There is no shortage of articles telling you how to optimize your LinkedIn profiles so rather than try to provide you with any so-called tricks to get you found by potential searchers we have the more moderate goal of getting you to understand the key elements of an effective LinkedIn profile.
You see, despite LinkedIn’s meteoric rise to prominence and its acknowledged status as a social media powerhouse most users have yet to fill out more than the most basic details of their profile. And why? The simple answer is because most people just don’t see the need to do so. Unfortunately for most people, times have changed and prospective employers, headhunters and potential business contacts are increasingly relying on your LinkedIn page to make their decisions about whether or not you are a good candidate for a job or if they want to do business with you.
Completing Your LinkedIn Profile
We promised to keep it short so let’s get right to the point and list the eight things you can do to ensure that your LinkedIn profile leaves the right first impression on potential employers and colleagues and actually creates interest in what you bring to the tabel and the brand(s) you represent. In short, they are as follows:
List every job you have had. Unlike resume writing where you want to be selective, LinkedIn profiles should contain every, single job you have ever had. Also, be sure to list all associations and employers as these colleagues and head hunters can search in a variety of ways.
Take the time to write about every position. Write about every position you have held and focus not so much about roles and duties but about the results you’ve obtained.
Complete the ‘Specialties’ section. Search the profiles of people in similar positions because these will often contain good keywords for your industry. Use these to list your skills and knowledge.
Edit your sub-header. LinkedIn uses your current position as your default sub-header. Unless your title is interesting or search worthy you will want to change it as this is a highly prized position for target keywords.
Build your network. In short, the more connections you have the more visible your profile.
Customize your LInkedIn profile with a PersonalURL. This is more important for external search results than it is for LinkedIn search. When a client or recruiter searches you you want them to find good infomration and becasueLinkedIn has great weight in the SERPs you want your profile on page one of the results. Need an example? Mine is:
Be sure your profile is public. Pretty obvious, isn’t it? To change this, click on the ‘edit profile’ tab and look for ‘Public Profile.’ Click the small ‘edit’ next to the URL and you will arrive at the page where you can choose what to make public.
Be active. Post regularly to keep boosting your position in the search results and to make new contacts, connections, etc.
Just by following these eight simple tips you can vastly improve your profile and stand out from the crowd (especially since most of your colleagues will have next to empty profile pages). Check back soon for more in-depth post on the ever-evolving landscape of LinkedIn and for more tips and advice on crafting killer profiles that get results.