LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals. With over 100 million worldwide users and 4.2 million corporate executives utilizing this site, it is important to understand what makes a profile standout and take notice.
Below is a step by step to creating a profile.
- Your Profile Picture: It is important to have a recent profile picture. Be sure that the picture is professional and shows you can play the role you want in a company.
- Your Professional Headline: Remember, your professional headline will be the first thing that someone sees in a message or connection request, so it’s important to have a headline that clearly represents what you do.
- For example, write a headline that displays all the different titles that someone is likely to search for on LinkedIn to find you. For example: Social Media Marketing Consultant | Social Media Trainer| SMO | Blog Marketing | Internet Marketing Specialist.
- Write a descriptive headline that illustrates what you do with keywords filtered in. For example: Social media marketing consultant that develops strategy for C-Level executives and trains CEOs how to leverage social media (There is a 120 character limit, this is just used as an example.)
- Share an Update: It is important to stay relevant in the eyes of whatever audience you are trying to reach. Share updates that display thought leadership in whatever field you’re in.
- Work Experience (Current and Past Positions): Linked In can feature sections or even all of your resume. Cut and paste your resume so employers and recruiters can see what experiences, education and skills you bring to the table.
- Getting Recommendations: It is important to have at least 3 recommendations from co-workers, people you manage, or clients. Without three recommendations you will not have a 100% complete profile according to LinkedIn. Ask past employers, colleagues, professors or past group members for recommendations.
- Adding Websites: When adding websites, always select the option “Other” because it will give you another field to enter a description of your website. “Personal Website” doesn’t describe what someone would be clicking; adding a detailed description will help increase traffic to your site from your LinkedIn profile.
- Editing Your Public Profile URL: It is important to create a custom URL for your page. You will most likely want to use your full name when you customize this because you want to optimize your page for search results in Google. Also, creating a custom URL will make it easier for you to share the link with friends, employers or co-workers.
- Adding Your Specialties: The specialties area is meant for a list of specific skills that you have. For someone in the social media space this might be Community Marketing, Blog Management, Link-Building, etc.
- Adding Sections or Applications to Your Profile: Let’s say you are a member of a DECA, you volunteer at a non-profit, or a sorority/ fraternity. Don’t know where this should go on your profile? Adding sections or applications to your profile will create new areas on your profile to display other information, such as your blog or a power-point presentation. To get there, click into the add sections link when you’re in “Edit Profile” mode and go through the list of sections/ applications until you find the one that suits you.
Article written by Leslie Mignault, Johnson and Wales University 2012