Does Any Employer Really Care About Your LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the social network for business, it’s a great way to make and foster your business connections, it’s also a great way to connect your business to people and people to your business.
Before you can start fully using LinkedIn for business and as a business, let’s get your personal profile squared away – the only thing worse than not having a LinkedIn profile is having one that’s incomplete.
We’re assuming that you have a LinkedIn profile of some sort, in some condition, and we’re going to spruce it up and max it out – if you don’t have an account yet, go to LinkedIn dot com and create one real quick.
7 Easy Steps to Optimize your profile on LinkedIn
(Start by clicking the “Profile” tab at the top, pull down the menu and click “Edit Profile”)
1 – Who are you? Include your full name and upload a professional picture. People will be looking at LinkedIn when they are looking to do business with you, so look like a business – profiles without a photo look like spam or inactive accounts and are generally ignored.
2 – Personalize your headline. The default here is your current title but you can easily change it to something more descriptive of your skills or identity – and you should. Click “edit” next to your name and that will bring up the “basic information” page where you can edit your headline.
3 – Add your work history. Go to the “experience” section and at the very least, add your most recent positions. Click “add a position”, this will open up a new page where you can add the relevant information about that job. If your company appears in the drop down menu, click on it, wobb that way you’ll be grouped with fellow employees under company searches – it makes it easier to connect with past co-workers as well. Don’t list every position you held at a company, it chops up your profile. If you were at a company for five years held several positions, list the five years and in the description section list your skills and responsibilities, this emphasises your longevity and growth. To add details to a position you’ve already listed, simply click “edit” next to that job.
4 – Customize your LinkedIn URL. Replace the default LinkedIn URL – which is just a string of numbers – with a personalized one. Go to “Edit Profile”, and at the bottom of the main box click “edit” next to “Public Profile” this will bring up a new screen, on the lower right side of the screen under “Your Public Profile URL” click “customize” then just follow the prompt.
5 – Customize Your Website URLs. This tweak makes a subtle yet important improvement to your profile. Instead of leaving the generic “company website” or “blog”, click the “Edit” next to “additional information”, in the drop down menu for types of website choose “other” and change the default title to best suit your needs. You can link to various sites or various pages within your main site.
6 – Get Recommended. Nothing speaks louder and better about you than the words of others. You can ask for recommendations with the link next to the position. Don’t randomly ask everyone, be specific and reasoned and thoughtful… and customize the note, even making suggestions if appropriate. Remember, the best way to get a recommendation is to give one… and then ask for one back (that probably won’t be necessary because most people will have the good manners to reciprocate).
7 – Grow your Network. You’re profile is looking good – now you’re putting your best foot forward – your best digital, virtual foot forward. Now it’s time to connect with some people – go to the upper right, click on “People”, drag down to “Groups” and type in the keyword or words on your industry and interest and join a couple. Don’t be shy about reaching out and connecting with businesses, groups or people – that’s what LinkedIn is all about. Build your network and prosper, but don’t be spammy or random about it, it’s not a numbers game. You’re building your professional network, do it judiciously, personally and with intent – then you will build a most valuable and engaged network, people and businesses that you are interested in and businesses and people that are interested in you!