Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Networking
We’ve entered an age when your professional social media presence is just as, if not more important than your physical presence. The reason? You can reach a wider breadth of people on social media, and it can help you create those in-person, physical connections that can spur sales opportunities or meetings that lead to profitable partnerships. Your LinkedIn profile has become a visual business card for your professional image, which is why it’s important that you optimize it. Let’s walk you through a few basic steps to optimize your profile.
1: Make sure you have a nice, clear headshot and a good header photo.
A good profile photo should NOT be something you cut off from a recent wedding you attended, but a clear, up-close photo of your face that was taken only of you. For your header image, you can utilize free photo sites such as www.picjumbo.com or www.stocksnap.io. Usually by searching “technology” or “abstract” you can find something nice to download to use as a cover photo. The key to selecting the right photo is to keep it basic.
2: Make sure your headline and summary are clear and concise.
Utilize goal posts (“|”) to separate your skillsets in your summary, for a nice, clean look. Then, include a short paragraph underneath as an overview of your experience. Your headline does not need to be a complete sentence, but it should summarize your experience and professional trajectory.
3: Simplify your work history so it looks clean and concise.
Include a 4-5 sentence summary of what you do in your position and 5-6 bullets of wins, accomplishments or key projects you’ve worked on at each job. If you’ve held more than two positions at the same company, only list the summary and win information for the last two positions you held.
4: Make sure you’ve added in all the profile sections that apply to you.
The “Add profile section” is where you will find several different sections you can include. Most of what is under “Background” will already be on your profile, but make sure to add any volunteer experience. The other dropdown you’ll want to pay attention to is “Accomplishments” where you can add things like certifications, projects, courses, honors and awards, etc.
The “Skills” drop down will allow you to add up to 50 skills. You will want to add these because they increase the searchability of your profile based on the tools/software you’ve used as well as your tangible skills.
5: Request and give recommendations.
You can find this in the “Add Profile Section” dropdown, under “Additional Information.” Receiving and giving recommendations is important; it validates your experience by others and gives a little more insight into their experience with you. You must be connected to whomever you request a recommendation from. Rule of thumb: ask for a recommendation from a co-worker, a boss, or a customer/partner. If you request a recommendation from a boss or customer, usually you do not need to write them one; however, if a co-worker or partner gives you a recommendation, it’s best practice to write them one in return.
Once you’ve completed these steps to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start networking and utilizing your profile to make social connections that can potentially become in-person, professional connections.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Digital Marketing Manager at TBI, Amanda is responsible for creating and writing engaging content and assisting with internal and external communications programs. She manages a portion of the digital marketing efforts for both the TBI and Omni Center teams, including social media strategy and execution. You can reach Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org connect with her on LinkedIn.