LinkedIn branded itself as the social network for professionals. It has outlasted MySpace, Friendster, and may yet outlast Facebook. Your LinkedIn profile is meant to highlight your work, not your weekend. The forthright counterpart to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is not the place for a funny profile pic or even jokes in your status update. It’s strictly business.
Profile optimization is something of an art. Before we talk about the specifics, just a reminder that, like a resume, your LinkedIn profile should get you interviews. And you will get interviews if you do this correctly.
Complete Your Profile
All of it. Make sure it represents you well to employers or clients. Make sure to claim your personal URL also. Write out a bio, and then rewrite until you like it and it fits into the required space. If you have a bio from another site, go ahead and use it, or reuse it. In a personal branding perspective consistency is important, but you can still tailor it for the audience/network you are using it on.
Use Your Words
This should be obvious, but no typos. Recruiters are searching for specific skills and using industry keywords to do that. Strategically choose the words on your profile for the type of job you want to attract.
Selfies with your phone don’t count. Clean background, professional attire, Photoshop, and you will look good and help build trust.
Leverage Your Network
This is a fancy way to say, ‘ask your friends for recommendations’. LinkedIn has tools to integrate Facebook, Twitter, and your email contacts. You have to ask, so stop being shy it won’t hurt.
Use Your Profile
Post updates related to your career. Show someone that you think about your job in the big picture. You keep up with industry news and are a thought leader among your peers. Remember, keep the weekend off of LinkedIn.
After you’ve done all that, it’s time to measure your successes. Did you get any interviews? Did you get more views? Go through it again and try another iteration. That’s optimization, constant improvement on the goals you set.