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11 steps to optimizing your LinkedIn profile

Make sure every section of your profile is completed to the fullest. Treat your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. There are many searchable aspects of your LinkedIn profile, so keywords are important when filling out the below sections. Think about what keywords potential clients would search for and include them in these sections. You need to SEO optimize your profile with targeted keywords, so more relevant people will find you. Include these in your headline, job title, summary and job description.
Steven van Kerkhoven
Virginie Dardenne
Mirelle Hassler
Last Updated
October 22, 2021

What to include in your LinkedIn profile

1. Headline - 120 character limit

This is the first thing people read on your profile, so you want it to be spot on. Your headline should include important keywords that you would want others to search your profile by. LinkedIn puts a lot of priority on headlines when ranking profiles, so make sure it includes your best attributes.

Victor De Coster LinkedIn
Ludwig Dumont LinkedIn

2. Contact Info

Add your email address so potential employers or leads can get in touch with you.

3. Location

Specify your country, state and city on your LinkedIn profile. This information is important for employers and potential connections to find you. It also allows for a more location-specific feed, including current news.

4. Photo

Your LinkedIn profile picture is the first impression people will have of you. Your profile photo should be clear and in good lighting. It should be just of yourself, face & shoulders, and make sure you're smiling. A good framework to follow is that your face should take up at least 60% of the frame. Your profile photo should represent you and what you do - it is an important tool in building your personal brand. Having a profile photo can result in 14 times as many profile visits, so don't forget this step!

5. Cover photo

Incorporate branding into your LinkedIn cover photo - whether it be related to your company or created on your own. Similar to the profile picture, it should represent who you are and what you do.

6. URL

Note: 256 character limit

Personalize your URL so it's easier for others to remember and share. Having a URL that is simply your name will help your profile rank higher in Google and be more SEO-friendly. If your URL still has numbers in it, don't forget to remove them.

7. About

Note: 2,000 character limit

Talk about specific accomplishments - and include numbers and figures whenever possible. This could be the X amount in sales that you made in a year or that you increased site traffic by Y%. Other points to touch on in your summary are your mission and motivation. Go beyond just listing the experience and skills you have. Tell a story and illustrate why those skills and experiences matter. It is important to keep your about simple and easy to read, as well!

Example:

Sean Gardner LinkedIn post

8. Work Experience

Add your current position and at least two past work experiences. Include the dates of your jobs, as well. Make sure there are no big gaps between work experiences as this might confuse potential clients. If possible illustrate your work experience with visuals, links or documents.

Justin Kan Linkedin

9. Media

Adding samples of your creativity and accomplishments takes your profile to the next level and is a great way to draw and keep the attention of potential clients and employers. This is a great place to showcase case studies, as well! Just make sure whatever you add stays in line with the overall goal of your brand. If you have a personal blog, you can add it. If you have slideshows or PDF's of your personal work, add it. You can also add links to articles, Youtube videos, blogs, etc. that mention you.

10. Skills & Endorsements

Make sure to add a minimum of three skills, but feel free to add as many as LinkedIn allows. Include general skills like “writing” and “consulting,” as well as more particular skills like “mobile development” and “middleware and integration software.” The more skills you add, the more chances for your profile to show up when someone searches that skill.

Mirelle Hassler Skils

11. Add your connections

Sync your address book with your LinkedIn profile, so that you can easily add your contacts as connections. It is a simple and fool-proof step to growing your audience. LinkedIn will recommend connecting with your contacts, but it will also find similar and better contacts to add as connections.

PRO TIP: Do you have several professional e-mail addresses? Add those  when you sync your address book as well and get found by more contacts.

How To Sync Contacts:

  1. Click My Network on the top of your LinkedIn page
  2. Click Contacts on the left side under Manage my network
  3. Click Manage synced contacts near the top, right corner of the page
  4. Click Sync next to any source

How To Import a Contacts File:

  1. Click My Network at the top of your LinkedIn page
  2. Click Contacts on the left side under Manage my network
  3. Click Add more contacts on the right side

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