Top 25 Ways to Optimize and Promote Your LinkedIn Profile!
LinkedIn has changed a great deal since its inception in 2002, especially with the rising influence of personal branding and brand storytelling in our digital world. With over 467 million users, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when it comes to job searching. Ready to become a veritable powerhouse on this platform? Here’s how you can get the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Link to Your Portfolio
LinkedIn permits you to link to other websites from your profile, even in the main ‘about’ section. Take advantage of this by connecting to your portfolio. This is especially pertinent for industries requiring extensive samples, such as graphic design or copywriting.
You should also include this in the ‘additional information’ section.
2. Carefully Consider the Personal vs. the Professional
There’s no strict rule for where that line between personal and professional exists for you on LinkedIn. If your entire brand is about parenting, for example, it makes sense to include parenting tip updates from a personal perspective as long as your CTA (call to action) relates to your brand. If you’re in an unrelated field, your professional connections probably aren’t interested in that beyond birth and adoption announcements. Finding the appropriate space will allow you to appear friendly, personable, and engaging – while still maintaining the professionalism necessary to get a job in your field.
3. Include Case Study Links and Statistics
For data-driven industries, you can display your ROI immediately on your profile. Add key facts and numbers, such as “increased customer retention rate by 75%.” Metrics surrounding revenue and productivity are particularly important, so track, focus, and display conversion and engagement rates whenever possible.
This is especially important when you’re in a creative or new field, like social media management. You need to prove success in click-throughs, engagements, and conversions, not just vanity metrics such as followers.
4. Add Photos and Project Links
LinkedIn permits you to add specific projects and photos and links to that project. This allows you to go a step beyond your resume and provides something visual to help capture a potential employer’s attention. It’s also a quick reference when you need to show an example with short notice.
5. Skills and Recommendations
Skills and recommendations are two ways to show your credibility with others. As long as you continue to build your network, skill endorsements come naturally: initially, include a few areas of focus, and people will click the button to endorse, as LinkedIn prompts them.
Recommendations are a bit trickier. Anyone can leave one for someone else so long as they’ve worked or studied together, but it’s not something most people do without a request.
Consider asking people who:
- You still speak with regularly
- Write professionally and coherently
- Can talk about your assets in a unique way
While the manager or supervisor recommendation is always most impressive, it reflects well on you if your coworkers and employees can provide a suggestion as well.
Consider who to ask, then request a recommendation. You’ll have a chance to review the recommendation once it’s been provided to you.
6. Your LinkedIn Headline
Your headline is more than your job title – it reflects your goals, especially if you’re also freelancing or looking for your next big move. Instead of saying you’re “blog editor at ABC Standard,” consider something more descriptive that will allow potential employers to see you at their company, such as “Master of Content.”
You can also use this space to highlight multiple related and unrelated fields, such as “financial advisor and fintech expert.”
When LinkedIn did national profile picture and free profile consultation tours in 2016, this was a significant area of focus for them.
6. Your Location
Think about your marketable location. Unless you live in a city, you may wish to consider placing yourself outside of your town. “Greater Chicago Area” is an option, versus merely stating Chicago. If you’re hoping to relocate and can say as much about your profile, add this to your profile to help future employees in other locations take you seriously.
Another tip- in today’s world of technology and the internet, a lot of you might be working remotely. If so, say so! A lot of companies now are looking for Freelance writers, videographers, editors, web developers and more. If you have one of those jobs where you can work from anywhere make sure to mention that.
7. Set Goals for LinkedIn Growth
Popularity on LinkedIn is all about goal setting. Choose an amount of time and set a realistic goal using metrics, such as page views or influencer connections. Then, check in with those goals daily, and watch the page views. This is a living organism and needs TLC daily.
8. Add More LinkedIn Connections Daily
When you collect business cards and come back from an event – add them. LinkedIn is your rolodex, and you don’t have to surrender it when you leave. Each time you make a new business contact (even if you don’t do business together), add them on LinkedIn. That connection could lead to a job later.
Don’t underestimate people new to your field, either. That college student you just added might work for a pivotal connection two years from now.
9. Write and Publish Articles
While it used to be exclusive, any LinkedIn member can now publish an article on LinkedIn Pulse. Focus on your area of expertise. This is an ideal place to provide an innovative or creative take on your industry and to show others that you think a bit differently and have something to offer.
10. Drive Traffic to Your Profile
Is your LinkedIn profile listed on your Twitter and Facebook pages? What about in your email signature? Most people won’t hesitate to connect with you on LinkedIn since it’s supposed to be purely professional, and this makes the task that much easier for them.
So don’t be shy or bashful- put the LinkedIn link in your email signature and watch your connections grow.
Tip: You may also include your profile link on forum signatures and business cards.
