Here are ten easy ways to brush off the cobwebs and whip your LinkedIn profile into shape this spring:
1. Headline and Photo. More people will see your headline and photo than any other part of your profile. Make a good first impression by including a creative, keyword-filled headline and a professional quality headshot.
2. Summary. Use the Summary section to sell yourself. Think of it as your cover letter or elevator speech. It’s near the top of your profile–so spruce it up and make it shine.
3. Experience and Education. Don’t skimp here. Provide details of each job you’ve held, and include your formal education as well as industry-specific courses, workshops, or seminars you’ve attended.
4. Keywords. You’ll be more likely to come up in searches if you include the keywords people typically use when trying to find someone like you. Put them in your Headline, Summary, and Experience sections to receive the most benefit, but avoid “stuffing” your profile with keywords or your credibility may be compromised.
5. Skills. In your Skills section, include the skills that are most relevant to your current job or the ones you hope to use in your new job if you’re either overtly or covertly looking for a new position. Then seek endorsements for those skills.
6. Recommendations. Get at least two or three recommendations for every job and educational entry. Corroboration of your work is sure to impress readers of your profile.
7. Projects. Use the Projects section to showcase impressive projects you’ve done, and link to a web page where the project is displayed. Tangible evidence of your creativity will grab the viewer’s attention.
8. Special Profile Sections. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Use the Honors & Awards section as well as the Languages, Test Scores, Publications, Courses, and Patents sections to set yourself apart from your competitors.
9. Volunteer Experience & Causes. Everyone loves to work with people who genuinely care about others. Let the world know what organizations you support–and it will be great publicity for your favorite charitable group too.
10. Calls to Action. You don’t want people to just look at your profile–you want them to do something. Invite readers to watch a video, go to your website, or request a quote. It’s easy to include calls to action in your Summary section, but you can creatively include them in other sections as well.
Clean up your LinkedIn profile this spring, and get ready to watch your business bloom.