Your LinkedIn profile, why is it important to…

On December 1, 2011, in Best Practices, by Jeremy Roberts

With every social media profile, there are always some key things that are important to have. But let’s be honest, not everyone has accepted these “important things to have”. For example, you need to have a profile picture. I’ve heard the comment “well, my resume doesn’t have my picture so why should my profile/resume on LinkedIn need a picture.” This is not only my best practice; it’s everyone’s best practice. So you just need to give in and add a photo to your profile.

As mentioned in my previous post Social Marketing Best Practices, you need to identify what is important to you and you need to tie in the overall effort to your goals. If your goal is to build engagement around prospects and customers using LinkedIn, you might as well follow the majority and do the things that are important to everyone. And remember that there are some things that are not up for debate, like a profile picture. Just do it, put up a picture because if you don’t then you are part of the 1% that don’t find it important.

[Tip] Before you start changing your profile and go back and forth to add some punctuation error or modify, you need to turn off your broadcast activity. You would hate to broadcast to everyone every time you decide to change one little detail.

Here is how to do it

  1. Go to LinkedIn and click on “settings” on the dropdown underneath your name. This is on the top right hand side of the screen.
  2. You may be prompted to enter your password again, but you will be directed to the settings page.
  3. On the bottom, you will see 4 tabs starting with “Profile”, look for “Turn on/off your activity broadcast”, click on it.
  4. A window will pop up asking you to check/uncheck the box.
  5. If you are looking to turn off a broadcast about each simple change to your profile, be sure to uncheck the box.

 

Best practices for your LinkedIn profile

1. Complete your profile 100%. 
You can see your score on the right side when editing your profile. Here are the areas that will help you get to 100%.

  • List your current job
  • Include two previous positions
  • Add your education
  • Add a profile summary
  • Upload a personal photo (no kids, no pets, no logo)
  • Include your specialties
  • Earn at least three recommendations

2. Edit your public profile URL. 
I suggest you choose your name if it’s available. Add this URL to your business cards, your signature file and include it in other profiles.

3. Write a detailed summary. 
Your summary is one of the most important parts of the profile because the search engines index it. It should be written in first person and should include your keywords, your skills, your experience and what differentiates you from others. You can use up to 2000 words. Suzanne Vara outlines How to  Pack A Powerful Punch With Your LinkedIn Summary.

4. Include links to your company websites on your profile. 
Tip: Select the “other” option so you can add the name of your website. You can then add additional links to your blog, Facebook page and any other websites you have.

5. Add sections to profile. 
It’s important to add dimensions to your profile. This is way to give you more depth than someone who went to school here and worked there. Here are some that I like:

  • Skills. To add a skill you must first search for a skill you have. When the results appear you can add the skill to your profile. Hubspot has more info on how to add skills to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes. This detail can possibly be a deciding factor when employers are looking at your profile. They are thinking that you are more than just a work-a-holic, you are selfless and a team player.
  • Organizations. Whether it’s an industry org, an internal committee within your company, or a church/youth group, highlight what is important to you and what you want people to maybe ask you about in conversation.
  • Reading List by Amazon. I really like this one because it shows you as a thought leader but also gives you something to talk about when engaging in conversation for business. 

6. Earn recommendations.
Recommendations add credibility to your profile. LinkedIn has made it simple to give and receive recommendations. Good sources of recommendations come from your clients and people who have worked with you. Tip: In order for your profile to be 100% complete you need 3 recommendations. I typically recommend at least one each from co-worker, manager and customer/partner.

7. Update your status several times a week with links to your blog posts, news about projects you’re working on or links to your industry news. 
You can schedule LinkedIn updates using a desk client like Hootsuite, Seesmic or Tweetdeck. You can also tag a tweet to post on LinkedIn by adding “#in” to the tweet. I do not recommend sending all of your Twitter updates to LinkedIn, but selectively choosing which tweets go to LinkedIn with the #in tag. Your updates show up on the feed and are searchable using LinkedIn Signals, the new search feature on your home page below the status window.

Portions of this post were originally published on Handshake 2.0: http://www.handshake20.com/2011/02/revitalize-your-linkedin-profile.html

One Response to Your LinkedIn profile, why is it important to…

  1. [...] tips on how to position yourself on LinkedIn, check this article out for [...]

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