Linked In Profile Basics

Thought about doing my single next post as ways to personalize LinkedIn, then laughed at myself and thought, “Really??  Sum up ‘Personalizing LinkedIn’ in one post?!?”  So this will be broke up into at least two posts, we’ll see how it goes!  As I’m going along I may decide to focus on more areas and add more posts, we’ll see what happens.

I wanted to start with Profile basics, perhaps a “LinkedIn 101”.  There are some really great ways to add onto your profile with different applications, links to different Social Media (Twitter or Facebook for example) or to your blog, have a portfolio, show books that you’re reading – the list goes on.  So we’ll touch on those types of things in additional posts.

What I want to share with you is different steps that you can take to get your profile completion level as close to 100% as possible.  Let’s start at the top and work our way down.  I’ll skip over stuff that is pretty basic or needs little discussion.  Let’s start with Name.  You do have the option of showing your full name or first name and last initial – I would highly recommend using your full name.  This will allow you to be found so much easier, both in searches on LinkedIn and actually Google as well.

You can also personalize your job/personal description.  Most people leave it at the default, partially because they don’t know you can change it – but you can!  Default is whatever job position you have labelled as current, but that doesn’t always describe you enough, and this is a great place to work in those infamous keywords.  If I left mine alone it would have said “President at ARK Squared Productions”, but that doesn’t really say what I do.  Instead I’ve changed it to say “Web & Graphic Design Professional”.  This REALLY tells people what I do – and again, let’s people find be better in searches.

For positions, the easiest way to populate this is to refer to your resume, that most people have anyway!  I have only listed my most recent and relevant positions, people are not really going to care that I worked as a cashier in high-school.  Make sure when you enter in the company name that you select an existing company where possible.  If you just add it you’re not actually linking to it, by selecting the actual company you connect yourself to it in LinkedIn and have more potential of being found that way, and can boost your name in searches in LinkedIn.  Of course if you’re the business owner you’ll likely have to add it in, but I would recommend adding you company to LinkedIn as well – an easy way to get more info out about your company!  The education section works much the same way as positions, again, make sure to try and select your institution instead of just entering it yourself!

Your summary is also an important step.  Much like I mentioned in my last post about Twitter, if you don’t have a good description about who you are then people may decide to not follow you!  If you want to connect with people let them know who you are.  And it’s a great way to highlight all the important stuff that you want people to focus on from your profile in case they don’t scroll down to read more.

Recommendations are another important step to getting closer to your completion percentage, and doesn’t everyone love hearing wonderful things about themselves?  LinkedIn give you the ability to request recommendations from your connections, which I would highly recommend you do.  People may not think of doing it and often are flattered to have you ask; it means you value their opinion and what you did for them you deem as important.  Make sure that you also reciprocate where you can, and if you think of someone that you can recommend – do it!  By recommending them you not only feel good and make them feel good, but you get a link back to your profile and potential of reaching even more people.

To end off this post we’ll talk about the “Additional Information Section”.  One big step can be done here for SEO, again, most miss it.  By default when you enter your website url’s you select “Company Website” or, “Personal Website”, etc.  But if you select “Other” you can choose what is displayed instead – and it can be nice an keyword rich!  So instead of “Company Website” I’ve put “Web & Graphic Design”.  Another way to get found in more searches.  You can also tell a bit more about yourself in the additional fields, much like a “Hobbies and Interests” section of a resume.

Another way to come up in different searches and listed in a “People you may know” section for someone is to search out different groups within LinkedIn to be a part of that are relevant to you or your business.  So if you’re a personal trainer, find a personal trainer group, or see if your certification has a group started.  Or wherever you may have gone to school, see if there’s an Alumni group.  There are tons of different ones available.

These are just some of the basic ways of working towards a complete profile, and there’s so much more beyond this – this is just the tip of the iceberg!  Stay tuned for more tips, and ideas of how to get your LinkedIn working for you instead of against you!

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This entry was posted by Anna Kouwenberg on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 7:00 am and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.