From Patsy Stewart:
While there’s no substitute for a face-to-face handshake, LinkedIn provides the ability to establish a credible profile that can lead to and expand relationships. To give new power and life to your LinkedIn profile, use these seven best practices.
- List your current job
- Include two previous positions
- Add your education
- Add a profile summary
- Upload a personal photo (no kids, no pets, no logo)
- Include your specialties
- Earn at least three recommendations
2. Edit your public profile URL.
I suggest you choose your name if it's available. Add this URL to your business cards, your signature file and include it in other profiles. (Here's how to create a personal URL for your public profile from Handshake 2.0.)
3. Write a detailed summary.
Your summary is one of the most important parts of the profile because it is indexed by the search engines. It should be written in first person and should include your keywords, your skills, your experience and what differentiates you from others. You can use up to 2000 words. Suzanne Vara outlines How to Pack A Powerful Punch With Your LinkedIn Summary.
4. Include links to your company websites on your profile.
Tip: Select the “other” option so you can add the name of your website. You can then add additional links to your blog, Facebook page and any other websites you have.
5. Give your profile a boost by showcasing your expertise and adding your skills.
Skills is a new LinkedIn feature that allows users to search for a specific skill across its platform. To add a skill you must first search for a skillyou have. When the results appear you can add the skill to your profile. Hubspot has more info on how to add skills to your LinkedIn profile.
6. Earn recommendations.
Recommendations add credibility to your profile. LinkedIn has made it simple to give and receive recommendations. Good sources of recommendations come from your clients and people who have worked with you. Tip: In order for your profile to be 100% complete you need 3 recommendations.
7. Update your status several times a week with links to your blog posts, news about projects you’re working on or links to your industry news.
You can schedule LinkedIn updates using a desk client like Hootsuite, Seesmic or Tweetdeck. You can also tag a tweet to post on LinkedIn by adding "#in" to the tweet. I do not recommend sending all of your Twitter updates to LinkedIn, but selectively choosing which tweets go to LinkedIn with the #in tag. Your updates show up on the feed and are searchable using LinkedIn Signals, the new search feature on your home page below the status window.
To get the most out of your revitalized profile you need to make sure you are well-connected. LinkedIn provides tools to help you find connections. There is a toolbar for outlook and you can import your contacts from your mail client to see if they have a LinkedIn profile. Review LinkedIn’s suggestions of people you may know and browse the connections of your connections. And, of course, download the Handshake(TM) App for Handshake 2.0 to your smartphone so you can directly connect to LinkedIn profiles of people featured on Handshake 2.0!