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How to Make the Most of LinkedIn

You’ve probably heard by now that LinkedIn is not just some exalted online resume.

But are you taking advantage of all its features and benefits?

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that gives you the opportunity to build relationships with customers, clients, and colleagues. It’s a platform that allows you to showcase your skills and position yourself as an expert in your field. And it’s a forum that enables you to dialogue with others in your industry.

So are you taking full advantage of your LinkedIn account? If not, here are some simple suggestions for maximizing the power of your profile and enhancing your presence on this valuable platform.

  • Upload a professional photograph. I know this seems basic, but we’ve all got connections that miss this simple little point. If you want to make a good first impression, this is an essential element. It adds credibility and personality to the rest of your profile.
  • Create a compelling headline. The headline is prime real estate. It’s listed directly under your name on your profile page, shows up in search results, and displays whenever you post a comment in a group. So don’t just use your job title but keywords that really describe what you do. It should be brief, descriptive, and targeted to your industry.
  • Use keywords. Aside from the headline, you should use descriptive keywords throughout your profile. Choose words that resonate with your audience and are specific to your field. This will improve the likelihood of your profile coming up in a search.
  • Customize your public profile URL. LinkedIn gives your profile a default URL made up of random numbers and letters. You can edit this to include your name instead, such as: This not only looks cleaner but enables your profile link to show up in search results.
  • Link to other media. Within the profile box, above the public profile URL, there is a place to link to your other media. You can list up to three locations under the “websites” tag, and you’ll want to personalize these links as well. Rather than using phrases like ‘My Blog’ or ‘My Website,’ use your personal, brand, or site name. Also, make sure you provide a link to your Twitter profile, so people can follow you directly from LinkedIn.
  • Get recommendations. Professional endorsements are always welcome. And they round out your profile, providing more insight and information about you and your work. Be sure to ask colleagues as well as employers for a recommendation. Also, it’s acceptable to let them know the areas or skills you’d like emphasized.
  • Join relevant groups. This is a great way to broaden your connections and influence. Join groups that interest you and are relevant to your business or target market. And then participate! Share quality content and add value to the discussions.
  • Update your status. This is another way to share useful information and increase your visibility at the same time. Again, you want to share interesting stories and meaningful content. Don’t just post to post, but choose topics that resonate with your audience. Posting two to three times a day is recommended.
  • Review connections. LinkedIn provides several ways to search for and update your connections. Aside from searching your email for contacts, LinkedIn enables you to search particular categories. Under the “contacts” tab, you can search for colleagues, alumni, and people you may know. Since membership is continually growing, it doesn’t hurt to check these avenues once a month.
  • Complete your profile. According to LinkedIn, people with 100% “profile completeness” are 40 times more likely to benefit from search and connection opportunities. Simply, a completed profile works in your favor.

Developing a quality network takes a little time and initiative, but it’s worth the effort. So if LinkedIn is one of your social media tools, take the time to make the most of it. It’ll definitely pay-off in the long run.

What about you?

What have you found particularly useful in LinkedIn? What would you add to this list?


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