29 Oct 2011

5 tips for a better LinkedIn profile

Eight-year-old LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network – one that continues to grow at an impressive rate, having reached 100 million users earlier this year.

Many business professionals have found it a boon for networking and opportunity seeking, whether they’re looking for new clients, jobs or employees.

Indeed, as the de-facto social network for business people, it now seems unavoidable.

How can you make the most of it? Like most things, users tend to get out what they put in. Creating a strong profile is the most important step.

Here are some quick and easy LinkedIn profile tips:

1. You must have a photo

Unless they know someone personally, people tend to ignore LinkedIn profiles that aren’t accompanied by an image. The general advice is never to use an image of your pet, child, or company logo. A good, clear and recent picture of yourself is best.

2. Your headline is key

Your headline appears almost everywhere you do in LinkedIn – from your profile, to search results, to comments you post. Your current position and company is a good start, but many people also choose to be more description and vibrant. If you want to advertise yourself, use keywords you think others may search for. You have 120 characters – use them all!

3. Work on your summary

Your summary is a vital part of your profile. Again, be sure to use as many keywords as you can. When deciding what to write, consider questions such as what you do, what you offer, what makes you unique, what value you bring and what problems you can solve.

4. Reserve your URL

Remember that you’re not only going to appear in LinkedIn searches, but also on Google. LinkedIn profiles rank highly when people search for your name. To make sure that you appear, check your LinkedIn settings to confirm that your profile is publicly indexed.

Another good idea is to ensure that your ‘Public Profile’ URL is a custom URL of the form linkedin.com/in/yourname rather than the more complex one generated by default. This will assist with search engine results, and looks much better on an email footer or business card.

5. Connect to Twitter

If you add your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile, you can use LinkedIn applications to automatically re-tweet your tweets within LinkedIn. This helps to advertise your interests and activity in your profile view while also generating connections outside LinkedIn.

Robin Marchant is National Marketing Manager, Brennan IT