If you have been a follower of mine you already know the absolute 3 must-haves your LinkedIn profile must…well… have! And because you are smart, like all my readers are, you have those filled out, primed and ready to go.
Do you know what those 3 must-haves are?
- Your Headline: maxed out using all characters available that describes who you are and what you do. But describes it in a way that says more than you are just a Partner, CEO, or Business Owner.
- Your summary section: yep maxed out here too, use every character that you can here, along with skills/expertise while you tell a story to your ideal client or boss.
- Your experience section: all headlines filled out fully in a similar manner to your main headline. But here yes you can be a bit more generic using the labels ‘partner’, ‘business owner,’ ‘CEO’.
And most of all your summary and experience sections are fully fleshed out with specifics, links, media uploaded, resume and more.
Why are those 3 things the most important? Because they are all searchable, each word. And also because they showcase the main components of your business why, which is very important to your ideal client or boss or future partner.
But after dialing in this trifecta there is so much more you can do to create a full and well rounded profile that will bring you more online rewards.
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Here’s more you can do to create a full and well-rounded profile
First – If you are pressed for time or unsure where to start LinkedIn gives you suggestions.
Suggestions about which of these additional features to add. Just click Edit Profile on the home page and voila LinkedIn tells me I should add a language to my profile. Take a moment each day or each week and tackle one section at a time. Skip the ones that have little or no significance, but try as hard as you can to think of items to add before you decide to skip it.
As for adding a language to my profile, I’ve always wanted to learn! But sadly never had the time (starting a new business and all) so for authenticity sake I must leave that blank until I am taking classes or until I book that Italy immersion trip I’ve always wanted to try! But if you have even a minor proficiency – add it – you never know what type of connection you could make.
Second – Pick the section where you feel you might have more bang for your buck.
For example if you are in the education realm, honors and awards, courses and certifications, and publications sections are probably key for your niche. If you are in the non-profit sector, projects and volunteer sections lend a great depth to a career devoted to doing good. If you are in a science field, projects and patents and interests just might be the best way to connect. And finally one more idea if you are in a marketing or advertising niche, personal details, interests and advice for contacting are quite possibly key to getting noticed in a field dominated by personalities.
Third – If you only fill out more sections develop these three:
- Publications: Even if you don’t have a “I can hold it in my hand or see it in an online article” type of publication use your own blog posts here! That in itself is a publication online that will serve to add value to your profile and bring visitors to your website if they like what they read.
- Projects: As a business owner and entrepreneur I know you have a few (or few dozen) side projects up your sleeve. Talk about them here! Stop worrying about people stealing your idea and start looking for partnerships that will help you achieve these side dreams of yours. If you don’t talk about them you will never accomplish them and you never know who will be connected to your profile that may be able to help.
- Education: The network of Alumni is not to be understated. In the business world we all hear over and over again, “It’s who you know”, and yes that is still true to this day. Sometimes the only thing you know about them is the fact they attended your school, or if someone is looking to hire you that you attended This instantly gives credibility, trustworthiness (whether warranted or not) and a wealth of things to talk about which ultimately leads to connections and jobs. So please do not leave this space blank if you can help it. Also be sure to fill it out enough listing any clubs you belonged to and activities you engaged in. You never know what fellow sorority member is now CEO of the company you would absolutely love to work for.
You may be thinking, “Well if these sections aren’t fully searchable then why bother?”
Great question and here’s the answer:
- It very well may be someday. LinkedIn sections and search functions are getting more robust every day. I see LinkedIn adding functionality and features all the time. I believe it won’t be long before we Google one “interest” and gain an entire list of possible connections.
- Inside of LinkedIn the search function is more powerful. LinkedIn is always trying to connect people and often it uses the other layers to do so via the sections you have filled out. One assistant of mine had 34 profile views, 1/4 of which were from the typical title, summary, skills keyword searches. However more than half came from “people similar” and “unknown key words” which means anything from interests, to projects, to publications to honors/awards and more. It’s hard to say exactly, but clearly having more depth to your profile is definitely key to getting more views. And more views = more clients at the end of the day.
So I challenge you today, sit down and fill out one “extra” section on your LinkedIn profile, then in a few days fill out one more. After a week take a look at your “Who’s viewed your profile” section and see the gains you have made.
Not sure which additional section to choose? Join me in my LinkedIn group where I can answer that question and more everyday!