Is your LinkedIn profile in need of a facelift…or even a complete overhaul?
If you’re like many LinkedIn users, your LinkedIn profile may not have been updated in a very long time.
But that’s okay!
Because in this post, we’re going to learn all about LinkedIn profile optimization: how to create a LinkedIn profile that’s perfectly optimized both for search and for people!
But first, you may be asking…
Updated: August 10, 2020
What is a LinkedIn Profile?
If you haven’t been a frequent user of LinkedIn, you may be wondering what a LinkedIn profile is, and what it’s used for.
I like to think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital resume. Your profile is likely to show up in the top results in Google when someone searches your name. It will also be the page LinkedIn users go to to learn more about you and to decide whether or not to connect with you.
So you definitely want to make sure it’s accurate and up to date!
Throughout the rest of this post, I’ll share LinkedIn profile tips that will ensure your profile is complete, and optimized for connections and search.
10 LinkedIn Profile Tips
1. Customize Your LinkedIn URL and Profile Visibility.
By default, LinkedIn will give your profile an URL like www.linkedin.com/in/bill-smith-127563985. If you want to make it a little cleaner and easier to share, you can easily customize the URL to whatever you like.
To change it, go to your profile and click on the “Edit public profile & URL” link (top right of the page on desktop). You can now choose what you’d like the URL to be; I recommend simply using your full name, as this is what you’ll want to rank for in Google.
You can also customize your profile’s visibility from this page. By default, only your name, the number of connections, and the region will be shown publicly. However, you can adjust these settings in a number of different ways, choosing to show (or not show) your profile pic, work experience, education, publications, or anything else you want!
In general, I would make sure at least your profile picture, headline, websites, and articles are publicly visible. If you set them to be hidden, no one will be able to find this important info if they look for you in Google!
2. Choose a Close-up, Professional-looking Profile Photo.
The ideal size for your LinkedIn profile photo is 400 pixels x 400 pixels.
Choose a professional-quality headshot of yourself (not your company logo!), and make sure your face is taking up a good portion of the frame.
Some research suggests a smiling face helps you come across as more competent, likable, and influential, so definitely show off those pearly whites!Research suggests a smiling face helps you come across as more competent, likable, and influential, so definitely show off those pearly whites on your LinkedIn profile!Click To Tweet
Not entirely happy with your existing images of yourself? No problem! LinkedIn has built-in filters and editing tools to help you perfect your photo. Change the brightness or contrast, crop your photo, or choose from one of 6 photo filters.
3. Take Advantage of Prime LinkedIn Real Estate: Your Background Photo.
By default, your background or cover photo will be a blank blue image. However, since this is one of the first things people will see on your profile, it’s definitely worth uploading a custom image.
Use your cover photo to tell people a little more about yourself, promote an offer, or include an additional image of yourself.
The optimal size for your LinkedIn background image is 1584 (w) x 396 (h) pixels.
4. Get Found Using a Keyword-rich Headline.
Apart from your name, your headline will be the most noticeable text on your entire profile. It will also be super important for helping you get found if people search for keywords related to your business or position.
For instance, if I search for “marketing manager”, profiles that use these keywords in their headline are the first to show up in the search results:
Choose a job title that most accurately describes your work, and that also includes other words people are likely to use to find you.
Not sure which words to use? For more on how to identify keywords to use in your profile, check out my post, How to Choose the Right Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile.
5. Write an Attention-grabbing Summary.
Your summary is the text immediately below your photo. You have up to 2000 characters to tell other users more about yourself, what you do, and who you serve.
Some best practices for writing your summary include:
- Highlight your biggest accomplishments
- Show off your personality
- Use keywords throughout your summary so people can find you more easily
- Hook readers with a strong opening line
- Don’t be afraid to share something personal, as long as it’s professionally relevant
- Show your love and passion for what you do
- Quantify your achievements using numbers (e.g., “I grew revenues by 40%”).
- Avoid using “industry-speak”, and write how you talk
For more tips and examples on writing a great LinkedIn summary, check out this helpful post on the LinkedIn blog.
6. Show Off Your Work Experience.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, make sure that your current business is on top. Looking back at your history, delete any positions that don’t relate to your current business. It’s not that you didn’t do them, or are ashamed of them; it’s simply that confused minds don’t buy.
This is another great place to include keywords you want to be found for. This could include job titles, companies you’ve worked at, or niche or industry words or phrases others may be looking for.
I also recommend including specific, key accomplishments you’ve achieved in your different jobs. For instance, “Helped more than 50 companies grow their social media following”, or “Was published in top media outlets such as Huffington Post and Forbes”.
7. Don’t be Stingy with Including Your Relevant Skills.
I know it can feel weird and kind of “braggy” to list your skills. But if there was ever a place to list your professional skills, this is it!
You can search for skills by typing in keywords, and then choosing from a predetermined list.
Including skills is great for getting social proof via endorsements from other LinkedIn users. Not sure what I mean by endorsements? Well, when you include a skill on your profile, other users can choose to affirm that you do indeed possess that skill.
Listing your skills is also great for SEO. According to LinkedIn, listing at least 5 skills can get you up to 17x more profile views and 31x more messages!Listing your skills is also great for SEO. According to LinkedIn, listing at least 5 skills can get you up to 17x more profile views and 31x more messages!Click To Tweet
8. Be Proud of Your Accomplishments.
The Accomplishments section of your profile is where you’ll share anything you’ve achieved professionally that you want people to know about.
You can choose from a number of different categories, including publications, courses taken, languages learned, honors or awards received, and organizations you’re a part of.
Remember to focus on accomplishments that relate directly to your business or line of work. For instance, just because you excelled in a dog training course doesn’t mean you need to add it to your LinkedIn profile!
In my Accomplishments section, I’d included online courses I’ve created that would be of interest to my audience, publications I’ve written or been quoted in, and awards I’ve been given related to being an entrepreneur.
Don’t be afraid to really acknowledge all that you’ve accomplished! It will go a long way towards boosting your credibility with those who view your profile.
9. Ask For Recommendations.
Earlier I talked about the power of getting endorsements for your relevant skills. Recommendations are even more powerful for getting social proof of your skills and abilities!
Fortunately, LinkedIn has a built-in way to request recommendations from your connections. Simply scroll down to the Recommendations section and click “Ask for a recommendation”.
You can then type in the name of a current or former boss, colleague, or friend, and they will be sent a recommendation request. It’s that easy!
10. Feature Your Best Work.
Did you know you can decide what shows up in the “Featured” section of your profile?
This section is different from the “Activity” portion of your profile, which shows your most recent LinkedIn activity over the past 45 days.
For the Featured section, you can choose to showcase any of the posts, documents, websites, or videos you’ve created or re-shared on LinkedIn.
This is the place to put the content you’re most proud of, and that would be of the most interest to your LinkedIn connections.
Not sure what kind of content you should be posting on LinkedIn? Check out my post, 8 LinkedIn Strategies That Are Making You Look Desperate
I trust this post has given you the motivation to perfect your LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn really is a powerhouse when it comes to growing your business or career online, and these tips will ensure you’re off to a great start.
Need more help with LinkedIn? Check out these helpful post: