LinkedIn is an excellent networking tool to help you achieve all of your professional goals. LinkedIn provides a tool for headhunters, clients, customers and new businesses looking for partners or opportunities, so it is important to ensure your LinkedIn profile reflects who you are, what you can offer and why you are such a valuable connection.
LinkedIn’s capabilities allow you to see who is viewing your profile for business opportunities, engage with your target audience through the sharing of information, ideas and posting on groups, identifying relevant people who may help you in your current position, company or long term career and positioning yourself as a thought leader within your sector or industry.
LinkedIn can also be utilised as a very useful and worthwhile CRM tool, which is regularly updated by each profile user.
Here are 10 ways you can enhance and optimise your LinkedIn profile:
1. A Detailed Profile
A LinkedIn profile is similar to a CV, where you display your past education information, work experience, skills, current work position and profile picture. You can follow LinkedIn’s Profile Completion Tips when editing your profile.
Besides that, adding a profile headline and summary also helps to make an impression and make you stand out.
The headline gives you a professional ‘identity’, an opportunity to showcase some of the more detailed parts of your profile, hidden away from viewers who are not connected to you. A summary offers a way to reflect your personality, which can complement your CV if an employer were to view your profile.
It is also important to use keywords in your headline, summary and throughout your entire profile. The keywords could consist of your main passion or profession and will help your LinkedIn profile turn up more often on search engine results.
2. Temporarily turn off activity broadcast
If you have had LinkedIn for a while and have already connected with people, updating your profile will fill their feed and your wall with update notices. This means that if you happen to choose to update your LinkedIn with ‘old details’, for instance, if you are finally coming out as the Director of x that you are, your connections will think that you’ve only started in the job recently.
By turning off your activity broadcast temporarily, you can silently update your LinkedIn profile without letting the world know.
To do this:
- Go to ‘Settings’, and under ‘Privacy Controls’, you should be able to see ‘Turn on/off your activity broadcasts’.
- Click on that and another overlay window will appear allowing you to uncheck the option.
After saving these changes, other users won’t be able to see every detailed profile update you have made. You can choose to leave it off or turn it on after you have finished editing.
3. Proofread your entire profile
Just like any other tool/ application used in the professional world, you wouldn’t want your LinkedIn profile to have any grammatical or spelling errors which will of course not reflect well on you as a professional.
It is also important to word your profile summary and important information effectively so that it is communicated well with the audience in mind.
Try putting yourself in the eyes of the reader and see if you understand what your profile is about. It may also be helpful to have someone screen through your profile for a second opinion or to point out any errors that you may have missed out.
4. Do not lie about anything
This is fairly obvious. Lying is not tolerated in the professional world, especially when you can easily get caught. This is also true for information on your LinkedIn profile with details like your education and job history.
Not only is it very easy to check and confirm just about anything on the Internet, it is also a sign of how ethical (or non-ethical) you are. Appearing untrustworthy is never good for business.
5. Customise your profile URL
By default, your LinkedIn profile URL will consist of random alphanumerical characters. However, you can elect to have a customized profile URL by going to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile URL. Or Edit profile and click on edit next to your URL under your header.
Pick the name you would like to display on your vanity URL. Your profile URL will bear your name, something like uk.linkedIn.com/in/SarahWillis. You can even take it a step further by making sure that your vanity URL for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are all the same, for added coverage.
6. Add a Profile Picture
People want to know what you look like, so always add a photo on your profile. Often before meetings, conferences or events people will look you up just to find out a bit about you, and adding a photo gives that familiarity.
Ensure the photo reflects you as a professional and portrays you in the way you want your clients to perceive you.
Use a high quality, recent profile picture of yourself, which appropriately describes your role in your industry.
7. Use LinkedIn logo’s on your website
LinkedIn has a few different designs of profile badges that can help you promote your LinkedIn profile.
To find these badges, go to ‘Settings’ and then click on the link to ‘Edit your public profile’. To the right, you will see ‘Profile Badges’. Clicking on ‘Create a profile badge‘ will bring you to another page where you can choose from the many designs available.
You can use the HTML codes of these badges to use on your blog, website or other forums that you frequently use. When users click on these badges, they’ll be automatically directed to your LinkedIn profile.
8. Contribute and be active on LinkedIn Groups
Groups on LinkedIn are a place for members to share and participate in a professional setting in a specific industry or area of interests. There are plenty of groups for job seekers your university alumni, specific professions and a variety of associations from all over the world. Being actively involved in these groups could lead you to make new connections or new clients.
9. Personalise LinkedIn invite requests
When trying to make a connection with a fellow professional, you have to send them an email request. The request is already standardised but it is always a good idea to personalise the notes. The receiver would at least get an idea of who you are and give them an idea of why you want to connect. You wouldn’t just hand over a business card to someone without introducing yourself, so think of LinkedIn in very much the same way.
10. Use LinkedIn Applications
LinkedIn has applications that you can add to your profile to enhance your profile in different ways. For instance if you are a keen blogger, then you might want to add the WordPress app to your profile which lets you sync blog posts with your LinkedIn profile.
If you make or edit great videos and want to show it off on your profile, you could use theSlideShare or Box.net app that enables you to embed videos in your profile.
Here are some extra tips
1. Add LinkedIn To Your Email Signature
A great way to get connected with clients or people you are working with is to add your LinkedIn profile link to your email signature. This indirectly increases the exposure to your LinkedIn profile, helping you to make connections, even when you are not actively doing so.
2. Connect LinkedIn With Twitter
Under your LinkedIn profile Settings, you can choose to connect your account with Twitter where you can either display Tweets on your LinkedIn profile, or share LinkedIn posts on Twitter.
If you want to display only certain Tweets with your connections on LinkedIn, you can use the #in hashtag on your Tweets where only those with that hashtag will be displayed on your LinkedIn profile.
As you continue to improve the content within your profile you’ll notice that your profile ranking, searchability, and number of people viewing your profile will most likely increase. The more visible you are, the more visible your brand and company will be, so it is also important to ensure all staff have an updated and optimised LinkedIn profile.
- Export your Useful Connections
You can export your connections into an excel file. Go to connections, and at the bottom of your connections you will see export connections. Export a CSV file here.
- Tag your Connections
You can not possibly be expected to ever remember each one of your contacts, and if you wanted to group all your contacts and access them all quickly, e.g. Marketing contacts you can do so by ‘tagging’ them. You can do this easily by clicking on the connection and ‘Edit Tags’ and just adding relevant tags. Your connections will not be notified.