12 Ways To Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Recently, a client asked me to give a presentation on LinkedIn and why it’s useful for their employees. Here’s the abridged version of the presentation for your reading pleasure:

Why should I use LinkedIn? Simply put, LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network and it has over 120 million members. The site is continuing to grow rapidly and it’s FREE (happy dance) to use.


emjoshjesslinkedin-300x218How are others using LinkedIn? Many professionals use LinkedIn to connect with their contacts to exchange ideas, knowledge and business-related opportunities. LinkedIn also provides a unique platform in which professionals have the ability to learn more about who they are directly and indirectly connected to via their professional contacts. The site gives you the ability to:

  • Create and control your professionally identity online
  • Build credibility and showcase your professional accomplishments
  • Keep connected with customers, potential clients, colleagues and friends
  • Connect and share with other experts in your industry

What are 12 ways I can beef up my LinkedIn profile and become an active member of the social community?

  1. Fill out your profile completely and make sure you add a photo of yourself. I recommend using a headshot photo because it’s easier for new contacts to recognize who you are when they are able to see a clear picture of your face.
  2. When filling out your profile, use keywords in your descriptions and titles. Using keywords will make your profile easier to find for those who are looking for a specific person or skill set.
  3. Make sure you have a clear headline that includes your title and company. (Things to consider: What are you? What do you do? And how can you help others?)
  4. Add specialties to your profile, which highlight your strengths.
  5. Include your non-work related experiences – networking groups, affiliations, alumni associations, ect.
  6. Update your contacts every few weeks. When you receive a business card, add that new contact to your LinkedIn network.
  7. Ask others for recommendations (use the “Request Recommendations” tool) and recommend others.
  8. Update your summary and add information about yourself and your work.
  9. Customize your profile and reorder the sections of your profile. Are your past work experiences more impressive than your specialties? Simply hover over the section you’d like to move towards the top of your profile, and drag the section where you’d like it.
  10. Join different groups and discussions. For example, if you’re a CFO, you might consider joining the “Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Network” – one of the largest CFO groups on LinkedIn with over 92,000 members.
  11. Since LinkedIn is a social networking site, share resources or articles that pertain to your industry with your network. It’s all about interaction!
  12. If you’re looking to connect with other professionals, create some sort of call to action on your LinkedIn profile such as: visit our website, fill out our contact form, give me a call, etc.

How are you and/or your company using LinkedIn?