Wondering if your LinkedIn profile is as complete as it should be?

When was the last time you reviewed your LinkedIn information?

Reviewing your LinkedIn presence ensures you’re adding new accomplishments as they happen and you are ridding outdated information periodically.

Below you will discover some nitty-gritty tips and points for updating your new LinkedIn profile. It’s exactly the list I use with my clients but please know the article below is NOT all inclusive of what it takes to create a winning LinkedIn profile.

★ Have a very clear understanding of what you are looking to accomplish BEFORE starting work on your NEW profile. This is especially important when you do not have a current resume to work from.

★ Each available section available on the LinkedIn platform when it applies to your background and experience.

★ Add images (PDF’s etc.) according to LinkedIn guidelines.

★ Do NOT use second or third person (You, He, She, It. They). Start each bullet point with a POWER WORD (not, I).

★ Use $M and $K to represent millions and thousands of dollars. Do NOT use a Roman numeral.

★ Use only ONE space after a period, NOT two.

★ Place periods after job sentence at the start of summary and job descriptions. Not on bulleted lists.

★ Search and search again for keywords that are most common within your industry (i.e. technology, finance, digital media, law, e-commerce, communications etc.)

★ Add a description of the company (where the question may come up as to what the company does or a service it provides). These short blurbs can be cut/pasted from the About Us section of the website or LinkedIn company page.

★ Do add measurable results when available ($$$, %%%, increased this, decreased this). Key!

★ Add symbols to make it stand out and segment the sections. The symbols we use are ★★★ Email: ✉ Phone: ☎ ♦ ✔

1. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

✔ Add the phrase “OPEN TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES” at the top of the profile summary.

✔ Display email address in the summary section of your profile. PRO: This makes it easier for job recruiters etc. to contact you without “Connecting.” CON: Increases the possibilities of SPAM.

2. A MUST do

SAVE your old profile in a PDF to your computer. Your previous content may come in handy at a later time.

3. LinkedIn.com Settings (BEFORE installing new content)

✔ Don’t broadcast profile edits to the public newsfeed. Be sure to turn off notification settings to ‘Off’ during install of new content & turn back on at completion. Privacy Settings / Profile / Activity broadcasts

4. Contact Information

✔ Add Email: ✉ Phone: ☎ Company Website (use “other” designation and use relevant keywords to identify ‘other’ designation (i.e. WEBSITE, PORTFOLIO, etc.) The maximum length of the “other” website field is 30 characters.

5. Changing industry/location

✔ Current industry selection may not match the current goal. Change to industry closest to your goal.

✔ Location is important for SEO and being found on LinkedIn and Google, Recruiters etc. Use the closest largest CITY to your current location. For example, you live in a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA – use Philadelphia as the location on LinkedIn. Enter the name or zip code into LinkedIn location field and choose. 

6. Headline

✔ The headline is the #1 most important field in LinkedIn and Google search results so it’s critical that all 120-characters be populated with as many relevant keywords as possible.

✔ Write headline (using the piping | takes more character space). If you believe certain words are the best to use – switch to a comma, to separate keywords (space-saving).

✔ Start with a power adjective. “Proven” is a good default choice as its short and reflects quality and quantity of experience. Other adjectives that could work to start a headline: Top, Accomplished, Animated, Certified, Dynamic, Engaging, Effective, Experienced, Executive, Energetic, Leader, Influential, Leading, Gifted, Professional, Skilled, Innovative, Freelancer et al.

✔ Add level (Analyst, Manager, Director, VP, Partner, C-Suite, Attorney, Consultant, Professional) then a Colon followed by skill words (your expertise areas).

✔ In Word use Review / Word Count to track the number of characters. This will take time to perfect.

7. Summary

✔ VALUE: State/list accomplishments (e.g. products developed, sales success, new process development etc.)

✔ Include EDUCATION (e.g. MBA, BA in Business), languages beyond English, certifications, etc.

✔ Expertise: Chunk your expertise areas using a ✔ (10 – 15 works well).

NOTE: LinkedIn allows a maximum of 2000 (about) characters (including spaces) for the Summary section (working up your profile content in Word before install is helpful as using the review/word count tool can save time when installing the content to the account).

✔ Don’t forget images (you at a conference, a relevant product, PDF of your work etc.). Be creative!
8. Experience

✔ Again, you want to be working within a separate WORD document and/or your resume. Working directly on the LinkedIn platform is difficult and if the computer freezes all work will be lost.

✔ Re-work work experiences. Most cases, you may have added content quickly and refining and adding is necessary. Basically, your current profile is sometimes in disarray and you need to be sure the dates/job titles are correct and the content is complete.

✔ Ensure company name reflects ‘official’ LinkedIn business names (You want the logo to show when possible).

✔ A current job title is an extremely important field for LinkedIn and Google search results. So, it’s critical that the field be populated with as many relevant keywords as possible

✔ Write job title – Start with level (Analyst, Manager, Director, VP, Partner, C-Suite), then a colon then separated by | Use ALL of the allotted 100 characters.

✔ For each job description start with 1-3 sentence job scope or a description of the company from the About Us section of the company website ► Then add in accomplishments leading with power word and ► next add job duties leading with power word again.

9. Skills and Expertise (Endorsement Area)

✔ Add, change and/or rearrange ‘skills/keywords’. Reach all 50 that are available to you. Delete existing, non-keyword skills like “leader” “punctual” “team player“ that will not help your LinkedIn or Google rankings in search. Keep skill words that have endorsements already.

✔ The first 3 keywords will show before the reader must click to see further. So, the top 3 should be the current goal!!

✔Use the’ move around keywords control’ under the skills section by clicking the ‘pencil’ to reorder.

10. Education

✔ Ensure school names reflect official LinkedIn school names (you want the logos to show!!)

✔Add or edit school details: Consider adding a symbol (♦) before Master’s, Bachelor’s etc.

11. Other (and IMPORTANT)

Add applicable content to as many of these sections as applicable: Interests, Organizations, Honors & Awards, Publications, Patents, Projects, Images, Videos, Documents, Languages, Test Scores, Courses, Volunteering, Causes, Certifications

✔ You want to complete your profile in its entirety (where information is available) to receive an ‘All-Star Rating.’

Background Header Image: Have you considered what image would reflect you (your brand)? For example, I updated my header image to reflect that I live in the DC Metro area.

12. Reviewing your profile after installing new content (Very Important) A couple wa ofys to review the new profile:

While in profile view click Edit your public profile. This gives a clear view.

13. LOOK for unchecked boxes!!! If unchecked the particular section will not show when someone views your profile. Be sure all boxes are checked/click save. Now you can get a clear view of your completed profile.

Getting around the controls of LinkedIn takes time. It’s not simply a copy/paste environment. The nuances for each section when entering new information can be frustrating but well worth the time and effort in the end.
~ Carla
What other tips do you have for refreshing your LinkedIn presence? What other areas deserve regular review and update? Share your thoughts in the comments.