LinkedIn is growing. Professionals are joining LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
As it becomes more common for discovering new talent, job leads, and business prospects, having a polished profile is more important than ever.
Here are seven tips for making your profile compelling and professional.
1. Get a professional profile picture (and make it public)
Having a profile picture on LinkedIn makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed. So you better make it a good one: preferably a high-quality professional headshot.
As well, make your profile picture visible to everyone—it will make you easier find. To do this, click “Edit public profile and URL.” In the right-side column, under “Edit Visibility,” you can make your photo visible to your connections, network, all LinkedIn members, or public. Choosing “Public,” will make you more visible in search results.
2. Add an engaging background image
Along with your profile picture, a custom background image can help you stand-out. Using an appealing image can help you grow your business or personal brand.
Choose a high-quality background image that says something meaningful about you: your workplace, brand name, or something related to your line of work.
3. Write a captivating headline and summary
Use your headline space to display your area of expertise. Be creative—but keep it concise (under 120 characters): think clear and informative. Also, include relevant industry keywords. It will make it easier for people to find you.
Make your summary brief, engaging, and start strong with a catchy opening. Include your current role, relevant previous positions, and your skills. Since the summary section allows you to add links, add any documents, images, and videos that show off your best work. And as with your headline, make your summary keyword rich.
4. Include relevant skills
Add any skills relevant to your current career interests. According to LinkedIn, people who list at least five skills receive 17 times more profile views. Once you’ve added your skills, ask your friends and colleagues to endorse them. Keep this section updated to reflect any new skills and remove ones that no longer relate to your career objectives.
5. Complete your profile
You will have a better chance at being discovered, the more complete your profile is. And once someone clicks on your profile, they’ll likely want to know your skills, experience, and what people think of you. Fortunately, LinkedIn measures the completeness of your profile as you work. It will also offer suggestions to make it stronger.
Also, don’t forget to add your location. More than 30% of recruiters will use advanced search based on location. Former colleagues and potential clients may find you this way as well.
6. Ask for recommendations
Detailed recommendations from past or current colleagues will showcase your strengths. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific recommendations by asking your connections what to focus on.
You can do this when you request the endorsement. Go to your contacts profile page and click the “More” box (beside “Message”). When you click “Request a Recommendation,” you have the option to leave a more detailed message with the request.
7. Customize your URL
Instead of sticking with the URL LinkedIn assigns you, personalize it. It makes it easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find you. It’s also easier to publicize your profile.
How do you do this? In the upper right corner of your profile, click “Edit public profile and URL.” From here, you can click the pencil icon beside your URL (in the top right) and modify it—ideally to Linkedin.com/your name.
Taking the time to refine your LinkedIn profile is a crucial part of looking professional and attracting opportunities. Follow these seven tips and let your profile work for you.