The majority of LinkedIn users do the bare minimum. They add their resume to their profile, upload a picture, and connect with former colleagues. But, by spending a little more time upfront on your profile, you can be found more easily, get more connections, and ultimately find more clients. And, we’re not talking about spending hours on your profile — these simple tricks take minutes, but have a powerful impact on your LinkedIn presence.
Here are five little-known ways to boost your LinkedIn profile:
- Tailor your professional headline: You know that little sentence under your name on LinkedIn? It kind of looks like your own personal tagline? This is precious real estate. Very precious real estate, and most people are missing out on a huge opportunity. Many people simply put their job title in this headline, but you can write anything you want. Anything. Which one sounds better — “CEO of SEO Agency X” or “Optimizing SEO for tech companies?” The second one says so much more about you, and leads with a value proposition. It instantly conveys your expertise and entices people to click on your profile.
- Showcase your work: It’s one thing to talk about the quality of work you produce (and let’s be honest, everyone is going to be pretty heavy-handed with the compliments). It’s another thing entirely to show your work and prove your talent. In the Summary and Experience sections of your LinkedIn profile, you can add media — either a document, photo, link, video or presentation. So, for each position you have had, add a file or two that showcases your work in that role. If you worked in PR, attach some press releases. If you are a writer, you better have writing samples.
- Customize your profile link: We’re all automatically given a default URL to our LinkedIn Profiles when we set up our accounts, but, you have the option of customizing this URL. So, instead of having a bunch of random numbers in the URL of your profile, you can have it be www.linkedin.com/YourName (or YourCompany). Having this unique URL will help you be found on search engines and when people are doing targeted searches on LinkedIn. Plus, it’s just so much easier to remember and give out when directing people to your profile. To customize your LinkedIn URL, click here and select “customize your public profile URL” on the bottom right-hand side.
- Delete or remove endorsement: Too many endorsements may actually be a bad thing. Yes, you read that correctly. You really only want endorsements for your real talents — the strengths you are currently marketing. If dozens of people have endorsed you for random, unrelated skills, it may affect how you are known. For example, I worked in France for a bit so LinkedIn has “French” as one of my suggested endorsements. While being fluent is important to me, I would much rather people endorse me for blogging or content strategy. So, have the courage to delete or remove endorsements that don’t fit with your current brand. In the Skills & Endorsements section, click the pencil icon next to one of your endorsed skills. Here, you can choose whether you want to be endorsed for that skill, remove the endorsement completely, or hide the endorsement. You can also reorder your endorsements to show the most important ones first.
- Be invisible: Everyone is guilty of using LinkedIn to stalk people. But, unlike Facebook or Twitter, those people will actually find out that you visited their profile. However, you can remain anonymous when you check out competitors or potential clients. In the upper right-hand corner, click your picture and select Privacy & Settings. You’ll be prompted to enter your password again. Once you have done that, under Privacy Controls, click “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
And, before you run off and make all these changes to your profile, here’s one more tip: turn off activity broadcasts so you don’t annoy your connections with alerts for every little change. When you’re editing your profile, on the left side, you’ll see a box that says, “Notify your network?” Click the slider so it says “no.” This way, when you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’ll still have connections to impress.
Conclusion & Next Steps
I hope this has given you some ideas on the lesser-known features to help maximize your LinkedIn presence. Have you had success networking on LinkedIn? Drop a message in the comments and let me know your success story!