Your LinkedIn Profile: 22 Ways to Make it More Professional

Your LinkedIn Profile: 22 Ways to Make it More Professional via @IleaneLinkedIn is a popular tool widely used among recruiters and employers to find candidates.

More generally, it is now important to build a strong and serious identity online. The objective is to gain visibility around the internet, in order to improve your reputation and increase the chances of having opportunities for collaboration. So, taking care of your LinkedIn profile is crucial to achieve these goals.

The question is :

“How to use LinkedIn to maximize the impact of your profile?”

Here below you may read some tips that will help you make a better use of this social network and enhance your image and your professionalism in the eyes of those who are looking for collaborators.

1. Choose Your Strategy LinkedIn-check-up

You have to decide what you want to write and how to present yourself in your LinkedIn profile. It is a question of having a strategy for your presence on this social network.

Which image would you give yourself ? Which professional and personal skills do you want to highlight? How to orient your profile in a way that your skills are in line with the work you are doing or you are looking for?

In short: how to build a profile consistent with your career goals?

Answering these questions is essential. Otherwise, your LinkedIn contact profile may give to the readers a partial working image of you or even wrong, far from what is your real professionalism.

2. Do Not Treat Your LinkedIn Profile as a C.V.

Your LinkedIn profile is something different from your Curriculum Vitae. More precisely: we can say that it is something complementary to your c.v.

In practice: your LinkedIn profile should not duplicate your resume step by step, but it must contain a statement of the information covered in more detail in your c.v.

This means that your LinkedIn profile is not an online c.v., but a tool that shows easily the best of your professionalism.

So, as mentioned above, another tip is to use the maximum synthesis!

A recruiter who wishes to deepen the data you have written in your LinkedIn profile will ask you your C.V. or will invite you to an interview.

3. Be Honest

When you are writing your LinkedIn profile is necessary for you to be honest.

This means that just as you would prepare your resume or curriculum vitae, do not be tempted to exaggerate your skills.

4. Take Care of all the Details

When you fill out your LinkedIn profile, try to be clear and precise in every detail. The rigor exhibition – along with the synthesis – is very appreciated by any recruiter.

In particular, avoid like the plague errors of spelling, grammar, syntax and slang or dialect! Mistakes of this kind can destroy your credibility.

Your LinkedIn profile is a serious online document : you must therefore pay the highest attention to every detail.

5. Add One or More Applications

To give a more professional look to your LinkedIn profile, you can install one or more applications.

The applications allow you to show more detailed information about you and your work. Here are some examples of applications available:

• WordPress : if you have a blog that you want to show in your professional profile, this application allows you to display your latest posts.

• ReadingList : this is an application that shows the books that you read or what you’re reading.

• Events : this one allows you to display on your LinkedIn profile the events in your field in which you participate.

SlideShare Presentations : this is an application that allows you to include in your profile a Curriculum Vitae via SlideShare.

6. Add a Professional Photo

Even the photo in your LinkedIn profile says something about you. So which one should you choose?

First, it must be a professional photo. By “professional” I mean a picture of good quality, which portrays in the foreground.

In the photo you must be dressed in order and smile. It is not essential that you are in a suit and tie and that you use, as a background, a work context.

You may however also take into account the latter case, since LinkedIn is a professional social network.

7. Use the “Answers” Service

Through the  Answers” service of LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to ask questions to which users can respond in the social network. Similarly, you can reply to questions posted by others.

As it can be imagined, “Answers” is an excellent way to demonstrate your professional preparation. In addition, if you are very active in answering the questions of others, you can be rewarded as “expert” and enjoy benefits in terms of visibility.

8. Fill Out the “Basic Information”

In the “Basic Information” section of your LinkedIn profile you must enter your first and last name, job title, geography area and sector. This section is very important, as these data appear next to your name and your photo, in the research.

It is also of particular importance the choice of your job title, because this really explains what you do.

Pay attention: what you write as a job title must be in perfect agreement with your professionalism and your strategy of presence in this social network. So be very careful in this choice. Avoid imaginative acronyms.

Keep it short, simple, and clear.

9. Fill in the “Summary” Section

The “Summary” section is the area of your LinkedIn profile that explains who you are as a professional. “Summary” is divided into subsections : “Professional experience and goals” and “Specialties”.

In the subsection “Professional experience and goals“, write a brief but accurate portrayal of you.

In the subsection “Specialties” expose roughly what you do particularly well in your workplace.

10. Fill in the “Experience”

In the “Experience” section of your LinkedIn profile you need to briefly indicate your work experience, from the present to the past.

For each experience write a short description, with specific attention to the job title in the “Qualification”.

Do not forget your strategy of presence in this social network. This means that all your work experiences must be seen – when possible – as a consistent and continuous professional growth path.

