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Maximizing your LinkedIn profile can be a big job. We compiled 15 of our best tips and tricks. In Parts 1 & 2, we touted completeness, a concise summary, buzzword avoidance, high resolution photos, links, portfolio samples and search. Here are tips 8 though 10:
8. Professional Headlines Matter
Your LinkedIn profile headline is a prime opportunity to showcase your personal brand. Use this 120-character field wisely, and you can show up strategically in search. When drafting your headline, think of keywords and ways to set yourself apart. When editing your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn offers to show you what others are using. This may or may not be helpful; I’ve found most folks in my network simply put in their job title. Snore. Here’s an example: Social Media Manager vs. Social Media Magnet. It still has the keyword “social media” but shows a bit more panache, don’t you think?
Some LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) put their email in the headline. While I understand they are trying to make it super easy for potential connections, I’m not a fan. What you put into your headline is a personal choice. If you’re stumped as to what to highlight, my suggestion is to add something you are very comfortable showing the world. Remember Tip #1: Completeness Counts. If your profile isn’t complete, you are getting left out of potential searches.
The beauty of the Web is the ability to quickly modify anything. What you put into your LinkedIn profile headline today isn’t written in stone. Do some research on what others in your field are doing. Craft something that reflects your talents in a searchable way.
9. Recommendations & Endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements are a great way for others to brag about you. When asking for a reference to add to your LinkedIn profile, be specific in your request. The recipient will appreciate instructions — what skills to include, details of a project, quantifiable results — as they may need a reminder of your past accomplishment(s). Don’t be surprised (read: be prepared) if they ask you to write it.
Are you shy about asking for a recommendation? Start with those you know well (ok, not your mom or a family member). Zero or few recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can really limit you. Figure out a way to get over this self-imposed hurdle. Still stumped? Give me a call as I’ve literally written hundreds of LinkedIn recommendations for our clients.
When writing a recommendation for another LinkedIn member, take the time to craft a personalized and thoughtful paragraph (or two). Think about how you can help their credibility and showcase their expertise.
Endorsements are “lite recommendations.” It’s basically a vote of confidence for a skill or trait. LinkedIn makes it easy to endorse others. When editing your LinkedIn profile, edit the “Skills & Expertise” section. Add at least 10 (as they show up first). Check out The Skinny on Endorsements to get more detailed info.
10. Link to a Company Page
If you’re open for business, then you definitely need a LinkedIn Company Page. Having a Company Page allows you to cross-promote yourself with your business and vice versa. First, you’ll need administrator access to create and edit the page. Just like your personal profile, your Company Page needs to be fully fleshed out. It includes:
- Home – a summary section that introduces your business. It typically provides a high-level overview. If you post updates (blogs, announcements, industry news), it will show up as well. Friends and colleagues who are connected to the business are also be displayed. Be sure to upload a high resolution logo that matches your branding.
- Career – this requires a paid subscriptions, and open positions are listed here.
- Products & Services – place highlight specific products or services that you provide. This section links to recommendations.
From an administrator standpoint, you can also track metrics and other insights (e.g., changes in employee titles, etc).
We’re nearing the home stretch of our LinkedIn Profile series. Stay tuned for Tip #11 on Friday.
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