Now is a great time to optimize your LinkedIn profile (or to create a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have one already). With most people still working from home right now, more professionals are apt to connect and take discovery or mentorship calls than they would if they were in the office.
Regardless of what your career goals are at the moment – whether they are to connect with more people in your field, network to find a new job or learn something new – LinkedIn is a great platform to help you achieve them. But, connecting with people with a profile that’s missing information is a quick way to get ghosted.
To freshen up your LinkedIn profile and get recognized by the critical connections you’re looking to make, give these six tips a try.
When you first create your profile, the URL to your LinkedIn page will consist of a variety of numbers and letters. You can customize this, however, and even put it on business or calling cards or on your resume. Start by clicking the "Edit public profile & URL" link in the top right corner of your profile page. If your name is already taken, consider adding your middle initial or a professional certification or title, like MBA, CPA or PMP, to your customized URL. Mine is: www.linkedin.com/in/tayshirk.
There are a variety of statistics out there about the power of having a profile picture. Some sources say that having a picture makes you as much as seven times more likely to be found on LinkedIn, and that you will get 40 percent more InMail responses. Regardless of what the numbers are, the bottom line is this: If you don’t have one already, you should add a professional headshot to your profile. If you don’t have a professional headshot you can use, read this LinkedIn article: How to Take a Great LinkedIn Profile Photo Without a Professional Photographer.
In addition to your headshot, your headline is the second thing people are most likely to look at first on your profile. Your headline is also what helps you get found when people run searches on LinkedIn. So instead of using a word like “ninja,” keep the verbiage direct and use keywords people would likely be using when looking for someone with your skill set. This can include your job title and where you’re currently working as well as core skills, certifications and platforms or technologies you are well-versed in.
After your headline, your summary is where people look to learn more about you. Don’t make the mistake of having your summary be your current company’s boilerplate. Make it about YOU. Include a little about your professional accomplishments and what you’re doing now as well as aspirations you have for the future, what you’re passionate about and maybe a line or two about what you do outside of work, volunteer opportunities you’re interested in and the like. Keep your summary concise (there’s no need to ramble) and don’t be afraid to revisit it from time to time to make sure everything is still accurate.
To update your LinkedIn profile settings, click on your picture in the upper righthand corner of LinkedIn (where it says “Me”) then click on “Settings & Privacy.” Here you can update how others see your profile and network information as well as how others see your LinkedIn activity. If you’re quietly trying to network for a new job, this could be an important part of your profile to update. An uptick in activity could tip off your current employer that you’re looking. And, given the current work environment, the last thing you want is to create paranoia.
Make sure the experience section of your profile as well as your education, licenses and certifications and skills and endorsements are filled out as best as possible. Hint: To get more people to endorse your skills, endorse them for theirs. This is a sure-fire way to start to build out this important part of your profile. It’s also a good idea to request people who have worked with you in the past to write you a recommendation. Third-party testimony of what you’re like as a professional is priceless, especially to new connections who are likely quickly trying to assess how much time they will spend networking and talking to you.
Want to learn more? I recommend reading this how-to article by LinkedIn: LinkedIn Tips to Keep Your Profile Fresh.