11. Fill out the “Education” Section

In the “Education” section you must enter your schooling: high school, college, post-graduate courses and master, significant professional qualifications etc.. Here you can also specify any university studies interrupted.

If your thesis is particularly interesting and consistent with the strategy of your presence in LinkedIn, you can mention it here as well, indicating briefly the issues and the final vote, if brilliant.

12. Attends to the Section “Recommendations”

The recommendations are certificates of merit that other members give you. This represent a great way to increase value of your professional on LinkedIn.

You should try to get at least some of them. Avoid, however, to have the recommendation from a person in return for another one from you, or accumulate recommendations from colleagues, friends or even relatives!

In this sense, the best recommendations are from your customers and employers.

13. Fill in the “Additional Information”

This section is divided into several subsections. In the first one, “Websites“, you can specify up to three links. For example, you can enter your personal blog, your personal website and the website of your business.

In the subsection “Twitter” you should insert your Twitter account.

The subsection “Interest” means your hobbies and your skills out of your work.

Regarding the “Groups and Associations” subsection, you can list the names of groups and associations which you are member.

About groups: LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to participate in the activities of the groups present in this social network and you can also enter them in this subsection. Among other things, LinkedIn allows you not only to subscribe to existing groups, but also to found yourself new ones.

Register and participate in the activities of groups that are related to your interests gives you a lot of visibility in this social network.

In the subsection “Honor and Awards” you can quote any significant mention that you have received and that you think will be consistent with your strategy of presence in LinkedIn.

14. Fill out the “Personal Information”

As appropriate, in the “Personal Information” of your LinkedIn profile you can write some of your contacts and personal information, as telephone number, instant messaging, address, date of birth, marital status.

Bonus Video:

LinkedIn Tutorial: How to create a Company Page on Linked In by Laura on Social Media

15. Fill out the “Contact NAME for”

In the section “Contact NAME for” of your LinkedIn profile you can define what type of contacts you’re looking for. For example, you can choose to be contacted for a job, consulting offers or for business deals.

16. Use the “Add Sections”

In order to improve your LinkedIn profile you can insert additional sections using the “Add sections” feature.

In my opinion, the most important sections to be added are “Languages” – the list of languages you know and the level of mastery – and “Publications” – a list of books, e-books, articles you have published .

17. Update the Status of Your LinkedIn profile

Like all the social networks, LinkedIn also allows you to update your status in your profile, by using the “Share an Update“.

The updates are another good way to give visibility to your profile. But be careful of what you write, especially if you are using a service that allows you to automatically share your status when you update it in another social network!

18. Choose the Setting “Public Profile”

The way to make more visible your LinkedIn profile is to make it public, that is freely accessible by anyone and, consequently, indexable by Google and all other search engines.

How to make public your LinkedIn profile?

Choose the “Make my profile public and visible to all” in the “Settings” panel under the “Edit your public profile.”

19. Create a Vanity URL

You should create a vanity URL for your profile like “www.linkedin.com / in / namesurname”.

For your online visibility, a vanity URL is much better than the id you receive when you sign up.

20. Create Your Own Network of Contacts

A fundamental objective of your LinkedIn profile is to find new contacts. A contact is a person who is present in your network that you can use in order to connect with other people or companies.

So, how to find new contacts in LinkedIn?

Spam is not an effective strategy, even if it does get some results. In fact, if you ask to connect to anyone, it is likely that you will be able to build a quite substantial network. And having a good group of contacts, although heterogeneous, always gives you some advantage of visibility.

Another strategy, more intelligent, is to get connected only to people with whom you have a relationship in real life. By doing so, you’ll likely to get less links, but most useful.

How to apply for connection to another user of LinkedIn?

Once you have identified the potential new contact, you may send a message through the form of invitation. LinkedIn offers a standard message of invitation to add new contacts to your network. However, it is always better to customize it.

How to behave with those who ask to connect with you?

Rate and choose carefully the invitations to accept, on the basis if they are consistent with the strategy of your presence on this social network.

21. Create a LinkedIn Profile with an eye on SEO

Creating a good profile consistent with your professionalism is not enough. In fact, you must make sure that you can be found among more than 175 million profiles on this social network.

For this to happen, remember the SEO rules.

In short: trough the various sections of your LinkedIn profile, use the most important keywords in your niche.

Do not be tempted to use strange acronyms in their place!

Every profession is described by specific terms or expressions. Your keywords are precisely those terms or expressions.

22. Be Consistent with your LinkedIn Profile

Your professional image on LinkedIn depend on the attention you pay with the maintenance of your profile.

The more your profile is updated, the better your chances are of hitting the goals that you placed with your strategies.

 What about your LinkedIn profile? Is it updated or not?

I hope you found some useful points in this list and I would like to know more from you in the comments. Thanks!

