Five Tips To Take Your LinkedIn Profile To The Next Level
How to Create a Winning LinkedIn Profile
Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed., is Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College
With more than 550 Million LinkedIn users, the smallest details about your LinkedIn profile can make all of the difference between standing out and getting noticed… or not. How do you make sure that your LinkedIn is optimized? Here are the top five tips to create an impressive LinkedIn profile.
1) Know your personal brand: It is very important to know your personal brand. In short, that means you need to have a clearly defined perspective of who you are and what you do that makes you stand out. What are YOUR selling points? It is very difficult to create a social media presence or a LinkedIn account that projects your brand when you are not sure how to define it. Know who you are first and then how you proceed will flow from that.
2) Create a memorable and descriptive "Headline." LinkedIn defaults to your job title or school status as your LinkedIn Headline. Change it. The LinkedIn Headline shows up everywhere you do on LinkedIn; in searches, emails and posts. Those 130 characters are the most valuable real estate in all of social media. When used correctly, your Headline serves as your LinkedIn elevator pitch, describing who you are and more importantly, why viewers should care about you and want to find out more.
3) Use a Vanity URL: Every LinkedIn account has a unique URL. The default URL will usually include some of the letters of your first and last name and some random numbers. You can and should change your URL using the “firstnamelastname” format. This more professional URL (like https://www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro) gives your profile a more polished look and, more importantly, can then be used as a signature line in your regular emails
If your "firstnamelastname" is taken, don’t worry. Try adding a dash or an underscore. In the worst case, add a professional designation (like MA or CPA) to make sure you still have your vanity URL.
4) Personalize Your Background Image: All LinkedIn users can upload a background Image for their LinkedIn profile. People are visual, so a nice background image really enhances the look of your profile. LinkedIn defaults to a blue background and many LinkedIn users choose stock photos. If you really want your profile to stand out, choose a personalized picture that reinforces your brand. As a public speaker specializing in social media, my background image is a picture of me giving a social media workshop.
Make sure to choose your background photo wisely. The picture is displayed in a wide format on LinkedIn, and your profile photo will cover part of the bottom left of your background image, so make sure that it does not cover anything valuable.
5) Public Profile Settings: LinkedIn allows you to control the content users will see when they view your LinkedIn profile via the LinkedIn URL on browsers such as Google and Bing. Most viewers will not take a look at all of your content and it is important to choose your profile content wisely based on your personal brand. What sells you and your brand most effectively? Choices as to what to include will vary from user to user.