Time to Renovate Your LinkedIn Profile

Whenever I’m chatting to a business person about LinkedIn, if they’re not on it, they are very aware that they need to be. The social media website provides a valuable way for professionals to reach out to new people, stay in touch with industry contacts, and to build their career. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is the 10th most visited website in Canada, and ranks 14th globally (Alexa Web Information Co.).

Many professionals know that they should be making better use of LinkedIn… yet they still don’t have a personal profile that stands out.

Here are some top tips for giving your LinkedIn profile a shot in the arm:  

1. First: temporarily turn off your activity broadcast. This allows you to quietly make several profile changes in one sitting without having LinkedIn announce it to your contacts each time.

How to: in the upper right-hand corner of your profile, move your mouse over the small icon of your picture; choose “Privacy & Settings”; under “Profile” you should be able to see “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts”. After you’re finished updating, turn the activity feed back on.

2. A complete profile will show up better in search results. Add in information on your past positions, education and any organizations to which you belong. As your complete your profile, LinkedIn will suggest additional sections. Besides, nothing says “newbie” like an unfinished profile.

3. Make good use of the summary section. This is your chance to tell your LinkedIn audience about what makes you one-of-a-kind and what you’re passionate about. Make it unique! Use first-person “I” statements, and keep it conversational. Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs of text.

4. Claim your name. Your LinkedIn profile web address is made up of random alphanumeric characters, but you can edit it so it reads with your name, such as: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenmoyes. Available on a first come, first served basis.

How to: Move your cursor over “Profile” at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and select “Edit Profile”; click “Edit” next to the URL under your profile photo; click “Customize your public profile URL”; type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box; click “Set Custom URL”.

5. Use a professional looking photo. Obvious advice, but really crucial – first impressions matter. Avoid group shots or casual party pics. The worst is not having any photo: to many, this implies you don’t care about your professional image.

Oh, and one other thing: make sure you get someone to proofread your entire profile – they can catch errors that you may be missing and it’s always good to get a second opinion.

If you’d like a helping hand as you improve your LinkedIn profile, feel free to contact me. I’ve written personalized LinkedIn summary sections for a wide range of professionals.


About the author

Steven Steven Moyes is an executive and career coach who works with emerging leaders, executives, and business owners to define what they want to achieve, develop an effective strategic plan, and get extraordinary results. steven@forward-edge.ca

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