In the world of business, networking is a vital component of your success, but making those all-important connections in person can be a time-consuming endeavor. Networking is worth your time, but if your schedule isn’t conducive to all that face time, consider social media.
Using your online identity to present and market yourself to valuable connections within your industry offers major returns.
You probably already have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is considered by many to be the kingpin of professional social media networks. It allows professionals to connect, engage, stay up-to-date on one another’s accomplishments, and search for prospects and business partners. Fine tuning your LinkedIn profile could reap serious dividends for you and your company — so how do you create the profile that best reflects your skills and talents and attracts the right kinds of viewers to your page?
Here are a few easy tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
1. Utilize other networks to promote your LinkedIn
If you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social network, use your profile there to promote your LinkedIn profile and maximize the number of friends, coworkers, and acquaintances who are likely to connect with you.
This is especially useful if you have lots of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Utilizing the exposure you already have can help you make connections by drawing from viewers you didn’t know you had. Plus, your personal information on LinkedIn can help those who are unfamiliar with you professionally learn more about your experience and skills.
2. Add keywords to your professional headline
Plugging the right keywords into your LinkedIn headline will help you get discovered by people who are searching for what you do. Instead of defaulting to your job title and company name, consider changing your headline to exactly what you do: Digital Marketing Specialist – Health Insurance, Financial Analyst – Audit & Compliance, Customer Experience Associate – Technical Support.
These types of keywords will help connect you with people who want to connect with other people in your profession. Be specific with the titles you choose because it will only increase your chances of connecting with other LinkedIn users who could end up being valuable contacts.
3. Expand your list of skills
Take time to think carefully about the skills you possess in your professional life. If you have the skill, add it to your skills section. Skills like public speaking, typing, team management, a foreign language, and experience using different software programs are relevant and should be included. A fully fleshed out skills section can help make your profile more visible — and intriguing — to potential connections.
4. Get into groups
Join LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to what you do. Maximize your membership to these groups by listing the groups on your profile. This makes it easier for other group members to connect with you and find your page. It will also help you with sharing relevant content, having discussions, and getting to know like-minded professionals.
5. Optimize your job descriptions
When writing up your job summary, consider inserting keywords that will help other professionals find your profile. Create a narrative that is inviting and easy-to-read, yet provides readers with a succinct, accurate portrayal of what you’ve accomplished in jobs past and present.
When you’re creating the summary of your skills and job requirements, consider inserting keywords that will help get you found by similar professionals. Create a narrative that is inviting and easy-to-read, yet provides readers with a succinct, accurate portrayal of what you do in your professional life.
6. Make your profile public
In your Settings, make sure you update your Profile Viewing Options so that other users are notified when you visit their profile. Doing so will increase the odds that they visit your profile too, sparking a potential connection.
7. Share samples of your best work
Attach samples of your best work onto your page. This will help your viewers get a more accurate sense of what you do and how you do it, as your samples speak more loudly about your quality of work and what you have to offer than a job description. It offers serious insight into how valuable you are as an employee and an asset.
We hope these tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile will help you get more views and make more connections. Here’s to 500+ connections and a brighter professional future!
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2015 and has since been updated for accuracy.