13 Tips For Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is currently the largest professional social network in the world, with over 420 million members. Nevertheless, LinkedIn stands out through its innovative strategy which emphasizes personal branding and storytelling. Furthermore, it counts on the interactivity of  LinkedIn profile users. This is promoted by the many types of multimedia content available, which we will discuss later on.

Here are 13 tips to improve your LinkedIn profile’s visibility.

Use an attractive profile photo

This is common sense, but having a profile photo is essential – an anonymous profile is not attractive. Having a profile photo multiplies the number of profile views by seven!

The number seems enormous, but if we look closer, it makes sense. On Facebook, a person without a profile photo seems suspicious; the same is true on LinkedIn.

You have a photo, but does it meet professional criteria?

To meet these criteria, the photo must be recent (definitely taken within the last five years), it must show you in a professional context, and don’t forget to smile! =)

If you don’t have one, go see a professional or amateur photographer, but forget about taking photos with your phone or using a low-quality photo.

You should also forget about photos where you are not alone.

A catchy, persuasive title

The second thing that appears after your photo is the title. It must retain your visitor’s attention. To accomplish this, do not let LinkedIn put your current post, your previous posts, etc., as the title.

You must sell yourself. Use symbols, but do not go overboard. Separate information visually (for example, with this character: “|”). Use all the space available to make your profile stand out.

LinkedIn allows further information here.

Then, select your industry carefully. This is for optimizing searching for your profile by industry. If you make a mistake, your LinkedIn profile may be grouped with totally unrelated profiles, and make it impossible for recruiters to find your profile.

Optimize LinkedIn search

LinkedIn has a search bar, similar to Google’s. And like Google’s, it works on the principle of keywords. However, unlike Google, the relevance also depends on the number of connections you have.

Your search will not be the same if you have 10 connections as if you have 1200.

That’s right, the engine prioritizes your first degree connections (those in your contacts) and second degree connections (your contacts’ contacts).

So the more contacts you have, the more second degree connections you have. That is networking optimization.

As for optimizing keywords: strategic areas are the title, which must contain the keywords at least once, and the description, where the same is true.

Furthermore, the keywords must be present in your current post’s title. However, do not try to add them at all costs, if doing so would make your text incoherent. If you are not feeling inspired, one tip is to look at the keywords your competitors are using.

Test it out to see what works best!

A high-quality résumé

There is no point describing your career path with text here; LinkedIn does it for you in a much more interactive fashion. You must emphasize your added value in your domain, talk about the objectives you met, your client references, etc

Then, use the best profiles from your industry for inspiration; they are rich in information.

Also, avoid using keywords like “creative, organized, efficient, etc…” LinkedIn considers these “out of date.” Also, they are rarely verifiable. Use more action words or verbs.

This résumé will allow you to stand out among your competitors – do not neglect it!

And if your résumé is from last year, freshen it up. It will allow your connections and visitors to see how you have evolved.

Moreover, your résumé is indexed in LinkedIn’s search engine, so the keywords you use (for your activity, your skills) must be relevant and correspond to you.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile must have the same configuration as a sales funnel. You start with the most relevant information and go towards the least relevant. As a consequence, base your information on your objectives: Are you working on personal branding? Are you looking for your dream job?

So the standard presentation (that of a good old paper résumé) is not always a priority. Take the time to think about it, because the visitor will go through your profile from top to bottom. If he does not quickly find the reason for which he clicked on your profile, he may leave before he has found the information he is looking for.

Give those who consult your profile the opportunity to contact you

What is more hopeless than an interesting LinkedIn profile that you cannot contact, because there is no contact information.

LinkedIn is a professional social network. We are all reticent to put our e-mail address or phone number, but remember that the people consulting your profile are professionals who are there for a specific reason!

Use icons to attract their attention.

Vary their placement as well, so that no one has to go through your entire LinkedIn profile to find what he is looking for.

Think about duplicating your LinkedIn profile in multiple languages, giving you wider visibility.

Make your LinkedIn profile interactive

On LinkedIn, you can add various multimedia content like images, links towards other sites (maybe your own), PDFs, templates, etc….

This content creates value compared to your competitors, and gives weight to your statements by illustrating and justifying them.

Furthermore, it decorates your LinkedIn profile with things besides text: so import your creations, conferences you have held, etc…

You can also link your personal blog to your LinkedIn account so that all of your blog posts appear directly in LinkedIn.

You can do the same with the Slideshare application, which is a presentation tool (similar to PowerPoint), and show your contacts what you are working on.

Better yet, LinkedIn also allows you to embed videos in your profile.

Use social proof

Promoting your own skills is one thing; others recommending them is another. Of course, you should prioritize this method, which will prove the merit of your skills.

There are two ways to be recommended. The first is a written recommendation, in the form of a short paragraph written by the person you asked (if he accepted). LinkedIn provides documentation about this here.

Be careful, though. Don’t try to get the most; do try to have one or two that really show off your skills.

The second method is based on recommendations of your skills; they may be recommended by all your contacts. So do not hesitate to ask your professional connections to recommend your skills; it is easier to obtain these than written recommendations.

In the same way, here my advice is to get inspiration from the most influential people in your industry.

Be yourself

Of course this is a professional social network, but you are a human being. You are unique. Be natural; talk about your experiences outside of work, of your organizations, your hobbies, etc… This will give you a better chance of finding things in common with people looking for profiles like yours.

Leaving this part empty would be a big mistake, because this is informal information about your personality and the activities you participate in during your free time.

Join LinkedIn groups

In LinkedIn, you can only join up to 50 groups (plus those you create). So it is important to choose your groups carefully. Do a targeted search based on industry. Select groups with the most members, which will promote higher numbers of shares. But if you need to make yourself known, you should also target medium-sized groups so you will be more visible. Do the same for the geographic area, to be physically closer to your target or potential recruiters.

A good way to know if the group has good potential is the activity indicator. A very active group will guarantee you regularly updated content.

Do not neglect groups; they are a source of beneficial interaction on specific themes.

They must be regularly updated, for there is nothing worse than a “dead” or inactive group.

Do you want to create a LinkedIn group? Here is a guide on how to create a LinkedIn group (link)

Publish articles on LinkedIn

Besides posting content in LinkedIn groups, and commenting on others’ content, you can also create blog articles directly on LinkedIn.

The main advantage of publishing articles on LinkedIn is that all of your contacts will be notified about your article’s publication.

Are you looking for a job? Post a LinkedIn article!

Do you want to generate traffic? Post a good article and add links to it.

Generating traffic from other sites

As in the previous section, there is no obligation, but if you have a strong presence on other social networks, for example, a Twitter with a lot of followers, it may be worthwhile to connect your LinkedIn profile and Twitter, by posting your Twitter link on your profile. Of course, do not connect your Facebook profile if it is not a professional account and that the information contained there does not show you to your advantage.

In the same vein, another tip is to personalize your URL by adding your name (in “My profile” at the bottom of the first section). This will allow your LinkedIn profile to be better optimized by search engines like Chrome, and will allow you to be in the first search results.

Follow the pages of the companies with whom you would like to work

Though you may be happy with your job right now, that is no reason to not be interested in other companies in which you would like to work.

Following the company allows you to stay up to date with its latest news, job offers, product launches, etc… there are plenty of reasons.

Commenting on and following its posts can also be a way to stand out and be noticed by the company.

So you see, the more complete your profile is, the more relevant it is. Also, LinkedIn classifies your profile’s quality with words like “expert,” “top expert”, etc…

It may be wise to show your profile to your colleagues, who can help you highlight important elements to emphasize and/or things you have forgotten to mention.

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