Aug 08, 2011

Five Steps to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile

You’ve heard of LinkedIn, you might even have a profile, and I’m willing to bet you have probably asked yourself or someone else, “Now what?” There are a lot of questions around how LinkedIn is different from other social networks and how to maximize profiles and results.

1. Keyword optimization

When writing your summary and listing your specialties, it is key to optimize for the keywords, services or skills for which you want to be found. Optimizing your summary and specialties, much like you optimize your website copy, will help your personal search results. For example, let’s say you have been a social media marketing manager for a number of years and you are looking to be found as an expert in social media marketing — either for expertise discussion, new connections or potential employment opportunities. Using “social media marketer,” “social media manager” and other like terms in your summary and specialties increases your chances of being found when someone searches within LinkedIn for “social media manager” or a like term. Being found on LinkedIn is the first important step to maximizing your profile.

2. Recommendations

LinkedIn allows former managers, colleagues and professors to recommend your work on your LinkedIn profile. Having at least one recommendation per position is a great asset for those accessing your profile for job search or expertise referrals.

3. Skills tags

The addition of “skill tags” to your profile is a new feature offered by LinkedIn. This feature allows you to select up to 50 keyword skills. These keywords are then tags on your profile, which increases your profile optimization and your digital footprint.

4. Add applications

Adding applications that link to other accounts you might have — including your Twitter account, a WordPress blog or presentations on your SlideShare account — help create greater value for your LinkedIn profile. Sharing presentations you have given increases your experience as an expert in your field. Your blog, industry-related or otherwise, showcases your writing ability and interests.

5. Increase connections

Connecting with colleagues and managers you already work with or have worked with in the past is a great way to build your network. LinkedIn offers additional ways to connect to other users in similar industries with groups. When you join a group, you are able to connect with other group members, expanding your connection base. Since LinkedIn sets up “three degrees of separation,” the more connections you have, the more users will see you as a connection to them. For example, if you are connected to Joe and Joe is connected to Amy, Amy can see you as a second level connection from Joe.

 

Along with your descriptions, interests and other information, these five steps will not only maximize your LinkedIn profile to 100% complete, but it will also help you control your personal digital footprint.