Like it, love it or hate it, LinkedIn is one of the best places to network on the internet. LinkedIn is arguably the most professional of all the social networks. However, most people are not taking advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer. In fact, only about 3% of users actually use the site for its intended purposes, which is a statistic from Reid Hoffman, the Co-Founder of LinkedIn. Most people are simply not aware of what LinkedIn can do.
In order to capitalize on the power of this professional network, here are 4 updates that must be made.
Customize your LinkedIn URL
The easiest and fastest way to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to customize your profile URL. This allows your profile to be shared more easily. By default, your profile URL is set to be www.linkedin.com/pub/ followed by your first name – last name and then a series of numbers and letters. By changing it, you can add a bit of professionalism to your profile. With a custom URL you can advertise it easier on your email signature, your business cards etc. If available, the best way to structure your URL is to make it your full name.
Optimize Your Headline
The headline of your profile is made up of the words that come after your name and is searchable within LinkedIn. That means, you are not limited to what your job title is. In fact, you really don’t even need to include your job title here at all – it’s already listed in your experience section. Instead, use this section to identify keywords about your job and what it is that you do. Doing so will vastly help your profile’s search results within LinkedIn.
Add Skills and Expertise
This section of the LinkedIn profile is often overlooked. Many people do not bother to fill this section out on their profiles and it’s a shame they don’t. This section as has two profound benefits. The first is that these skills are searchable and are picked up by LinkedIn’s algorithm. Filling them out adds a level of optimization to your profile that isn’t available by default. The second is that other users can ‘endorse’ you based on the skills you have listed. People do business with those they know, like and trust, and these endorsements add a valuable piece of credibility to your profile.
LinkedIn has extensive prospecting capabilities that are far underutilized. One of the most prominent features is the ability to sort connections into lists. You can organize your connections based on categories of your choosing, for example work colleagues, prospects, warm leads etc. You can create countless different lists and you can add a connection to more than one list. It’s a great organizing tool for anyone on LinkedIn, whether you’re running a business or looking for a job.
LinkedIn has lots of potential in terms of broadcasting your professional reputation. By optimizing your profile you can reach that potential and develop a credible online presence.
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