Up Close and Personal – the importance of your profile on the ‘new look’ LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Do you remember when Wikipedia was bigger than Britannica and was main source for information? Now you just punch words into search engines such as Google and you obtain any number of tips, free guides, helpful hints on just about everything.  Assistance with LinkedIn is no exception and so these blogs are designed to walk you through the various features of LinkedIn in logical and easy to follow stages.

Up Close and Personal – the importance of your profile on the ‘new look’ LinkedIn. If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while you’ll have noticed your personal profile (everything in the top boxed section of the page) just got ‘louder’ with less clutter and your name and image larger. It’s also more easily editable via the blue ‘Edit’ links.

However, the two most important factors overall have always been your name and your image.

Use only your first name in the ‘first name field’ and your last name in the ‘last name field’.  This makes it easy for anyone searching for you to find you. It also goes against

LinkedIn’s End User Agreement (EUA) – which I recommend you read – to use anything other than your personal name in the name field. Violation of this means you risk being shut down; so please do use your personal name and any lettered credentials (PhD, MBA, etc) only.

Keep your image extremely professional; a close up of your face wearing a smile is the best option. Artist’s impressions of you are acceptable as long as your image is still recognizable. LinkedIn dislikes logos – the EUA states that your image must be your likeness.

Your Basic Information

Click on the blue Edit link next to your name to enter your basic information. Remember to Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

 Your Summary

The fact that this newly designed section of your page is far more prominent than before means it’s important.  Here you should write a short, personal introduction using your own ‘voice’.  You can add some more factual bullet points to highlight your experience and what you are currently involved with. More on this in the next blog.

Your Contact Information

Click on the ‘Edit Contact Info’ button on the bottom right hand of your Profile.  This opens up the following box.

 Adding a Website

As of time of writing I am not able to ‘+Add a website’. Having done some research this appears to be a glitch at present, but once this is resolved your websites should appear somewhere on your profile. The view is from my site prior to the up-dates.

If you have a website you wish to include make sure you have the name of the site visible.  Click ‘+Add a website’ elect Other: from the drop down menu and a field opens that allows you to type in your business name, website name or whatever you choose.

Adding a Twitter Account

I would advocate that you only select a professional Twitter account to be visible on LinkedIn. Informal messages may not give the right impression of your professional persona. At present when you click the Twitter blue Edit button, the following pop up appears, but then you find yourself in the Settings area. This is because it is normally where you would edit your Twitter information. (Covered under Settings)

 Your Pubic Profile

(accessed via the blue Edit button at the bottom left of your profile)

In this area you can select what you wish people to see. Remember the more people can see, the easier you are to find.

Below the ‘Customize your Public Profile’ is a box for editing your public profile URL (Universal Resource Locator) or, put more simply, your web address on LinkedIn.  To look professional this should always be customized and contain between five and 30 letters or numbers without spaces, symbols or special characters. Click on the ‘Customize your public profile URL’ link:

The following pop-up will appear. Complete the final part of the URL

 Settings

Setting can be found by clicking on your name at the top right hand of the page. LinkedIn has recently made improvements to the way you can manage your settings and this area is reasonably intuitive.

It is important to note that if you wish to maximize your SEO, turn on your visibility settings to ‘Everyone’ or ‘Anyone’ so viewers can see any area or feed from your profile.

Up Close and Personal:  Helpful Tips and Hints

  • You should continually up-date this area of your account if anything changes, such as your employment. It’s quick and easy to do and the more you do it, the more you’ll get noticed.
  • LinkedIn is the one site that will not forgive spelling and grammatical errors, so it is essential to check and double check everything you’ve written – or better still ask someone else to do this for you!
  • Ensure that all your profiles on the Internet give the same information. For uniformity, have one profile document and complete any online profile, such as the one on your personal or company website, from this.
  • SEO: LinkedIn considers who you are to carry the most weight; your name and company name field carry the highest SEO value. Next comes your Headline and Position Titles, so use keywords that are descriptive of what you do.

The next blog will explain the most productive way to complete your Summary and Experience sections and incorporate those all-important SEO keywords.

Please note: LinkedIn is a moveable feast and some features covered may have changed. Do get in touch if you have any questions.

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