Do you know if your LinkedIn profile is helping or hurting your career?
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Whether you continually spend a lot of time on your profile or haven’t even looked at it in years, you probably know that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for increasing your visibility, connecting with decision makers, and advancing your career. So investing time in your profile is probably a good idea if you want to advance your career. But how do you know if your profile is a help or a hindrance?
Here is a subset of questions that I took from the full LinkedIn quiz. These 15 questions will help you understand where you are at and what you need to do to improve your profile so that it gets you where you want to go.
Begin this assessment by playing the role of a member of your target audience – the decision-makers you seek to influence. Read your LinkedIn summary as if you are seeing it for the first time. Try to read it slowly, focusing on what it is really saying. Avoid the impulse to hover because you know what’s in it.
Then, for each of the following questions, give yourself a score from 1 to 3, where 1 is ânot so muchâ and 3 is âyes, absolutely, yes! “
1. Your professional photo (no selfie) with your face occupies between 70% and 80% of the available space?
2. Does your title include your job title, company, and keywords you want to be known for?
3. Did you change your custom URL to be LinkedIn / in / yourname?
4. Have you included links to any websites, along with your contact information, including your office work number, email address, and Twitter ID (if you have one)?
5. Do the first two sentences encourage you to read on?
6. Is it genuine (consistent with who you really are) and ambitious (positioning yourself for the future)?
7. Does it contain at least 20-30% personal information (your interests, passions, values, philanthropic interests, point of view and life experiences)?
8. Does the writing style and content you have included reflect the personal attributes of your brand?
9. Is it nicely formatted – with enough white space to separate paragraphs?
10. Is it grammatically correct and perfectly corrected?
11. Do you have an entry for each element of your career experience – including a description with all relevant keywords in each entry?
12. Did you include an entry for each of your degrees, selecting from the LinkedIn list so that the school logo appears in your profile?
13. Are the top three skills in your skills / endorsements section the ones you want to be known for?
14. Do you belong to relevant groups in the following areas: thought leadership, interests / passions, alumni, social causes / philanthropy?
15. Have you included your publications (books, white papers, e-books, etc.)?
Now total your score.
If you got a 40 or more, well done! Your summary will grab the attention of those who need to know you and position you for success.
If you have a score between 30 and 39, you need to spruce up your summary. Go back to those questions where you gave yourself a 1 or 2 and work on those parts of your profile.
If you scored below 30, it may be a good idea to start from scratch, creating a profile that perfectly reflects who you are and positions you for your next role. This article will help you write a stellar summary. It is the most important part of your profile.
Either way, it’s best to make changes or rewrite your profile offline. Once you’ve refined your profile or created a new one, get feedback from a few people and incorporate their recommended changes before making any changes to your LinkedIn profile. Then set your privacy settings for “Sharing profile changes” to “no”. You don’t want your connections to be alerted to your many settings. When you are almost done, change the setting back to “yes”. Then make your very last change – and your connections will know you’ve updated your profile. They will come back to check on what is going on with you. It’s a great way to reconnect with people you haven’t been in contact with for a while.
Meet me! I’m offering a special Forbes webinar with Kimberly Horner: The New Rules of Personal Branding. We’ll share everything you need to know so you can build your brand in the digital age. It’s September 12e at noon EDT. Register here.
Guillaume Arruda is the co-founder of CareerBlast and creator of the whole LinkedIn Quiz that helps you assess your profile and networking strategy.