How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networking site for professionals. It’s the perfect place to make new connections and further your career. However, you can only benefit from LinkedIn if you use your profile the right way. How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile to get most from it? What are prospective employers or business partners looking for? With a few simple steps, you can help your profile reach its full potential and start reaping the benefits.

Be Thorough

Complete each section of your LinkedIn profile; you don’t want to leave any obvious gaps or blanks. Your LinkedIn is looked at as an online resume, so you want to make it as professional and in-depth as you would a printed resume. In fact, LinkedIn has a resume builder tool that allows you to turn your profile into a printable resume in just a few seconds. For a complete profile you need:

  • Your industry and location
  • Current position and two previous positions
  • A minimum of three skills
  • Education information
  • A minimum of 50 connections
  • A  profile picture – ideal pixel size between 200 x 200 or 500 x 500

Be Professional

After all, LinkedIn is a professional website meant for professional connections. This isn’t the place for pictures of your furry friend or the vacation you took last year.

  • Choosing a professional picture that represents you and your company well is important to creating a good profile. Adding an appropriate picture to your LinkedIn profile can result in much more traffic for your profile, meaning more connections and more opportunities.
  • Using the same picture and look across multiple social media platforms will help build your brand and make you more recognizable. An example of this would be Keith Springer, who keeps his branding image consistent on LinkedIn, SeekingAlpha, and Twitter, using the same green and white color scheme.
  • Include samples of your work – LinkedIn allows you to put a variety of media such as images, videos, documents, presentations and links in the education, experience and summary sections of your profile.

Search Engine Optimization Is Important   

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to make your LinkedIn easier to find.

  • Create a unique URL for your profile to make something personal and more searchable. Using your name or something relevant to your business is a great way to make your URL more interesting and memorable.
  • Use keywords in your headline.
  • Choose key terms that you want to be associated with and put them in different sections of your profile, such as your summary, job title, personal interests, specialties and career history. Adding key terms not only helps fill out your profile and make it look professional, but it also makes your profile more likely to appear higher in search results.

Optimizing your LinkedIn will help you get the most from what’s currently the third most-popular social media site – meaning thousands of people could be looking at your profile every day. Put yourself out there, join a few groups and start meeting like-minded professionals right away. Representing yourself and your company in a way that makes you proud will go a long way toward helping you make new connections and furthering your career.

Check out these other tips to improve your social media profiles: