during that time.
7. Publications, Honors & Awards, Projects and Patents
All of these sections are great ways to help tell your story and demonstrate your expertise. Publications can include anything with a URL – speaking engagements, blog posts and more. For Honors & Awards, think of any awards that your customers, clients or associations might have given as they would speak to your expertise. Projects might not only include internal projects you’ve worked on, but anything involving clients or customers. Maybe someday I’ll have a patent to list, but if you do, be sure to list it to show how you’re at the forefront of your industry.
Although BMC does have an official HR policy against recommendations and skill endorsements to or from current BMC employees, you can certainly request recommendations for positions outside BMC. They help to add credibility to your profile by giving others’ perspectives of your work.
Visitors to your profile can normally see the groups you’re involved in, so be sure that they’re professional and make sure to be active within your groups.
10. Post Frequently
Perhaps one of the most important tips to optimizing your profile doesn’t have anything to do with the actual content within the profile: by posting frequently, you increase engagement and thus also increase the likelihood that you’ll show up in others’ LinkedIn profile searches. Post industry news, blog posts, articles, or whatever you’re working on.
With just a few simple steps, you can help to make sure your LinkedIn profile helps to tell a better story about you and your career. Better yet, when prospective customers find you on LinkedIn (because you know they profile stalk just as much as you do), they’ll be further convinced that they’re in good hands.
Is your profile 100 percent? What are your top tips for improving your LinkedIn profile? Tell us in the comments below.