One of the most critical aspects of using LinkedIn as a networking tool is your profile. You don’t want to make a generic profile. Instead, you want the profile to be optimized so that you get the results from it that you desire. Let’s look at some tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile that really work.
Optimize for the Job You Want
Okay, understand that not everyone that uses LinkedIn needs a job, so you may want to instead optimize your profile based on your goals. If you’re a recruiter, it’s going to be far different than if you are a job seeker, a businessperson seeking clients, or a business owner networking for employees and contractors. Make it clear to whoever visits your profile what your goals and experience are.
Create a Company Profile Too
If you have a business that you own or are connected to, ensure it has its own profile too. Focus the company profile on your customers and employees. This will enable you to list openings and deliver educational materials more easily, and in a way that is branded to your business and not just you personally.
Choose the Right Headshot
When you upload your headshot to LinkedIn, be sure to make it visible to everyone. Blocking people out of seeing your profile and information is not the best use of LinkedIn. Put a professional headshot up that shows you looking into the camera. People want to see your face and eyes. It builds trust.
Craft Your Headline and Summary
After your picture, your headline and summary are the next things anyone checking out your profile will see. They must be targeted to the audience you want to build based on the future you want to have. If you are currently in customer service but are hoping to move to human resources, for example, they must be able to tell from your headline and summary.
List Only Relevant Jobs and Experience
Don’t list every single job you ever tried on your LinkedIn profile. Only list the jobs that are most relevant to the job that you want. Your experience being a farmhand in the summer may have taught you a lot of skills, but most employers will not see it as relevant if you’re trying to find a position as an accountant.
Include Any Relevant Skills
When it comes to your skills, the same thing applies-only include those that are relevant to the position you want or the group you want to impress. The more targeted your profile is for what you want to do in the future, the more likely you'll connect with the right people.
Personalize Your URL
You can also personalize your URL so make sure you do that step. You can use your name if it’s not taken, but you can also use a word that says what you do or what you want to do because of finding the right opportunity on LinkedIn.
Include Any Relevant Certifications
Always include any courses you’ve taken as well as any relevant certifications in your profile. This will get the attention of many recruiters. For example, if you took a course in a specialized CSM software and you’re now certified, or have other relevant experience to talk about, include that.
Ask for Recommendations and Endorsements
Once you add your past job experience, your skills, certifications, and courses or degrees, send messages to the right people who can vouch for those jobs and skills for you. Send a personalized note to them reminding them of what you did for them, with a link to your profile and where they can endorse you or recommend you.
LinkedIn is set up for your success. They want you to use it to connect with other like-minded business professionals, and to learn about each other, to help each other, and to build an aglobally-inspired business.
Rebecca Paciorek is an Online Business Manager specializing in assisting in the growth of your business through traditional and digital means.
*I often recommend products and services that I use or that have been recommended to me by people we trust. In many cases these recommendations are accompanied by an affiliate link, which provides me with a referral commission should you click through and make a purchase.