Expanded Must-Do LinkedIn Updates: Part 2

In this two-part series, you will learn how to customize in-depth, the 10 DIY Steps to Customize Your LinkedIn Profile. This is for intermediate and advanced LinkedIn users. Check out Part 1 here. As you know, your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important resources you have to reinforce your personal brand and candidate appeal. Now that you have the working elements in place, it’s time to make your profile even stronger so it stands out against the competition. Part 2: Must-Do LinkedIn Updates, Steps 6-10

6. Complete All Sections, Including Education & Interests

The Education section not only shows hiring manger/recruiters your education accomplishments, but it also easily connects you to different alumni connections, associations and groups. It can also be an added bonus to make a personal connection to a potential hiring manager – you never know where they went to school! The Interests section is a new addition to LinkedIn and allows you to reinforce things that are important to you, that may not fit under a different category. Remember that this is a professional network, so you want to include interests that reinforce your personal brand, add value to your subject matter expertise, and stay firmly in the professional zone. The more complete your profile, the more searchable it becomes. So completing all relevant sections is important. The two mentioned above can help showcase your personality, who you are as a person, and if you’d be a good culture fit to potential companies and connections.  

7. Claim a Vanity URL

Your direct link url is a key identifier between a rookie LinkedIn user and an advanced user. It shows that you are using LinkedIn as a networking tool, not just slapping up a profile. It takes a minute or so to update your vanity url, and it’s worth the effort. When you do change it, try and get it as close to your first name last name as possible. If you have a more common name, this make be tricky – but try different variations that are still related. Some examples:
  • LinkedIn.com/in/JohnSmith
  • LinkedIn.com/in/JSmith
  • LinkedIn.com/in/JBSmith
Try to stay away from numbers, nicknames and any other character that may come across as unprofessional. Your vanity URL can then easily be used on your business cards, resume, cover letter, and other social media networks.  

8. Get Recommendations

Having others reinforce your experience through recommendations, goes a long way for potential hiring managers. It removes the potential risk of interviewing someone based on your word alone. Reach out to your colleagues, bosses, clients, and peers and ask them to recommend your work. It’s important to be specific in your request – you don’t want a bunch of “Yeah – she’s great” recommendations on your profile. Instead, you want recommendations that provide qualitative measures about why you’re so great. When you send the recommendation email, be specific and direct. In your email, ask them to provide feedback on a project or task they worked on with you, or a particular deliverable or skillset. The more specific your request, the better the recommendation will be. Then review the recommendations and approve them, to be visible on your profile.  

9. Showcase Your Work

Instantly add credibility and tangible proof of your accomplishments through the various ways you can showcase your work on LinkedIn. Enter all of your professional credentials in the appropriate section and share the various things you have created. If you have written a white paper – upload it for easy access. Same goes from different media outlets or features, presentations that you’ve created and delivered and videos you have been a part of. If you’ve earned awards, list them – just be sure to explain what they are for if they are company-specific; and so on. Each of these items lends itself to reinforce your brand and your credibility in a particular subject. It helps paint the story of who you are through various touch points outside of “just your resume.” For everything you add, keep in mind that it should lend itself to you being an easier choice to reach out to – consistency in your brand and expertise are key.  

10. Sync Your Profile to Your Resume

There is nothing that can demolish credibility faster than facts not adding up or being consistent. When someone reviews your LinkedIn profile and your resume, they should be getting the same story. How you say it can be different depending on the outlet, but the messaging and branding should be consistent throughout. The dates of your previous roles should line up. Your expertise and skills should be directly correlated. There should be no question from one resource to another, who you are and what you have done. Do not work so hard on your overall profile, to be passed over because the facts didn’t match. Take the time to ensure you have a consistent story throughout. If you would like to learn even more about how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile the right way to be found by top recruiters, check out our LinkedIn Leads Recorded Webinar with LIFETIME ACCESS available HERE.  

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