5 Steps to Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Networking

LinkedIn profiles are one of the best tools available for professionals to start developing their personal brand. Think of it as your online resume for both future employers and industry leaders to learn more about you. However, to grow your professional network, you need to optimize your profile so that industry professionals can find you. The following are five steps to increasing the visibility of your LinkedIn profile and highlighting your personal brand.

1. Competitive Means Complete

First, when creating and/or boosting your LinkedIn profile make sure that it is 100% complete. You would not send a half-finished resume to an employer when applying for a job, so do not leave your online resume incomplete either. LinkedIn makes it very simple to track what sections are incomplete and what areas could benefit from expansion. In addition, make sure that your profile is marked as public and that you have claimed a vanity URL, such as http://linkedin.com/in/briannasmith/. Connect your Twitter account, as long as it is professional, and add an RSS feed from your blog.

2. Selling Yourself Through Your Summary

The summary section of your profile is one of the best places for you to “sell” yourself and your skills. I recommend using this section to display your personality and explain how your career path has developed, or your career plan. It will be your personal elevator pitch. This section of your profile is also a good place to list specialties, interests, certifications (i.e. Google Analytics Certified), and expertise.

3. Give Your Experience a Boost

LinkedIn only requires that you list the company name, your title, and employment time period when adding information to the experience section of your profile. However, this section allows you to go beyond the basic requirements and showcase the true nature of your role at the company. As with many jobs, we each wear many hats and do much more than what is listed in the title description. I recommend using this section to list out specific projects you worked on and goals you achieved while in the position. However, do not write a “novel” underneath each title; rather, consider using bullets to efficiently display experience and achievements.

4. The Impact of Your Interests

Do not underestimate the power of the interests section, it is searchable by LinkedIn and can help other professionals find and /or connect with you. Within both the interests and skills & expertise sections, try to keep the items listed relevant to your job and career goals.

5. Incorporating Keywords

When optimizing your LinkedIn profile, think about what keywords best describe your skill set and career goals, and incorporate them whenever possible. While some of the more common places to incorporate keywords are in the summary, experience, and skills sections, another great place is in your professional headline. The professional headline is located directly below your name on your profile, and will be one of the first things people see. Instead of listing only your position, add your specialties and experience to your professional headline. (i.e. SEO specialist or Certified Search Engine Marketing Specialist) The addition of keywords to your professional headline can also help boost the visibility of your profile in searches.
By Brianna Smith
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