LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network, with over 200 million members spanning more than 200 countries. It is highly popular with business-to-business users looking to connect and those looking for jobs. Individual users’ profiles are akin to an online resume and businesses can create pages that outline the basics of their business and operations and often use it to recruit and check references for new hires.
LinkedIn Professional Profile Checklist
- Professionally Taken Photograph
LinkedIn is a professional networking site so your photo should reflect your general industry and your personal professionalism. You need a recent high quality photo that reflects the image you want to project to prospective employers, prospects and recruiters. It’s important to look your best and a professionally taken photograph will ensure you are portrayed in the best light.
For examples on what NOT to do and why, see this great post from Andrew Macarthy: http://bit.ly/16GF7jA
- Attention Grabbing Headline
You need a powerful headline that draws a reader in and compels them to read on.
Need help creating a headline that stands out? see this great article from Forbes: http://onforb.es/NARW0n
- Compelling, Interesting Summary
The Summary area of your LinkedIn Profile constitutes the most important part of the entire page because it is the first thing decision makers scan after reading your name and tagline. For this reason, your LinkedIn summary needs to stand out as this is your chance to demonstrate to potential business connections and employers that you are an expert and someone who deserves to be noticed. Finish this section with a clear call to action as it’s important to tell your reader how to reach you once they’ve finished reading your LinkedIn summary.
For some great summary examples to help get you started see this great article by Andy Foote: http://bit.ly/V1vSTa
- Optimized Profile for SEO Benefit
Suggestions for optimizing your LinkedIn Profile for SEO benefit are:
1. Customize the URL for your public profile
2. Embed keywords strategically throughout your profile, the more you can embed your own keywords into your LinkedIn Profile, the higher your SEO benefit.
3. The wise LinkedIn user will also leverage the power of status updates by embedding keywords when posting.
- Connections, Recommendations and Endorsements
In order to truly leverage LinkedIn, it’s important to have a strong LinkedIn network with many first degree connections. Recommendations from colleagues, business partners and satisfied clients go a long way in establishing your value and credibility. As either an employee or a business, a recommendation can carry a great deal of weight in the eyes of future customers or employers as they essentially act as concrete examples of a good experience with you in a personal manner. If you want to get recommendations, use LinkedIn to give them to people you’ve worked with and who have done a great job for you and they will likely reciprocate. Similarly with the endorsement feature, if you endorse someone, they’ll be notified and you’re likely to get a reciprocal endorsement in return.
- A Customized URL
Your public profile address is the direct link to your LinkedIn profile, it is important to customize this address with your name as this looks more professional when you then add it to your email signature, resume, cover letter, business card, and other marketing literature.
- Completed Profile
Your LinkedIn profile extends far beyond the summary section. Work Experiences, Volunteer Experiences & Causes, Certifications, Education, Interests, and Groups and Associations are just a few of the additional sections that need to be fully completed in order to have a powerful LinkedIn profile.
For more great tips for your profile and how to use LinkedIn effectively, be sure to read the 2013 LinkedIn Marketing Guide from KISSmetrics: http://bit.ly/10hG0eE