How to optimize your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn has been an invaluable resource for me over the past 10+ years. I used it for:
- Connect with thousands of professionals.
- Obtain two million tonnes of depleted mussel shells in two months, whereas a supply department of nine people could not do so in three years.
- Identify potential suppliers of multifunction photocopiers / scanners / fax machines in a town where I do not live.
- Help connect professionals with similar interests.
- Update the CRM of an employer whose “new database” was already 10% “obsolete”.
Recently, several people asked me to help them optimize their profile because they realized what they can accomplish on LinkedIn.
Fast business published an excellent article called “The Brand Called You” on August 31, 1997.
You are responsible for your personal brand and with the advent of the internet and social media, you have more opportunities than ever to develop, market and promote your personal brand.
Your LinkedIn Profile (LI) is your professional brand.
People do business with those they know, love and trust. Optimize your LI profile to make a powerful first impression and build confidence.
- Have a picture that lets people see you and your eyes – up close and personal. The eyes are the windows to the soul and will let people know if you are trustworthy or not.
Use photofeeler.com to get feedback on what your portrayal says about your skills, liking, and influence. A / B test different headshots. What works on Facebook (FB) may not be the most effective on LI.
When I look at your LI profile picture, do your face and eyes point me to your profile on the right? Subtle but effective in enticing visitors to read your profile.
Add a banner image on the back that reinforces your brand (646 x 220 pixels).
- Use keywords to optimize the title under your name. Title, real or ambitious, plus keywords up to 120 characters. Separate with |. You can use other icons if that’s your personality (feel free to cut paste: â¦, âº, â, â , etc.)
Spend time identifying and prioritizing all of your keywords. Although you have a limited number of characters in your title and job titles, these will become your specialties at the end of each job description and are essential for LI Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when people perform advanced research.
- Customize your LI URL in edit mode (click the gear icon next to your profile’s LinkedIn URL in the gray bar below your photo).
- Add websites, blog posts, code, and Twitter to your profile if applicable. Think about how you present your personal brand on different social media channels.
- Use the 2000 characters (approximately 270 words) in your abstract.
Include the keywords you want to be found for when someone does an advanced search for someone with your skills and expertise. This is especially critical for developers as technology changes rapidly and employers are looking for specific skills and experience with different platforms, architectures and languages.
Include your contact details (email and phone) at the top of your summary. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to contact a person or business because their contact details are not obvious.
Provide insight into what you do, what makes you different, what you can do for someone right now.
Thank people for viewing your profile.
- Be comprehensive, consistent and convincing.
Do you present your professional brand consistently across all social media channels?
LI, FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. are all different social media platforms and your focus on each may be different; however, think about how you would like to evolve your personal brand through each one.
- Integrate media and code – video is awesome, GitHub releases, SlideShare presentations, blog posts, company material curation for projects you’ve worked on, and reposting.
Share valuable information, don’t sell. The more you share, the more you establish yourself as a credible and trusted expert in your area of ââexpertise.
- Have at least 500 connections – it shows that you take LinkedIn and networking seriously and that no one can see how many connections you have out of 500.
Always personalize the invitations to connect (See example).
Offer to help.
Thank people when they accept your invitation to log in or when they invite you to log in.
- Approvals are good – recommendations are essential. Strive for at least five.
Offer to write recommendations to people to remind them where you added value in the relationship or project and encourage them to change them.
- Join and participate in groups – up to 50.
Ask yourself: what can I learn? What information do I need to know? Where can you share valuable information? Who do you want to connect with in the group? If in doubt, join the groups with the most members,
- Follow companies – especially the customers and businesses you admire.
Comment on their updates. Let them know that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say.
- This is a social network – start a conversation, reply timely, provide valuable information, do not sell.
- How do you deal with connection requests from people you don’t know?(See example below)
- Become a trusted professional in your industry
If you have any other ideas for helping other developers create and optimize their LinkedIn profiles, please share them.
Also, feel free to share these suggestions with anyone who wants to create or optimize their LinkedIn profile.
It was great meeting you at the hackathon today. I hope you got as much value from the sessions as I did?
I would like to stay connected on LinkedIn if that’s okay with you?
Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
(Note: You are limited to 200 characters in an invitation, so you cannot say more.)
How do I handle connection requests from people I don’t know (you may have a different philosophy of the connection):
Thank you for your invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
I am happy to do so; however, I have a policy of not logging into generic invitations in order to avoid spamming.
Please let me know how I can help you, or your business, and I’ll be happy to do so.