Almost everyone has an account on LinkedIn. It’s a great place to really sell yourself, but most profiles just don’t get any love. Here’s an some east steps you can take that will put you miles ahead of the people who only check in when they need a job.
LinkedIn is world’s largest professional network with 40 million+ members and growing rapidly, you need to get this right.
Decide what you want from your LinkedIn profile. Personally, I agree with Chris Brogan who suggests:
LinkedIn isn’t a place to dump a snapshot of where you’ve been. It’s an opportunity to stay connected to people, and to demonstrate where you are now, and where you plan to go next.
This is especially true for people who are looking to make a move away from what they’ve been doing the past 5 years. That includes anyone who is just finishing school and looking to start earning a living.
Don’t be dry. Did you read up above the part about 40 million members? You need to try to stand out. Linked in has made that easier by allowing you to pull in other content. I’m a big fan of the “Books I’m Reading” widget because it shows what you are interested enough in to read more about.
You can also pull in your blog posts, another win if you have a “safe for work” blog.
Write a kick ass Summary. Your Summary section can be written from the 3rd person perspective, although it can seem like you are a pompous over-paid sports star when you read it, but, there is advantages because you write out your full name name. Either way (1st person or 3rd person) use logical keywords, your company name and anything else you want associated with your profile. It’s all searchable and basic SEO rules apply. Try to use your Summary to let people know what you can do for them.
Your photo. I think a photo is a must. Even if you’re terribly unattractive. If someone isn’t going to work with you because of how you look, better to have them do it early in the process. As harsh as that sounds, it’s reality. We all judge people based on their appearance. My advice for people who can’t find a photo they like of themselves is:
- Get some headshots taken. Pay someone to make you look good, that’s what professional photographers are good at.
- Let someone else pick out 3 photos they like of you, then pick one of those. We obsess over our flaws, but most other people just see us normally. Ask a trusted friend for help.
- Make it black and white. For some reason that seems to fix a lot of problems.
- Go a little quirky, especially if your artsy.
- Don’t Simpsonize yourself for LinkedIn.
Get a vanity url for your url. For example, by default your LinkedIn profile is something like:
but you can make it available at
which is a lot easier to remember.
Show it to someone and get feedback. If it’s your first run through, it will need more tweaking, but at least you’ve started. Set up a reminder to go check out your profile once a month and tweak it. Try to do your edits when you are in a good mood and have some quiet time.
Start using LinkedIn. Start recommending people who you work with and really like their work. Then look for old co-workers that you thought were were awesome, and write a recommendation for them. It’s a nice ego boost for people to know that they’re appreciated. You can also start connecting with people answering (or asking) questions in the forums.
I’m sure I’ve missed some, what have you done to spice up your profile?
Really a nice & informative post.Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us.
Jacob Stoops says
Nice post! I have so many social profiles that it can be very tedious to keep them all updated. I think one of the points you drive at is to make sure you’re very thorough in building out your profile. I see LinkedIn as an online resume, and great place to grab recommendations and testimonials of your work.
Phil Buckley says
Me too Jacob, and the weird thing about LinkedIn is that every time I go back to check my profile, it seems like I tweak it. I’m not sure if that’s just me or just human nature.
I’m sure it has to do with the amount of information we drop into it, as opposed to a short Twitter bio.
I’m new to LinkedIn and I’m glad to stumble upon this post of yours. I will follow the steps you stated here and I hope I will make it right. 🙂
Jon Hale says
Thanks for the post, Phil. It’s really helpful for someone (like me) who’s just getting started with LinkedIn and trying to be seen as much as possible to create more connections. I still have a long way to go, I’m sure, but at least now I feel like I have a solid foundation.