 

About 

Erik Emanuelli is a traveler, entrepreneur and passionate blogger. He writes about making money blogging in his site. If you want to know How to Build Your Business, subscribe to his newsletter and get the free eBook now!

65 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. It has been only a few months since i’ve got to know how effective Linkedin can be for promoting, finding investors for our new startup. I used to work at a I.T Firm and made few connections during those days. Now thanks to Linkedin, I’ve been able to pull some angel investors, Great tips for building a profile

    • I found myself in the same situation, Juliet.
      I’ve never used LinkedIn so much and only recently I realized its potential.
      This social network can help you a lot in finding connections for your business, in order to develop your new start-up.
      I am glad you found the tips in the article useful.
      Have you completed your LinkedIn profile?

  2. I set up a LinkedIn page and profile a few months ago and there’s no doubt LinkedIn is a powerful way of interacting with other marketers and also a very good traffic source. I thought i set up a pretty good profile but after reading this excellent post i realize i have some work to do:-)

    • Hi Rick,
      thanks for your appreciation.
      Actually if you want to complete a professional LinkedIn profile, there are many aspects to be covered.
      Moreover, I think a detailed profile may help you build more connections, don’t you think?

      • Hi Erik! I’m pretty sure you’re right about that. A professional profile gives you authority and trust, and that should lead to more and better connections.

  3. I have a LinkedIn account but I don’t use it very often. I acutally have close to 9,000 connections. I have found it not to be very usefully. Thanks for these tips. I guess I was going at it all wrong.

    • Hi Joe,
      I think the reason why your 9000 connections are not useful is because they are out of your niche.
      With those numbers, they should be more than helpful!
      You should focus on getting contacts and connections related to your industry, don’t you think?

  4. Jim Zboran

    Very comprehensive LinkedIn set up guide, Erik. I noticed there are some elements of my profile that I should go back and improve on a bit after reading your post. I especially liked your suggestion that the Answers service be utilized… great idea! Thanks!

    • I am glad you liked the article, Jim!
      Thanks for your appreciation.
      There are many ways to use LinkedIn answers.
      You can simply answer to users questions, build new connections and become an expert.
      Or you can address new questions in order to market your industry, or even your website.
      You can also look for potential influencers of your niche.
      Any other ideas on how to use LinkedIn Answers?

    • Thanks for your kind words, Igbalaye.
      It is curious to see how the LinkedIn profile has so many facets and aspects.
      There is always room for improvement in everything, isn’t it?

  5. Wow, this guide is going definitely beyond the basics. LinkedIn is my favorite social network and I have tried to include all possible applications and plugins and also fill all information. I see that not many people have done that, yet.

    • I do agree, Carl.
      In fact, I was between those people, and still right now I need to complete my LinkedIn profile.
      I understood the potential of this social network only when I saw the number of connections coming trough short time, after I started to be active.

  6. A few months ago I made a push to fill out my Linkedin profile and I thought I did a pretty good job. Now I have to re-visit it and use your tips to improve it even further. Thanks!

    Is it a good idea to add college professors as contacts when you’re just getting started with Linkedin?

    • Hi Rich,
      I am happy to see that you found my article and tips useful.
      I think that filling your LinkedIn profile with as many details as possibile is important, as long as you keep your strategy and your niche.
      I think that is a good idea to add college professors as contacts, as you should find out many other connections trough them during the time. Don’t you think so?

  7. Basic personal information, education and experience are highlighted when someone chooses to hire people for their company becasue these factors matter the most. This information should be factual with required documents to prove it and not exaggerated.

    • You should add also other information to your profile, Wayne,
      if you want to be found by recruiters.
      Be honest and do not add false titles to your LinkedIn profile.

  8. Consistency would help as well because a regular and factual update to the profile on LinkedIn keeps the profile holder on the top list and has maximum chances of views and selections if the profile attracts directly. It should look professional and give a good feel when refered to.

    • Nice add up, Jack.
      Thanks for the suggestion! :-)
      I do agree with you that keeping the profile updates is always useful in terms of visibility and also connection with your LinkedIn network.

  9. great points to make a note of. I havent been using LinkedIn for a long time now.. Probably i should start following ur tips and setup a neat account.

    • Thanks for your appreciation, Sudhir.
      You should update now your LinkedIn profile and start receving benefits from the connections you can build with it.
      Don’t you think so?

  10. I have set up a LinkedIn account and I always share my posts there, but I don’t use it more often as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ etc.

    Thanks for the tips to make a professional account on LinkedIn.

    • Hi Ehsan!
      It depends from your industry and business.
      You can find more useful to use Facebook or Twitter, than LinkedIn.
      But having a full updated profile is always better, I think. You can receive some good connection from it.

