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LinkedIn, over the past few years, has increased in popularity and importance since it allows people to connect and expand their careers with other professionals. However, if a person enters LinkedIn blindly, it can be difficult to make a profile stick out from millions of others: here are a few tips to help you optimize your LinkedIn Profile.
Fill Out Your Profile
LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to write your profile however you want it. This includes your header, about section, experience, education, and other sections. Each section has a specific character limit and category that it falls under, as explained by Lisa Dougherty on LinkedIn. Here is a list of categories for the different sections:
- Intro/Header: Name, Professional Headline, Summary
- Contact Information: Website Anchor Text, Website URL, Phone Number, Instant Message, Address
- Experience: Company Name, Job Title, Position Description
- Other Areas: Personal Interests, Skills, and Endorsements, LinkedIn Status Bar Update
Here is a quick table summarizing the character count for each section:
|Section||Maximum Character Count|
|Website Anchor Text||30|
|Instant Message (IM)||25|
|Position Description||200 Minimum, 2,000 Maximum|
|Skills Endorsements||25 skills with 61 characters per skill|
|LinkedIn Status Bar Update||700, though Twitter is 140 if connected|
By filling out this information, you can demonstrate diligence and professionalism. That’s why it’s important to keep track of the character count, which means all inputs used on the keyboard, including spaces, punctuation, and numbers. By keeping in mind the character count, you can fit what you want to say within that limit.
Identify Keywords and Use Them
Just like how you want to use specific words and phrases when applying for a job, use keywords and phrases on LinkedIn. This attracts more employers and companies to your profile because they want to hire people with the necessary skills and abilities for the positions they need to fill.
If you can include those keywords into your profile, you can stand out from the crowd. You may wonder what keywords would work, but that depends on your profession. Consider these ideas when trying to find keywords:
1. Pick words that you want to describe you
SocialMedia Examiner points out that keywords in headlines can attract different companies and professionals. This makes sense, because headlines go directly below your name, making them one of the lines that will stick out the most.
2. Look at other professional profiles in your field
If you want to improve your own LinkedIn profile, one of the best ways is to learn from others. If you look at different profiles for your profession, you can identify common keywords in their profiles and use them in your own.
3. Ask yourself what qualities you would want an employee to have
Think from the employer’s perspective. If you can identify what they want in an employee, you can craft your profile to show that you have those qualities. Find ways to show those qualities on our profile by writing about experiences and accomplishments that exemplify those qualities.
Once you know what keywords to use, put them into your LinkedIn profile. This includes the headline, about section, employment, and others. By doing so, employers will either see that you have those qualities or you strive to have those qualities.
Including keywords in your LinkedIn profile also benefits in your networking endeavors with other companies and professionals in your industry. If you are using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, this also shows your profile is a good match with those you are reaching out to. It not only conveys your industry knowledge but establishes credibility on the first contact with those to whom you are reaching out.
Use LinkedIn Often
Some people don’t know this, but LinkedIn increases the search appearances for people that use the platform more often. While keywords help in searches, LinkedIn needed to adjust its search engine optimization (SEO) since people would just repeat keywords to improve their search appearances.
By using LinkedIn more often, it prioritizes you as a user over someone that uses it less frequently. This is why it’s encouraged to login daily and use the platform. Use LinkedIn’s different features to build up your priority when people search for those keywords you used in your profile.
1. Send Messages
Sending messages allows you to interact with those you know and continue to build up professional relationships.
2. Make a Post
People like to hear about others and their successes. Because of this, if you make a post relating to your profession, you show your passion and interest in the field. Keep doing so and people will notice and want to work with you. You will post and get data of post engagement, let’s make Linkedin posts viral.
3. Update Your Profile
Profiles need constant updating and improving. Nobody has a perfect profile. Maybe there will be new skills that you want to highlight, so you can edit your profile to demonstrate those skills.
The platform rewards you for being involved with it, and that makes sense. Networking is a key part of expanding your career, so LinkedIn seeks to help those that participate in networking. By making it a part of your daily routine, you can increase your priority and chances with companies on LinkedIn.
Expand Your Connections
LinkedIn focuses on connecting with others in the professional world to help you network and expand your career. One of the best things you can do is connect with others who have similar goals or are professionals in your field.
LinkedIn has three different tiers for connections: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. 1st connections are people you are directly connected to, 2nd connections are people that are connected to your 1st connections, and 3rd connections are people who are connected to your 2nd connections.
Pay attention to your 2nd and 3rd connections. There’s a reason why your 1st connections are connected to those people and reaching out to them could be worth your time. Here are a few ways to expand your connections:
- Talk to your 1st connections to meet their 2nd connections
- Message a person you want to connect with and explain why you want to connect
- Pay attention to people who are part of the same groups as you
- Join more groups to expand your connections
- Search for people who went to your school or who worked at the same place
These simple points will help you gain connections in an organic way. As explained by The Muse, 50 connections is a good place to start. Reach out to people you know through school, work, and personal life to build up your initial connections and get your name out there.
This is a lot of information to take in, so to help you out, here is a table summarizing the key points for each tip:
|Fill Out Your Profile||Fill in every section
Keep the character count in mind
Show your professionalism
|Identify Keywords and Use Them||Put keywords into your profile
Spend time identifying keywords
Think like an employer
|Use LinkedIn Often||Using LinkedIn prioritizes you in searches
Send messages and make posts
Update your profile
|Expand Your Connections||Build up your network through connections
Remember 2nd and 3rd connections
Get at least 50 connections
Building up a LinkedIn profile can appear intimidating at first, but by splitting it up into these four sections, it makes it easier to optimize your profile. Remember that a LinkedIn profile isn’t a one time deal; it’s important to continue to update it and use it. Also, it is important to include a link to your LinkedIn profile in email signatures, business cards, and other messages.
By doing so, you’ll maintain professionalism, build up your network, and gain more opportunities to expand your career.