LinkedIn is one of the most professional social networks. Professionals register join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two members per second.
I had the opportunity to teach a course on LinkedIn to hundreds of Forsythe Technology employees and students of duke university. Here are some tips I talked about during the course that every career professional should follow to optimize their LinkedIn profile to get noticed.
Update your profile information
Make sure to add all your basic information such as your full name, your company title, your location, your industry and your company (linked to your company page in order to get the company logo). company on your LinkedIn profile). Some key points to remember:
- Attach a professional photo. Be sure to take the time to get a real professional photo taken by a photographer. Taking it against a white background is recommended but that’s up to you.
- Your name must only contain your name. Please avoid adding titles, acronyms or additional identifying information. Please keep your name as short as possible.
Customize your public profile URL
When customizing your LinkedIn profile, try to have just your full name with nothing else. If you have a more common name (sorry, John Smith), you may need to resort to a slight modification. If you can’t add your full name, consider adding your initial or “your business name” at the end. If you leave your business, you can still change it.
Add important websites
Add important websites (LinkedIn limits you to three websites). Be sure to check “other” and then add the website title and URL so people quickly understand the website title. It’s better to use “Other” than “Company Website” or any other LinkedIn-provided picklist item.
Adjust your summary section
Make sure the summary section of your LinkedIn profile reflects your overall career and specifically your current role at your company and how you help others and your company’s customers. This summary section is essentially your elevator pitch in written form. Remember that LinkedIn is not your CV, so make sure you are always write in first person.
Make sure you have company logos for each of your positions in your Experience section.
Go through your Experience section and make sure you have logos for each of your past positions. Please go to “change company” and find the correct company to make sure the company logo is set. If your business was acquired by another business, find the acquired business, link it to this one, and click “Change display name”.
Update your skills and mentions sections
Take a proactive approach to modifying your mentions by adding the skills you want to be known for in your network. You can’t change the order of these mentions, as LinkedIn ranks them based on the number of mentions for particular skills and ranks them accordingly.
Follow companies to keep up to date with your ecosystem
At the top of LinkedIn, go to the search bar and find the companies you want to follow. There are four broad categories of companies you should follow: 1) analysts; 2) partners; 3) competitors; and 4) current and/or potential customers.
Connect with “people you may know” to grow your network
The gold standard for LinkedIn is to have at least 500 connections. However, only communicate with people you know. LinkedIn will display the number of connections you have until you reach 500. Once you reach 501 connections, LinkedIn will continue to count. It says “500+” connections on your profile. Remember: people like to connect with “connected” people.
Update your LinkedIn status at least once a week and/or write via the LinkedIn editor
Be sure to update your LinkedIn status daily or at least once a week with something that brings value to your network. You might want to put a reminder on your calendar to share an article. You should also think about publish via LinkedIn.
What advice would you add to this list?
An earlier version of this post appeared on Passionate about knowledge.