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Dragon's Den
Peter Jones
"Everyone should protect their online reputation."
 - Peter Jones
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Build Your LinkedIn Profile

Summary: A strong foundation for your online presence consists of 10-12 profiles. This guide takes an in-depth look at building a successful LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is one of the "Big Four" profiles (joined by Facebook, Twitter, & Google+) and is arguably one of the better profiles to use when building a professional presence.

Big four social media profile logos

LinkedIn allows you to create an online resume, connect with professionals & companies in your field, and share content related to your chosen industry.

Set Your Public Name

This is the primary name on your profile. It allows people to easily search and find you on LinkedIn. As we've said before, make sure that you are consistent with the professional name that you use on your business cards, résumé, personal website and social media accounts.

LinkedIn_public_name

To do this, simply click “Update your Profile” (as seen above), which brings you to the following:

Edit_name_pencil_icon

From here, click the pencil icon, type in your full name, then hit “Save”:

Edit_intro_Linkedin

Set LinkedIn URL

LinkedIn gives users the option of creating a vanity URL. A vanity URL is a customized web address that includes the name of a business or a person with branding and Search Engine Optimization in mind.

As a LinkedIn user you can change your profile address from a forgettable cluster of numbers and letters to an asset.

To customize your LinkedIn URL:

Click the pencil icon next to “Contact and Personal Info” on your profile page - look for this section on the bottom right. (You should still be logged in to your LinkedIn account - if not, log in to your account and select “update your profile".

linkedin_contact_URL

After pressing the pencil icon, you’ll see an “Edit Contact Info” screen. Click your LinkedIn profile’s current URL: Edit_contact_info

From here you'll be directed to another page, your current URL will appear in the bar on the right side. Click the pencil icon and type in a more relevant URL like, "http://www.linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname".

linkedin_custom_URL

Closeup: LinkedIn custom URL field close up

If your "firstname-lastname" isn't an option, try "yourname-qualifier". In the case of co-founder Pete Kistler, if, "petekistler" was not available, he would try something like "petekistlernyc". Don't forget to click "Save"!

Make sure it worked:

Once you have updated the URL, ensure that the changes saved by viewing the URL that appears under “Contact and Personal Info” on your homepage:

contact_and_personal_info_updated

Profile Summary

Don't let this be a stumbling block. Just start with a few sentences to highlight what you've accomplished, what you are working on, and some of your goals.

Hover over your summary section then select the edit option. From here, you can start to write your summary.

Begin with the basics:

LinkedIn profile summary field screenshot

Create an engaging narrative

When it comes to writing your summary, make sure that you share the most relevant information with your reader, but don't be afraid to share your own voice and personality here too. Try to write it in the 3rd person to enhance the level of search engine friendliness if possible. Keep in mind that the writing should sound natural.

Headline

Come up with an introductory sentence to sum up what you are about. Use the editing tool and write a new headline that is accurate and succinct.

Editing headline Pete Kistler Linkedin

Current & Past Positions

There are a number of opportunities to describe your professional and academic accomplishments. Underneath your name, make sure to include your current as well as your most relevant previous positions.

To edit this, visit the “update your profile” screen once again and click the pencil icon. From here, choose “Add new position” to update or enhance your current position(s):

add new position button linkedin

Fill in as much information as you can, and don’t forget to save!:

add_experience_fields_linkedin

Talk about your experience.

As you scroll through your LinkedIn Profile, you will notice that you can include a brief summary and bullet points about your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Fill out this information fully!

See a sample from Pete's "Experience" section below:

experience_sample_linkedin

Profile Picture

This truly is your first impression. Make sure that you choose a professional headshot that is current and has a clear resolution. Click the camera icon on your profile page, select the photo you want and adjust the picture:

update_profile_photo_pete_kistler_linkedin

Educational Information

Academic information helps you connect with alumni and opens the door for potential job opportunities. Click "Add new education” in the Education section while editing your profile:

edit_intro_education_addition

Fill out your academic credentials with all relevant information.

education_background_linkedin

Your Location

Sharing where you're based is important for the job hunt as it helps the profile rank for that specific location. Choose your profile's editing icon, and type in your current location. Make sure that your updated profile displays your current location.

See Pete's as an example:

Pete_Kistler_Location_Linkedin

Add a new profile section

In addition to filling out the basic summary and information about yourself on your LinkedIn profile, there’s also the option to add new profile sections (on the far right of your profile page). The more content you include, the better - so add as many sections that are relevant to you as possible.

Add_new_profile_section_background_linkedin

It’s always a good idea to fill out as many sections as you can to make sure that your profile is as in-depth as possible for users and search engines alike! These additional profile sections include:

Background

Work experience

  • Education
  • Volunteer experience

Skills

  • Skills

Accomplishments

  • Publications
  • Certifications
  • Courses
  • Projects
  • Honors & Awards
  • Patents
  • Test Scores
  • Languages
  • Organizations

Background

By now you have already filled out most of the Background information for on your LinkedIn profile, but make sure that in addition to your work experience and education, you also fill out your volunteer experience.

Remember, LinkedIn organizes experiences chronologically - but, if there is a relevant experience from a while ago, just highlight it in your Summary. In addition to writing about your experiences, you can also add media by linking to or uploading images, presentations, videos and more. This makes reading your profile much more interesting and informative for users .

See some of Pete’s work experience as an example: Pete_Kistler_Linkedin_experience_description_

Skills

List as many skills as possible in this section - and don’t be afraid to ask your contacts to endorse them. Take some time to consider all of the skills you’ve gained over the years. This is great for the recruitment process and presents a snapshot of your strengths.

