Get ready for your close-up. Perfecting your LinkedIn profile can be time-consuming and frustrating beyond reason. (Cue 5-hour discussion with self over the use of a single word.) While there is no shortage of LinkedIn profile tips floating around on the interwebs, you don’t always have time to do a full redesign. Start with the essentials. Here are a couple quick fixes that make a huge difference on your LinkedIn profile.
1. Get a clean public URL.
That massive combination of letters and numbers is ugly. Replace the long URL with just your name and include it on your email signatures and your resume. (Pro-tip: save your resume as a PDF so you can easily link it.) Don’t know how to get that fancy URL? It’s OK, it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure it out too.
- First, move your cursor over the Profile button on your homepage and select Edit Profile from the drop-down menu.
- You should see your URL under your photo with an edit icon next to it. You guessed it: click that edit icon.
- Then, look for a bar on the right-hand side of your profile. There should be a window where you can edit the URL. I’d recommend going with your first and last name. If your name is already taken, get creative. In such a case, you might try to keep the creativity consistent with your email address (where you’ve probably also had to come up with something unique).
2. Make sure your profile picture is showing off your best self.
Your professional headshot is one of the most important elements of your profile and also one of the easiest on which to miss the mark.
- First, get rid of anything that could in any way be considered a selfie (that includes computer selfies … you’re not fooling anyone).
- Make sure your photo actually looks like you. You may have that one glam shot where you look like a cast member on ANTM, but if it does not resemble how you look every day, it’s doing you a disservice. Keep in mind that people will often look at your LinkedIn before they meet you. Don’t make their first impression, “Wow. She sure looks different in person.”
- Make sure your face fits the frame. This isn’t the place for a full body shot. It’s a head shot. Show your beautiful face off and don’t include your friends in the photo either.
- Having a stiff professional shot isn’t always the best bet. Cater your image to your industry. If you have startup aspirations, a more casual photo might help you look like a cultural fit.
For further research, here are some quick tips on taking a DIY professional headshot.
3. Add a cover image.
This used to only be available to Premium users, but LinkedIn is slowly rolling it out for all us lowly regular users. If you see it show up as an option on the top of your profile, take advantage of this great feature! It is a nice subtle way to showcase a bit more of your personality, and it makes your profile really pop. Make sure to pick an image that is the right size and is not pixelated (re: sloppy).
4. Ask (and give) recommendations.
Recommendations can add greatly to your credibility, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. Strategically reach out to a few of your contacts and politely ask them for a recommendation. LinkedIn has a feature to easily do this, but you can also reach out over email. Pro-tip: It can be helpful to give your connections a few bullet points on what you’d like them to address, especially if they’re very busy.
5. Show, don’t tell!
LinkedIn now allows you to attach media to your work experiences. You can use this feature to showcase your company with a video, or you could attach an example of your hard work. You can even attach your senior thesis to your education section. (A better home than on your parents’ bookshelf.)
- To add media or a file, hover your cursor over the experience section. On the top right, you should see options to add an experience, add media, or rearrange the order.
- Click the middle “square” button and then select which experience you’d like to include media. You can attach websites, online videos, or files from your computer.
6. Use the LinkedIn Publishing Platform.
Millennials (and women) are underrepresented on LinkedIn’s publishing platform, so show some initiative and guts by writing a blog post. In addition to showing off your writing skills, you can easily showcase what you’re passionate about. This could also be a great place to repurpose any articles or blog posts you’ve written in the past.
- To publish a post, act like you’re going to post an update on your homepage. Only, click the small edit button on the bottom right, which allows you to instead set up a blog post.
- From there, it’s an easy set-up.
- Make sure to preview your post before you publish, as things are known to come out a little wonky if you copy and paste from Word or Google Docs.
7. Write a killer summary.
This is often a hard task for people, but it really makes a difference. Think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’re passionate about. This is a great place to show them who you are! List your super power, explain what motivates you, and say what work environment helps you thrive. Here’s a great guide from Forbes on how to write a compelling and concise LinkedIn summary. We hope you found these tips helpful. If you really want to geek out on LinkedIn, here’s our how-to on increasing profile views through engagement.