11. Check Out Potential Connections
Unless they have the feature turned off, a potential or current connection’s recent view of your profile is tracked. LinkedIn displays this info for you here: https://www.linkedin.com/me/profile-views/
You’ll be able to find out where these viewers work and you’ll also be able to see the last several connections that viewed you. To see more, you need to upgrade to premium, so make sure to check it each week.
12. Causes and Volunteer Experience
Volunteer work is valuable in that it shows your connection with the community as well as your values. Most people go with a safe cause such as animal welfare, as issues like equality and healthcare are heavily politicized.
If your causes relate to your brand or your field, definitely include them. For example, it wouldn’t seem overly political for a human rights lawyer to support Amnesty International.
However, if your causes aren’t related at all, don’t avoid putting them on there. It’s always good to show diversity.
13. Ask For Connections
Every so often, ask your personal and professional connections to network with you on LinkedIn. You can do this with a simple Facebook or Twitter post with a link to your profile. If you use an automated social media tool, set this request to post monthly, so your new connections see it.
14. Remember: LinkedIn is a Search Engine
LinkedIn is its search engine, which means you must optimize it for potential employers and recruiters if you wish to be found. Lots of people might want to create overly creative titles to stand out, but few people search for a “marketing ninja.” Instead, they might want a “digital marketer” which you could list as “innovative digital marketer.”
Even though you very well may be an “SEO Ninja” it’s unlikely people are searching for that skillset.
15. Google Likes LinkedIn
Google and other search engines also index LinkedIn pages. If you optimize your page correctly, it should show up on a Google search, which is optimal – after all, this is what you want a potential employer to find when they look you up.
Use SEO (search engine optimized) copy to highlight your skills – when people search for that ability, they should find you.
Also, make sure your content is correctly spelled, and your grammar is on point.
17. Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Updated
Nothing makes you look more prepared for a job transition than an updated profile. Make sure you include the basics: job duties and tasks as well as your time at each organization. In addition to updates registering with your network (they get notified), updated content is a positive ranking signal for Google.
18. Use a Professional Photo
Professional photos are essential for LinkedIn, as this is the first visual impression your future employer may get. According to LinkedIn, your face should take up 60% of the frame. They also suggest a natural smile and making eye contact with the camera (no sunglasses). Pick a background that is either subdued or out of focus to ensure you’re the main subject of the picture.
Remember, this isn’t a social network like Facebook. It’s best to keep it professional when it comes to your picture.
19. Include a Background Photo
Pick a background photo that describes something about you. Many LinkedIn users select something reflecting a place, hobby, or lifestyle, like a vacation spot, city, or classic car. If you’re a creative, consider something abstract or inspiring. You can select an image to use for free on sites like pixabay. Just be sure to read the image usage guidelines before snagging it.
Personally, I like to use the company logo.
20. Engage in Group Discussions
The jury’s still out on whether group discussions on LinkedIn are especially impactful – so many of them are dormant. However, being part of a group can facilitate connections (other members will see that when they look at your profile). For groups that do have activity, you can hop right in and find opportunities to learn and connect.
One thing is for sure- engagement is never a bad thing. Even if Google doesn’t pick up on involvement in LinkedIn, your peers will. It’s always good to establish yourself as the expert in your field.
21. Ask Coworkers for Help
Engagements – or likes, comments, and shares – really increase your visibility on LinkedIn. Want an easy way to raise those? Ask your coworkers to perform engagements to boost awareness of your posts and profile. Reserve this for quality content and significant announcements.
22. Get an Editor
For many positions, typos will disqualify you instantly. Vanquish the typo demon by hiring a professional editor to review your profile. Just like a professional photo, this is a necessary investment for a LinkedIn profile to succeed.
23. Get a Personalized URL
LinkedIn lets you select your URL. Most people simply use their name, but you can also add your field, such as “JaneTheDigitalMarketer.”
24. Stay Active on LinkedIn Messenger
LinkedIn changed its messenger recently, making conversations much more accessible and giving it the real feel of conversing on a social media network like Facebook. This takes away some of the formality of LinkedIn communication, which used to feel more like exchanging emails.
Here’s how you can leverage LinkedIn messenger:
- Stay in touch with valuable contacts
- Ask your contacts if you can facilitate any connections for them
- Reach out occasionally to see if they’ve heard of any openings (if you’re looking)
25. Help People in Your LinkedIn Connections
Every industry has new people, and being helpful puts a significant deposit in the karma bank. More than that, it’s not just about who you’re helping – but who sees you doing it. Potential employers and industry influencers may look favorably on you after noticing you help someone who needs it, even if that simply means providing some online resources for them. Plus, this is the ideal opportunity for you to display your industry expertise.
Though this isn’t an exhaustive list of how to use LinkedIn to properly market yourself, it’s certainly a good start. Make sure to go through this list, and check everything off. You always want to put your best foot forward, and LinkedIn is a great way to do that.
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