Did you know that there are over 530 million LinkedIn users and that LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals? LinkedIn is not just for resume posting and people seeking jobs. It has grown into a premium online networking site.
Have you updated your LinkedIn profile recently in order to attract your ideal client?
Are you taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer you in terms of growing your professional network and finding ideal prospects and potential clients? If you haven’t edited or updated your LinkedIn profile in a while, you will want to continue reading for some surefire changes you will want to make to truly benefit from the site and all it has to offer.
Customize your Public Profile URL
To change your public profile URL:
1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
2. Click View profile.
3. On your profile page, click Edit your public profile & URL on the right rail.
4. Under Edit public profile URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL. It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
6. Click Save.
Update your Profile Photo
If it’s been a few years since you’ve had a professional headshot taken, you may want to consider updating your photo. Your profile photo doesn’t have to be a stuffy, traditional headshot, you can have fun with it, but keep it professional.
Ideal pixel size 400 x400
Don’t just “crop” out other people, use a close in shot of just yourself
Use a plain or professional looking background
Include a Cover Photo
Ideal pixel size: 1536 x 768 max 4 MB
Make Your Headline Standout!
Since your headline is the first bit of information people see, you want to make sure you highlight your most valuable skills and keywords. Of course, you only have 120 characters in which to do so!
List of skills
Divide the list with commas or other symbols
Here are two great examples of headlines and cover photos!
Rebekah Radice uses the “|” symbol to separate her list of skills in the headline.
Current Contact Information
Update your contact information to include a link to your website, email address, phone number and Twitter account.
Disable “Share Profile Changes” if you don’t want your network to be notified every time you make a change!
Update the Summary Section
Your profile can really shine in this section! Highlight your greatest accomplishments from the last year, sprinkling keywords throughout, emphasizing what you want potential networking contacts and referral partners to see.
Include a headline
2000 character max
Use bullet points for readability
Use results-oriented action words (verbs) that highlight your accomplishments
Zero in on how you can help others – touch on pain points
Keep clear of the top 10 overused buzzwords used in LinkedIn profiles according to LinkedIn: You’re Better Than Buzzwords.
Upload video, images, files and presentations including PowerPoint presentations, SlideShares and YouTube videos, to the Summary, Experience and Education sections
Include a Call to Action
The new LinkedIn layout showcases the first “Experience” section a bit more prominently than in the past. Include great detail about your current job with important keywords and skills. Accentuate what you do for people or how you can help them.
Featured Skills & Endorsements
This section used to be called “Skills”. Now, you see how many people endorse you for a particular skill. You can edit how the skills appear and reorganize them.
The top three skills (the ones with the most endorsements), are more visible and a little more information about who is endorsing you for those skills is shown. Choose those skills wisely because they also will be skills that you continue to get endorsed for as well.
Adjust endorsement settings so that they will be visible.
Recommendations are a valuable piece of your profile, as well. They are typically more difficult to get than an endorsement, but due to that fact, may be more valuable.
It’s helpful to include text that people can use in their recommendation. Sometimes, people don’t know what to say or how to say it concisely.
In this area of your profile, you can highlight specific certifications, training, honors or awards you’ve received. It’s just another section to show how you standout from your competition.
Click on the + in the upper right hand corner, and a drop-down box will appear with all of the options.
Interests and Volunteer Experience
These two sections are important, as well, to further showcase your skills, talents and what interests you.
Included here are groups that you belong to or people you follow to whom you are not connected.
Let people know where you spend your time out of the office and which organizations or causes are close to your heart. Include keywords and specialties in this section, as well. Some of your best experiences and recommendations may come from people with whom you’ve volunteered. The volunteer experience section can be used to highlight other skills or areas of interest not related to your current job.
Just remember, if you are following a company or following a person, those will be visible to others. You can edit your public profile and make sure that people aren’t seeing anything you don’t want them to see.
Review Groups to Which You Belong
Remove yourself from groups that no longer serve your purposes. Research and search for groups where you may be able to shine as an expert, create valuable connections with potential referral partners, or find a common thread between other connections.
Groups are all now “private”. You can search for groups by keyword or name. When you click on a group name, you will see people who are the admins in there. You’ll also see your connections in there. Then, you’ll have to ask to join.
You may notice groups with a lot of members, but not a lot of activity. You’ll want to join groups that are active.
By taking the time to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile and following a plan for growing your professional network and finding ideal prospects and potential clients, you will see how valuable a resource LinkedIn can be!