Is Your LinkedIn Profile Optimized For Success?

Everyone who has a LinkedIn account has probably completed their personal profile to the bare minimum, but it’s surprising how few people are making the most of its potential. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure yours is performing as well as it could.

Profile picture

I’ve seen quite a few bad profile photos on LinkedIn, try to keep it professional: avoid group photos, grainy photos, or anywhere you heal a margarita. If you don’t have a decent image, make one. Seriously. Smartphones now have brilliant cameras so all you need is a friend to grab a decent one….

Profile pictures can also be an opportunity to plug in your work. I have seen people pose with their books or a symbol of their business. It’s a bit cheesy, but if it’s good for your target audience, why not!

As with other networks, you can now add a cover photo to your profile. You can take the opportunity to promote a particular aspect of your work or choose an image that reflects your brand.

Profile content

A common mistake is to treat your profile like a CV and simply copy and paste sections of your CV. Rather, you should see it as an opportunity to give an overview of your experiences.

It doesn’t have to be limited to text, LinkedIn supports rich media like Prezi, Storify, and Slideshare. You can add them to your different work experiences to give potential clients another way of seeing your role, or more information about your business.

These things bring your profile to life, so they’re worth doing.

Customize your URL and public page

It’s very easy to customize your LinkedIn URL to something like and that means you can share a less convoluted address with your contacts.


To do this, go to your profile page. You will see a light gray frame under your profile picture with your URL. If you hover the mouse over it, a cog appears. Click on it and it will take you to your public profile. On the right side, you can change your URL to something a little easier to remember.

This is a really useful page in general. This is where you can change the way people see your public profile. You can choose whether everyone sees your profile or just your contacts, and which sections of your profile you want people to see. So if, for example, your “Interests” section is a mess that you’d rather not share, you can uncheck it and no one will be notified anymore.

Of course, there’s no point in making your profile page look beautiful if no one sees it, so don’t forget to include it in your email signatures, business cards, etc.

Post regular updates

Improve your profile by sharing regular updates that are relevant to your target audience.

With Linkedin, it is common knowledge that the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday) is early morning (before 8:30 a.m.), noon and early evening (5 p.m.-6 p.m.) are the best times to share updates. This makes sense as the audience is mostly business and will check Linkedin on their commute or during their lunch break.

However, your target audience may behave differently. They can check out LinkedIn on their way to meetings during the day or have it run in a tab throughout the day. The best way to determine optimal times is to test. I post updates through Buffer and they have a great tool that allows me to check the optimal post time (in my time zone!) For each of my social media accounts, including my personal Linkedin profile. So, for example, if I post an update once a day, Linkedin would suggest 2:33 PM as the best time based on the performance of my previous updates.

If you don’t have Buffer, there are plenty of other analytics tools like Google Analytics that can give you insight into when your audience is primarily active online.

LinkedIn Groups

There are billions of groups out there and I cannot recommend you enough to join and be active in 2-3 groups relevant to your industry. Sharing and participating in your ideas is a great way to increase your (newly optimized) profile. LinkedIn recently updated groups in all kinds of positive ways, so if you’ve overlooked them, give them another look.

This post was originally shared on Passle.

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