  11. This is an excellent list! Really informative. I havent paid a lot of attention to my Linkedin every since I set it up all those years back. Maybe I’ll start using it now. One of the things that I noticed about it before and really liked too, was that you can put in detailed information about yourself and your previous jobs on your Linkedin profile (something that you can’t do on your CV). And then put a link to your Linkedin profile on your resume.

    • Yes, Mike, it’s a great feature.
      You can even add up SlideShare Presentations, which allows you to include in your profile a Curriculum Vitae via SlideShare.
      Thanks for your comment, Mike.

  12. Very informative post,
    I am using linked in from beginning but after reading this post my linked in Profile needs makeover, these are the perfect tips for those who are new to Linked In.

  13. I don’t use LinkedIn as much as I should, but it’s definitely a great way to connect with other people in your industry. Even as little as I use it, I’ve made some good contacts with it.

    And unlike Facebook, there’s not much in the way of piano-playing cats and other stuff that can take you down a rathole that wastes a bunch of time :-)

    • Yes, you’re right John! :-)
      It’s definetely not a waste of time LinkedIn,
      as it could be defined “the professional social network”.
      You receive just benefits when using it.
      You should invest more of your time in it, don’t you think so?

  14. I have been just thinking about updating my LinkedIn profile and was looking for some information on how to do it the right way. Your article is definitely going to help me tremendously! Especially, I like your tip called “Create a LinkedIn Profile with an eye on SEO”. Thanks a lot for your valuable information!

  15. Social media will never “work” for us if we don’t “work” on it.My notion in this matter that to make a commitment to learning more and investing more into social media presence and and start with the basics which make the profiles with the best we can be.
    It’s a statement of who we are as a professional and what differentiates in us from the others in a particular field.

    • Hi Main Uddin,
      I like your statement :
      “Social media will never “work” for us if we don’t “work” on it”.
      Like many other things, we need to focus, if we want to see some good results.
      LinkedIn is an opportunity to show your skills to the people in your industry.

  16. Even though I’ve had my LinkedIn account for sometime now, it’s only recently that I’ve started really using it. Your points here have been really helpful, although I wished you could have given a bit more information on how to set up the vanity URL in LinkedIn. That would have been a bigger help.

    • Hi Adeline,
      in order to create a personalized vanity URL for your LinkedIn profile just go to your
      “Profile Settings”, and set your name in “Public Profile”.
      I hope this helps you! :-)

  17. Faissal Alhaithami

    LinkedIn apps are highly useful. The app section of LinkedIn offers users a set of attractive apps that when added to one’s profile do a great job. I hope LinkedIn comes up with more and more apps to make life easy and fun for users.

    Thanks.

  18. Hi Erik,

    A wonderful post. I have been active on linkedin for over 2 years and could connect with many professionals of my fraternity. It is really great platform to connect with recruiters and aspirants too. I could connect with many of my old friends through this. In fact, many of juniors could get jobs through this network. All one has to do is upload the profile as per the instructions given and of course, do a continuous follow up. Your presence should be consistent.

    Regards,
    Vijay

  19. Nice post Erik. I personally seem to get a decent number of clicks/likes/comments on LinkedIn shares when I’m sharing my own content on SEO (i.e. new blogs posts). It definitely depends on the industry though, and whether it’s B2B or B2C (the former performing much better in my experience).

    • Yes, Eru, it really depends from your audience and from your connections.
      But it is worth to have a professional profile in LinkedIn,
      as the benefits you could receive from it are many!

  20. JW

    Hi. I work a lot in LinkedIn and was wondering if you know if the original url was given out and then it is updated to a vanity url, will the original url still work?

  21. These are basic yet important factors that we seldom take note of so many thanks for sharing them here, a well-constructed linkedin profile is a must to be recognized in this platform because of its potential to lead us to the right direction career-wise. This is an excellent way to get in touch with decision makers and other influential people who are experts in their respective fields.

  22. Andrew Legion

    Thank for valuable posting. I already setup a LinkedIn page and profile before, but i didn’t do it full fill. Now i understand about it’s benefit after reading this blog. I will follow up these all tips in this blog, specially i care of my LinkedIn profile is crucial to achieve these goal.

  23. It is amazing how much can change with social media websites, and in this case, business networking website LinkedIn. LinkedIn has changed quite a bit as some of the features have been phased out. Like the Answers section. I think this is replaced somewhat by the groups. You can use groups to post and answer questions.

  24. Hi Jeff,
    that’s right, I saw since this article was published,
    the Answers section of LinkedIn has been removed.
    However,
    groups can still bring engagement and interaction with your audience.
    Thanks for your comment, Jeff.

  25. Hello Erik
    Very illustrative blog post.ya LinkedIn is a awesome social media website.It is slightly different from other social site as it is for professional. So Making our profile more pro is very important point.Thanks for all the tips.

  26. Honestly, this article helped me add more details and have my linkedin profile look more professional. Thanks for sharing!