Under the “Skills” tab of the “Add New Profile Section” click the "Add A Skill" icon:

Linkedin_Skill_Section_Pete_Kistler

See Pete’s “Skills” section below as an example:

pete_kistler_linkedin_skill_section

Accomplishments

The “Accomplishments” section is pretty extensive. Here, you have the chance to showcase all kinds of milestones in your career. The types of accomplishments in this profile section include: publications, certifications, courses, projects, honors & awards, patents, test scores, languages and organizations.

While not all of these may be relevant to you, fill out everything you can. List any accolades you've received. This expands your network and showcases your accomplishments.

Publications

LinkedinPublications_profile_section_pete_kistler

Have you written anything lately? Whether it’s an eBook, an article published in a journal, or even a feature written about you - make sure to include those links or uploads here. Below is an excerpt from Pete’s “Publications” section:

Pete_Kistler_publications_section_linkedin

Certifications

accomplishments_certifications_add_new_profile_section_linkedin

If you’ve recently earned a certificate, mention that here! Whether it’s from completing online courses, earning a license or finishing more traditional training - show it off! Add a link to the program or upload a picture of your actual certificate. Here is an example from Pete’s certification section:

certifications_section_linkedin_pete_kistler

Courses and Projects

courses_and_projects_linkedin_section

Whether you’re currently enrolled in a full-time degree seeking program, or a professional taking a personal enrichment class - mention what you’re up to here. While we wouldn’t advise that you list every single course that you’ve ever taken, highlight the courses that best tell your story and show what’s unique about you.

“Projects” is an excellent section to show off projects that you’ve worked on no matter where you are in your career. Include relevant links, images, media and project descriptions to show off your best work.

Honors & Awards

honors_and_awards_linkedin_pete_kistler

Choose the “Honors & Awards” section and add accolades. See Pete’s section below:

Honors_and_awards_section_profile_page_linkedin

Patents, Test Scores, Languages, Organizations

patents_test_scores_profile_section_linkedin Fill out the rest of the Accomplishments section in much the same way as those above. If you’ve acquired any patents, earned impressive test scores, speak other languages aside from English, or belong to any organizations - this is the place to mention them! Fill out these sections thoroughly. Check out Pete’s “organizations” section:

organizations_external_pete_kistler_linkedin

Don't Forget!

add_profile_in_another_language_linkedin

If you do speak another language, or you work directly with people in other regions, consider adding your profile in that language. You can find this option below the “Add a profile section” box. Filling this out is a great way to reach a broader audience and show off your language skills!

Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Relevant

POST A STATUS UPDATE

As with most social networks, you can share information with your connections through status updates.

When posting a status update, share information related to your industry, company and any other information you think professionals would find interesting.

pete_kistler_linked_in_status_updates

This can range from an infographic, to an article that you write, to a timely video.

The length and format varies, but try to keep you audience in mind. If you’re still unsure about how to approach the kind of things you share, take a look through popular LinkedIn users (particularly those in your field) for some inspiration.

MAKE CONNECTIONS

The more connections you have, the more likely your profile is to rank higher for search engines.

From a professional standpoint, having a lot of connections is a great way to network and keep up on industry news.

Make a point to connect with current and former co-workers, fellow alumni, business contacts, friends, family and more. Look for people you already know or suggestions from LinkedIn of people you may know to begin building your network.

See examples below:

people_you_may_know_updated_linkedin_anonymous_contacts

UPDATE CONTENT ON YOUR PROFILE

As with any profile, it's important to keep your content up to date. Make sure that your profile reflects any changes in your professional life like, if you earn a certification, promotion, additional responsibilities or learn new skills.

POST RICH MEDIA

Rich media (videos, images, slideshows) tends to garner better engagement and in turn, rank well. When possible, include rich media in your content on LinkedIn - like an image in your status update or a video post.

Add rich media to your summary:

This should be an easy place to start.

upload_media_linkedin_options

Submit Your LinkedIn Profile to BrandYourself

Whether you are a free or Premium BrandYourself user, connecting and submitting your LinkedIn account will ensure that it's properly indexed and that you are regularly alerted on ways to improve the profile. If you don't have a LinkedIn account, our software will show you exactly how to set one up, and how to optimize it initially so that it has the best chance at ranking well for your name.

STEP 1: LOGIN TO YOUR BRANDYOURSELF ACCOUNT

Go to the "Properties" page of your Reputation Builder Reputation_Builder_Properties_Optimized_Properties

STEP 2: IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A LINKEDIN ACCOUNT:

Copy and paste the URL of your profile into bar at the bottom of your Properties page and click Add. Or get started by clicking the "Connect it" link in the Next Step column for LinkedIn.

submit links

STEP 3: IF YOU DON'T HAVE A LINKEDIN ACCOUNT

Click the "Build One" Link under the Next Step column in the LinkedIn row. This next page will show you the instructions for settting up a new LinkedIn account.

You will be taken to the screen below:

linkedin_build_one

STEP 4: YOU WILL BE ASKED TO VERIFY YOUR LINKEDIN ACCOUNT

Follow the steps necessary to verify your LinkedIn account once you are logged into your brandyourself account.

Brandyourself Access LinkedIn

STEP 5: FOLLOW YOUR ACTION PLAN

Follow all "one time" steps when you first connect your LinkedIn account and continue the search engine optimization process by regularly following the suggested Action Plan over time.

Your_Action_Plan

While building your foundation is an indispensable step towards enhancing your personal brand, optimization is just as important. After you have designed a personal website and the 10 to 12 recommended social media profiles, make sure that you apply all of the steps necessary to fully unleash the power of each account.

Optimize Your Site & Profiles →
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