LinkedIn is one of the core ways for people connect in business, but for many people it is simply yet another social media presence that has to be managed. This means that LinkedIn profiles are often put together in a way that fail to deliver results.
We regularly polish our client’s LinkedIn profiles as part of their social media management, to deliver better results for their B2B networking.
Here are 10 of our Favourite LinkedIn Profile Tips and Tricks to help you create a more effective profile.
1. Keywords Matter
LinkedIn is similar to the early days of Google in terms of SEO – Keywords are very important. Keywords are how people find your skill set and the services that you offer. It stands to reason that the more complete your profile, the more keywords you have on offer.
Places to put your keywords: Headline, Job Titles, Summary, Skills, Interests etc. Don’t stuff them in, but definitely include terms that you want to be found for in each of these areas.
LinkedIn Profile Keyword tips:
- If you change your current position, LinkedIn will default your headline to your new position title, so you will need to change it back.
- Don’t try and put keywords into your name. It is against LinkedIn’s terms of service and will see you banned.
- With your headline & job titles remember to add in symbols to separate the keyword terms and make the keywords stand out. You can check out my LinkedIn Profile to see what I mean in terms of symbols.
2. Write a Powerful Summary
Your LinkedIn summary section is your chance to shine. This is where you showcase what makes you unique, and your specific skill sets. You have 2000 characters to play with – so there’s no excuse for this section to be blank. Think of it as your personal elevator pitch – and go for broke! Remember to include a call to action within your summary section.
3. Delete The Buzzwords
LinkedIn publishes a list each year of the most overused Buzzwords for the year. Try and avoid using any of these words in your LinkedIn profile. Find words that make you stand out rather than blend into the herd.
4. Add Alternative Contact Emails
Include all your relevant emails in your contact info to give people who have your different emails a way to connect with you.
To add in extra email addresses, go to your profile and click on Edit Profile. Look for the Folder that says Edit Contact Information just under your photo. Click on the blue pencil next to your email address and you will see a pop-up where you can add or remove email addresses.
5. Sort Your Skills & Endorsements
Tired of people endorsing you for stuff you don’t do (or stuff you don’t want to be known for)? Take back control!
LinkedIn has a few new features that allow you to say whether or not you want endorsements on your profile; the order the skills should appear, and allow you to hide the ones you don’t want to show.
Click on Edit Your Profile and then click on Edit Your Skills.
- For skills you don’t have and never want to display Click on the Add & Remove tab, then click on the cross next to the skills you want to delete.
- For skills you simply want to hide for a while, click on the Manage Endorsements tab. Find the one you want to hide and click Show/Hide All Endorsements. You can also use this tab to hide endorsements by particular people.
- Once you have all the skills hidden or deleted that you don’t want to show, it’s time to add in all the ones you DO want endorsed. LinkedIn allows you to have 50 skills on this list, so list all 50. By completely filling the 50 skills list it means strange skills will not be added by well-meaning contacts.
- Finally, contact your colleagues and ask them to endorse you for specific skills to get your numbers up on particular areas of skill.
6. Make Your LinkedIn Profile Look Attractive
LinkedIn does not allow you to use common formatting such as bold or italics to make your content look attractive. But don’t despair. With a bit of creativity you can add in bullets and lines to separate your text and make it stand out.
I use bullets mainly in my headline, summary section and in my individual experience sections. Either type in • where you want a bullet to appear, or cut and paste in a specific bullet icon.
Here’s a great tutorial and a list of useful bullet designs you can use: http://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2012/06/28/linkedin-profile-bullets-symbols/
7. Reorder Your Sections for Maximum Impact
You are not stuck with the default order of sections in your profile. Move the sections around to give prominence to different areas. For example, if you are a published author, then you may want publications to appear near the top of your profile.
Reordering is as simple as clicking on Edit Your Profile and then clicking and holding on the double arrow icon at the top right of each section. Drag the section to where you want it to appear on your profile page.
8. Link All Your Social Presences
Google values a solid net presence and looks at social clues when assessing trustworthiness and expertise.
One of the ways to take control of your online presence is to make sure that each of your social media has links to your other profiles.
With your LinkedIn profile, start by adding your Twitter profile into your contact information section.
For your other websites & social media presence you need to click on Edit Your Contact Information – then click on the blue pencil next to websites. No matter the link, select “Other” as it allows you to name what the link is. So, rather than “Company Website” my business website link is called “Heart Harmony Communications”. Also add in your Facebook & Google+ Profiles as “other” links. You only get 3 links here, so make them count!
9. Update Your Photo
Your photo is a reflection of you at your corporate best. This means no fuzzy shots; shots with kids or pets; kids taken at drunken parties, full body shots etc. The photos that work best on LinkedIn are tightly cropped head and shoulders photos on a light background.
10. Claim Your Vanity URL For Your LinkedIn Profile
Regular LinkedIn profiles are not easy to remember as they are simply a string of random letters and numbers. Change your LinkedIn URL to one with your name in it for additional personal branding value.
Here’s the steps on how to claim your LinkedIn vanity URL: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/87/~/customizing-your-public-profile-url
So there you have it. 10 great LinkedIn Profile Tips and Tricks to help you improve your LinkedIn results.