LinkedIn For Business - Create a Polished Profile
Want to use LinkedIn, but don’t know where to start? We’ll show you how to get to grips with your LinkedIn profile, helping you to present yourself in a polished and professional manner.
Why use LinkedIn
Ultimately, people use LinkedIn to look for jobs or new clients. In both cases the aim is to present themselves as professionals and become more visible to the right people. So having a succinct, professional and well written profile is a good starting point.
This article gives practical guidance on the following:
- Profile Sections - Summery, experience and education
- Location and industry
- Contact details
- Getting found - Keyword placement
- Customising a linkedIn URL and public profile
So lets get started:
Profile Summary Section
Once you've signed up for your free LinkedIn profile, you'll see it's pretty simple to edit as it's essentially in edit mode most of the time. Simply move your cursor over the pencil icons to edit each section. We'll go into more details with editing specific sections later.
- Take advantage of all 2,000 characters allocated for your profile - A summary with more than 40 words is more likely to come up in searches, especially if you've added in keywords and phrases (more about this later on)
- Avoid shortened names, or using nick names - Use the exact name you use on other web properties
- The title – Strike a balance between something creative while at the same time using keywords for your industry
- Add your personality into the mix with a bit of humour, if it’s appropriate
- Break up paragraphs with headers and summaries to make your text interesting and easier to read
- Tell an interesting story – Engage your audience by talking about your best achievements, than list the rest in bullets
- Make your profile easy to read and visually pleasing - Using bullet points and symbols; these make it easy for readers to scan read and help to highlight your achievements
You can add symbols from Wilipedia.org ; just copy and paste while editing LinkedIn pages
- Utilise applications like an Amazon reading list - Show others your interests
- Do add any volunteer experience and causes - Helps others to understand more about you as an individual and gives a more rounded picture of you
- Check copy for spelling and grammar every time you edit your profile
Enrich Your Profile
Add rich content to your profile by adding photos and files which back up your experience and expertise. You can do this in specific sections of your profile.
- Summary section
- Experience section
- Education section
- LinkedIn allows you to add website links - You don't have to direct people to just your home page ; other pages on your website may be more important to your business, like blogs and articles pages
- You can also add, graphics, videos and photos, presentations, etc
Here's how it appears on each section: Click on to the appropriate link or fill in the details.
Your Profile Photo
Every bit of your profile is important and so is your appearance.
- According to LinkedIn statistics, people with a profile photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed by others
- It pays to look your best - Your profile photo not only appears on your profile but also on all status updates, published posts and group discussions: you'll be seen in a lot of places
- Adding a recent professional photo of yourself will go a long way to humanise your LinkedIn profile.
- Don’t be tempted to use your company logo in place of your photo - People like to connect to people
- Keep your photo updated – Any changes in hair style / hair colour, spectacles, beard etc should be current in your photo
- Don’t make it difficult for others to see you - Avoid a full length photo: a close up photo showing your head and shoulders will suffice
- Avoid cropping yourself from an existing photo - Photos with a sneaky hand / shoulder, a pet, or sibling are not seen as professional
- Employ a professional to take your photo - Shows others you’re serious about your career / business
For more tips on how to present yourself through your profile photo, read our guide on Get the Attention You Deserve
Location and Industry
- Location - Including your location is essential if you’re providing a service in a specific geographical area. When adding your postcode, LinkedIn gives you the option to choose a local city or a wider geographical area
- Industry - Give careful consideration when choosing the industry you want to be found under. The industry drop down tab appears to the right of the location tab at the very top of your profile, giving your viewers a quick indication of the type of business you’re in
Essential Contact Details
Below your header is a tab to add contact details. It should be complete with your email address, phone number, website address and twitter account. This info is available to your connections so it pays to make it easy for them to contact you.
- Add your email - If you’re worried about spam to your email set up one which is just for your LinkedIn contacts.
- Add your phone number- Makes contacting you more instant
- Add your business address - Increases trust by letting others know where you operate from
- Your websites – You can display as many as three websites on your profile which can be customised with your website name. This is far better than just having a link which reads ‘website’
- N.B. You don’t have to link to your home page on your website: choose which page you want to showcase.
Adding a Custom Web Address - Here's how:
1. Click contact info tab
2. Click edit section tab next to websites
3. From the drop down list, choose the type of website and select “Other” from the list, here you'll able to type in your own web address
5. Copy the URL of your web address from the browser
6. Paste LinkedIn's URL field into your contact section and click Save
Get Found In LinkedIn - Keyword Optimisation
Optimising your LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords will help you to get found more easily. Like a search engine, people search with keywords to help them find what they're looking for, so it makes sense to do some keyword research before you start adding content to your profile.
Placement of keywords in your profile is important: here's what we recommend:
- Make sure the keywords / phrases flow in your copy, don’t just stuff them in
- Add keywords in any new skills and achievements
- Attract more people by using broad terms and specific keywords
- For a higher ranking, place keywords in - The headline, title, company name, headings, sub headings and job title
- Incorporate keywords into your job experience section for both past and current positions
Your home page (landing page) is where your background image appears. It’s not essential to add a background image but if you really want to go to town on customising your profile, it’s a good way of keeping your pages branded in line, for example, with your LinkedIn company page and website.
- Hover the cursor over the "Add a background photo" : the current recommended size and format will be displayed
- Choose images which enhance your brand values
- Make sure you use correctly sized and high quality images
- Get a professional to make your background image or sign up to Canva, a free online tool to help you to create simple graphics
Customise your LinkedIn URL
Why customise your LinkedIn url?
- It's seen by others as your online business card - Ditch the default URL provided, which will look something like this: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/first name-last name/13/7ab/58b and add a new one which is more relevant to you
- A vanity URL is easier for others to remember
- Shows others you're professional
How to cusomise your LinkedIn URL:
1. Below your profile photo is your LinkedIn URL: hover over this with your cursor and click the cog icon to get started. (Note, you may also see a pop up message alerting you to update your public settings. This will show if you haven't got a public profile... we'll cover this next)
2. On the right hand side of your public profile URL, type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box and click save.
We recommend that:
- You use your own name, or as close to it as you can get
- Avoid the use of nick names, business names or handles because you may want to change any of these in the future
Customise Your Public Profile
- Be aware that your public profile settings work independently from your LinkedIn profile which is seen by members who are signed in
- By customising your public profile you'll be able to control how you appear when people search for you in Google and other major search engines
Here's an example of what it looks like: the tab is found right under the customise your url section
- We recommend you tick “make your public profile visible to everyone”, as people won’t be able to find you otherwise. Learn more about public settings
Perfecting Your Profile
Once you have competed your profile, you may find it helpful to see how others can view it. This can help you to make any final touches to layout or copy.
1. Just click into the view profile tab to see what others can see.
2. To return to editing mode on your profile: Go to main navigation at the very top of the page and hover the cursor over profile
3. On the drop down list, click the edit profile tab and you're back in edit mode.
Look out for the Next article:
LinkedIn for Business How to Get Started – Part Two
This article offers practical guidance on:
- Following individuals and companies
- Connecting to the right people
- Endorsement and recommendations
- Composing messages