Could your LinkedIn profile use a refresh? You’re not alone. LinkedIn has developed into so much more than a website to look for a new job. Users flock to the social media platform (yes, I said social media platform) to share career updates, network, give business insights, and so much more. Make sure your profile stands out by following these ten profile set-up tips.
Create a personalized URL making your profile easy to find.
Found under “Contact Info” in “Edit Intro,” you can customize your profile URL, making it easier for recruiters and colleagues to find your page. A customized URL also looks much cleaner than a bunch of numbers and letters when you add your LinkedIn page to your resume. If available, I recommend using your first and last name as your slug.
Make sure your profile photo is professional and friendly.
While a professional headshot is preferred, there are simple, at-home ways to capture your working-gal glow. Keep your look business-friendly, smile, use natural lighting, and stand against a clean background. Give “Portrait Mode” on your iPhone a try to produce a high-quality photo. Treat this moment like a first-round interview; it could be your premiere impression!
Add a background photo.
Many opt for the LinkedIn-provided photo; however, I prefer to see a background photo (or header image) that tells me more about you. If you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, or influencer, this is a great place to share a company or personal logo or promote a new venture, such as an online course or book launch. And please, do not just pull a photo from Google. Make sure the image is 100% owned by you.
Create a clever headline.
Only including your job title and company in your headline is so *last year*. An engaging headline represents who you are and what you do, and should be thoughtfully written to capture your target audience. Keep keywords and phrases (hello, SEO!) top of mind that users might search when trying to find applicants and business partners with your skillset.
Keep your summary short, sweet, and to the point.
Remember, LinkedIn is still a social media platform. Think of your summary like a professional Instagram bio. Share your previous experience, interests and skills, and future goals in 3-5 sentences. Challenging, I know. Treat this section as your personal elevator pitch and you’ll be golden.
Showcase your work and accomplishments.
Whether it’s a top-performing LinkedIn post, recently published article on your site, or photos, documents, and presentations you are incredibly proud of, the “Featured” section on LinkedIn lets your work speak for you. Utilize it!
Be consistent with your activity… and tag your friends!
Commit to sharing career and business-related updates, events, perspectives, articles, and news from industry leaders, reliable connections, and your super-smart brain regularly. For some, that’s 2-3 times a week. For others, that’s bi-weekly or monthly.
Just like your other social media platforms, LinkedIn favors those who post and engage more often, even if you’re just sharing one of your connection’s posts. Whatever or whenever you decide to share, keep your pattern constant, and tag your connections! You may notice you’re often served posts from people who are not your connections. That’s because your connections have engaged with the post. So be prepared to interact to get your profile noticed.
Personal side note and I can’t believe I have to say this, but LinkedIn is NOT a dating app. Keep your content professional!
Treat your experience section like your resume.
Full disclosure, there are mixed reviews on this. However, I’m always impressed when I see bulleted-out details about your previous and current role. I can speak from personal experience that job titles do not always match job descriptions, so provide as many necessary details as you can in the description section under your position.
Pro-tip: don’t just update your job title when you get promoted. Add all your roles under the same company umbrella. Just like your resume, this will show longevity, commitment, and growth.
Ask for endorsements and professional recommendations.
First, let’s start with skills. You can add up to 50 skills (use them all) to your profile, and your connections can essentially “like” or endorse you, for one or more skills. A great way to kick off your endorsements is by going to your connections’ profiles and endorsing their skills. Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Again, referring back to your resume, it’s super important to have professional references. How great is it that LinkedIn has a section for past managers, coworkers, business partners, etc. to leave you an excellent review? Too nervous to ask in person or unable to connect? Use LinkedIn’s “Ask for a recommendation” feature, and LinkedIn will message your connection directly and ask for you.
Test LinkedIn Stories
LinkedIn recently launched LinkedIn Stories, which operate the same way as Instagram Stories. Shocking, I know. Like any new social media feature, only time will tell it’s value. However, the current benefit of being one of the first to utilize LinkedIn Stories is that your story will most likely appear on most of your connections’ feeds, as not many have hopped on the trend yet. LinkedIn recommends using stories to “share a unique perspective from your workday, ask a question to your network, share insights on timely breaking news, walkthrough a product demo, or teach others a skill.”
Are there any additional tips you’d add to this list? I’d love to learn them. Drop a comment and add me on LinkedIn. My custom URL is https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandalederman/. 😉