TREAT YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE LIKE A WEBSITE:
Make sure it is formatted, clean, and free of spelling and grammatical errors. I strongly suggest creating your LinkedIn profile first in a word document – not only so you can “catch” errors, but also so you can get a better idea of what your profile will look like on the LinkedIn website. In some sections of LinkedIn you can also pull in bullets and special characters. Alas – still no bolding or italics other than what LinkedIn itself formats. Another bonus, if you’ve already created your profile in a Word document, sections of it can easily be copied into other social media platforms to keep your branding unified.
KNOW YOUR KEYWORDS:
Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its searches. Make sure you place your most important search or keywords strategically throughout your profile. Some places you might want to consider are your Professional Headline.
- Title Fields
- Education (Activities and Societies)
KEEP YOUR NAME CLEAN:
Put only your first name in the first name field and your last name in the last name field. If someone is searching for you by name, LinkedIn will have a hard time finding you if your last name looks like this: Smith, PhD. John A.
KEEP YOUR PHOTO PROFESSIONAL:
I recommend a close up and a smile. A full body shot of you and your family, you and your car, you and that fish you caught last week is unclear and unprofessional. I have seen some artists use artistic renderings of themselves – which is clever if your image is still clear. LinkedIn doesn’t like logos.
PERSONALIZE YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE URL:
- Make sure your public profile reflects your name, your business, or your area of expertise.
- Nothing says, “I’m a LinkedIn neophyte” like a public profile that reads: http://linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname9890734-akjshfiho
PERSONALIZE YOUR WEBSITES:
When you edit your website, the drop down menu gives you the option of “other”. When you click on that, a new field opens up that allows you to type in your business name, website name, call to action, or description of your website. So instead of “Company Website” or “Personal Website” this section can read “Social Media for Women” or “Click here: IP Legal Advice”
JUICE UP YOUR “EXPERIENCE” SECTION:
“Experience” is not your resume. Make sure the jobs you choose to list support each other. Make sure you put all your keywords in the title section. Think outside the box. Consider adding your media channels such as YouTube or Slideshare.
UTILIZE THE “EXPERIENCE” DESCRIPTION AREA:
Use the 1000 characters in the description section to tell people why they should hire you or your company or buy your product. Tell a “save the day” story. Put in a testimonial. “Experience” is a great place to list “wins”, different companies you have helped, seminars or workshops you have presented, a mini-shot of your personal website. Use this section as the foundation for your Company Profile
LIST YOUR “ADDITIONAL EDUCATION”:
Make sure you list your certifications and licenses as well as traditional education. LinkedIn has now added new sections where you can list areas of expertise, publications, patents licenses and certifications.