Here are ten easy ways to brush off the cobwebs and whip your LinkedIn profile into shape this spring.
1. Headline, Profile Photo, and Background Photo
More people will see your headline, profile photo, and background photo than any other part of your profile. Make a good first impression by including a creative, keyword-filled headline, professional quality headshot, and a background that positively represents your personal brand.
Use the Summary section to sell yourself. Think of it as your cover letter or elevator speech. With the current profile format, the first 300 characters of your Summary are going to be read often; so spruce it up and make it shine.
3. Experience and Education
Don’t skimp here. Provide details of each job you’ve held (you have up to 2,000 characters available per job or education entry), and include your formal education as well as industry-specific courses, workshops, or seminars you’ve attended.
You’ll be more likely to come up in searches if you include the keywords people typically use when trying to find someone like you. Put them in your Headline, Job Experience Titles, and the Skills & Endorsements section to receive the most benefit, but avoid “stuffing” your profile with keywords or your credibility may be compromised.
5. Add Media
Not only will adding media help your profile be more visually interesting, but it’s a great way to get people to visit your website, check out some of your best work examples, and get copies of important documents, like your resume, your customer testimonials, etc. You can add media to the Summary, Job Experience, and Education entries of your profile.
Get at least two current, impactful recommendations. Your two most recent recommendations are nicely displayed. Note, however, that you cannot reorder them. The rest of your recommendations get buried in the Show more drawer; so consider grabbing the best quotes from your recommendations and placing them in the job entry that they are tied to.
7. Licenses and Certifications
These used to be subsections of the Accomplishments section, but they’re now stand-alone sections, and they’re higher in the profile layout. These designations you’ve earned could be the difference when a customer or employer is comparing you to your competitors. LinkedIn users may also include them in their search criteria when they’re looking for just the right professional.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Use all of the subsections in the Accomplishments section to set yourself apart from your competitors. Subsections currently include Publications, Patents, Courses, Projects, Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Languages, and Organizations.
9. Volunteer Experience
Everyone loves to work with people who genuinely care about others. Let the world know what organizations you support—and it will be great publicity for your favorite charitable group, too.
10. Calls to Action
You don’t want people to just look at your LinkedIn profile, you want them to do something. Invite readers to watch a video, go to your website, or request a quote. It’s easy to include calls to action in your Summary section, but you can creatively include them in other sections as well.
Clean up your LinkedIn profile this spring, and get ready to watch your business bloom.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.