How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the questions I get asked the most on Quora relates to optimizing your LinkedIn profile. If you're building a personal brand or want to become known as a subject matter expert in your industry or at your company, your LinkedIn profile is home base. Because Google and LinkedIn play well together, your LinkedIn profile may rank ahead of your personal website when someone searches for your name online. And, if your LinkedIn profile looks like a copy-and-paste of your resume? You won't be trusted. Ready to reboot your LinkedIn profile? You can either do it yourself or hire someone (like me, shameless plug) to do it for you.

Let's go through your LinkedIn profile step-by-step to figure out which sections you need to reboot.

The two most important sections are your Headline and Summary.

  • Headline: It should tell what you do, who you do it for and the results you generate. Make it about how you’re helping others, not all about yourself. You have 120 characters to work with (including spaces.) Use them all. Keywords matter most in the headline.
  • Summary: Start your summary with a good CTA (call to action) to get people to click to read your entire summary. Make those first two lines irresistibly enticing. The goal of this section is to showcase your subject matter expertise and how you are able to translate that expertise into helping your target audience. You have 2000 characters to work with (including spaces.) Use them all and pack this section full of your most important keywords. Add 3–6 pieces of media that showcase your subject matter expertise.

Next, you want to focus on those Experience sections.

  • 1st Experience: Your first Experience section should be your current position. You want to address what your company does and how they help their customers/users/clients. Then, tell exactly what you do at the company and list one or two important accomplishments. Do not pack your resume information into this section. It will look cluttered. Add 3–6 pieces of relevant media below this experience that focus on how you or your company stands out.
  • Other Experiences: Follow the format of the first experience. Only include your last 8–10 years of experiences, unless the older experiences give you credibility.

Certifications, Featured Skills & Endorsements, Education are also important.

  • Certifications: If you have relevant certifications, list them. Don’t go overboard unless your certifications really matter to your target audience.
  • Featured Skills & Endorsements: You should use all 50 of these. Use your keywords as “skills,” as they will help people find you when searching on LinkedIn.
  • Education: Add your formal and informal educational experiences here, especially if they build your credibility.

Accomplishments and Recommendations can set you apart.

  • Recommendations: The more of these you get, the better. Ask prior colleagues or clients to give you a recommendation. You can even suggest the copy.
  • Accomplishments: These are not as prominent. I would list a few under each section, if you have them.

Contact and Personal Info is often overlooked.

  • Be sure to list all of the ways people can contact you. Don’t make them guess who you are, where to find you or how to get in touch.

 

Ready to get started? Here’s a great DIY resource for rewriting your LinkedIn profile. If you'd rather outsource the task, so you can focus on what matters most to moving the needle for your business, check out my LinkedIn profile portfolio to work with me.