Use these best practices when optimizing your LinkedIn profile to set a professional tone and allow others to locate and connect with you.
☐ Name – Use your real name.
☐ Headline – Sum up your professional “identity” in a short phrase.
☐ Location and Industry – Include accurate location and industry info in order to be found in advanced searches on LinkedIn and help others confirm that you are the person they are looking for.
☐ Photo – Upload a professional, current headshot. You should be easily recognizable. Do not use family photos or pictures of your adorable baby or pets.
☐ Custom URL – Create a custom, memorable URL that can be used to go directly to your public profile. Most people use their name or if taken, a variation of their name.
☐ Summary – Include an overview of your personal experience and goals, as well as specialties. Write in present tense about who you are professionally, your depth of experience and any major accomplishments that prove your claims.
☐ Experience – List your current position and at least two previous positions in order to reach 100% completeness. It’s not necessary to list your entire work history, but list any relevant experience. Each position should include a 150-200 word description.
☐ Skills and Expertise – These should be keywords that you would want to be found for. Use abbreviations as well as full forms (SEO/Search Engine Optimization). List a minimum of 5 skills.
☐ Education – Completely fill in education, degree, dates attended and any activities/societies or additional notes that are worth sharing.
☐ Recommendations – Work towards at least 3 recommendations. You’ll get 5% profile completeness for each recommendation, up to a maximum of 15%.
☐ Websites – Link to another professional profile or blog that you manage and to your company website.
☐ Interests – If there are areas you are not yet an expert in, but you are interested in professionally, this is where you can add them. You can also list personal interests if appropriate to share.
☐ Groups and Associations – Include any professional groups or associations you are a member of. You can also search for LinkedIn Groups to join. Search for and follow your company.
☐ Honors and Awards – List any honors or awards you have received that relate to professional experience.
☐ Personal Information – Provide any personal and contact information that you feel comfortable sharing, including your twitter handle if your tweets are professional.
☐ Connections – In order to get to a 100% profile a minimum of 50 connections is required. However, you should make as many connections as possible with people you actually know. Start by letting LinkedIn search your email address book and then you can search for contacts you work with or attended school with. As you add contacts, LinkedIn will also create a list of “People You May Know” that you can browse. Connect to influencers who have lots of connections because you’ll be able to see their connections.
☐ Additional Sections – There are a variety of optional sections that you can use to enhance your profile such as reading lists, volunteer experience, languages, etc.
☐ Privacy Settings – Review your privacy settings. Make your profile as visible as possible for networking.