If you are new to LinkedIn, then you’ve likely been “sold” on the reasons to join this social site. While LinkedIn is a rapidly growing social networking site with dozens of business related benefits, it’s still important that you use your time wisely. Your time is a major investment, and I want you to get the most out of LinkedIn. Therefore, if you have made the decision to join LinkedIn, you need to focus on setting up your personal profile correctly and completely.
After establishing your account, spend some time filling in your personal profile information.
Made Simple: LinkedIn Personal Profile Checklist
- Enter your complete name, likely the same variation you use on your business card and email signature. If you go by your maiden-name for example, be consistent. If you shorten your first name like I do (Beth), then continue. You don’t want people wondering “is that him”? or “I’m not sure if that is her…”
- Give yourself a title. Yes, you can be as creative or generic as you want to be. You can replicate the title you use at work. Just don’t leave it blank.
- Find a great profile picture. This means you find a professional photo, preferably a head shot that is clear and crops into a square. The specific dimensions are 80×80 pixels for a LinkedIn profile picture, and it should be 4MB or smaller, saved in a .jpg, .gif, or .png format.
- To be consistent, use the same picture (gravatar) you use on Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. That way people will more easily recognize you.
- Add in your current position, company, title and description. If you have multiple businesses, employment or building a personal brand, enter them all. To add additional positions, click on “add a current position” as many times as necessary, clicking the “save” button after each one.
- Enter a link (or links) to your website. For business owners, sales and marketing people this is critical. Don’t forget to add a link to your blog or other critical sites.
- There is a specific place to link to your Twitter account. If you are on Twitter, make sure you complete with your Twitter credentials.
- Add in your previous work experience. Enter in as much information as possible, including dates, titles and descriptions. You can come back later to correct and enhance the information. Never delete older information, but rather let your newer information push down the feed.
- Click on “Customize Your Public Profile URL” and select your name or close variation of it. You will be able to use this URL in links, email signatures, and other social applications that ask for your LinkedIn URL later.
- Spend time crafting a summary about your experience, goals, and passion as it relates to your work and business. Write one or two paragraphs and update a couple times a year.
- Enter in your special skills and other fields when prompted. Be as thorough as possible.
- Click on “Profile” on the top-left navigation and view what you’ve created. This is how others will see your information. Make changes and adjustments by clicking “edit” conveniently placed by each field.
- Look at the right, where you will see your “Profile Completeness” status. Aim for 100%. If you are below 100%, LinkedIn will tell you what to add to your profile to make it complete.
- Spend some time connecting with people. 10 minutes twice a week at first will really get the ball rolling. You can import your email list from Outlook to search for people you know, use the Search bar on the top right of LinkedIn to search for people, or go through a friend’s connections for people you know. Once you start connecting, LinkedIn will automatically offer suggestions to connect in the upper right-hand side each time you log in. Go through these, but never send an invitation to someone you don’t know.
Do you have questions about setting up a new LinkedIn personal profile? Are you having trouble with something? Let us know so we can help; simply leave your question in the comments section.