LinkedIn profile checklist

  1. Show your full name – use the name people are likely to search on. For example, if people know you as Rich, it is better to use Rich than Richard.
  2. Upload a photo – let people see who they are connecting to. It’s good to be smiling; let your eyes show (no sunglasses). Crop the photo so your head takes up most of the space.  If you show clothing, it should be business clothing.
  3. Use a descriptive title in your professional headline – think keywords, but keep it relatively short and easy to read.
  4. Use your summary to let people get a sense of who you are. Write it as if you were talking to them, telling them who you are and what matters to you.
  5. Show at least 2 jobs, and preferably all jobs for the past 10 years. You can copy and paste out of your resume or a bio. Include job responsibilities, promotions, awards and achievements. Quantify accomplishments whenever you can.  (If your company has a profile, the company will auto-complete. Click on that to select the company name.)
  6. Show your education. If you graduated recently, include information about your favorite courses.
  7. Add any volunteer organizations where you participate actively.
  8. Add any honors or awards.
  9. Add skills & expertise, training, interests. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is now asking your connections to endorse you for the skills you claim, so don’t stretch the truth.
  10. Create a personalized LinkedIn URL to make it easier to share your profile.
  11. Add your website and  blog. Instead of leaving the default “website” and “blog” change the link text to the name of your company and blog.
  12. Connect your Twitter account to your profile, but if you tweet often don’t set it up to import every tweet.
  13. If you have a WordPress blog, use the WordPress add-on to bring your most recent blog posts into your profile.
  14. Join 40-45 groups (the maximum is currently 50). Ideally, join 30 where your prospects and clients are likely to be found, 10 related to your industry or the type of work you do, and split the rest across your alumni groups and nonprofits you support.
  15. If you have presentations on Slideshare, use the Slideshare add-on. You can also add a video to your profile using Slideshare.
  16. Use the Reading List add-on to show that you keep up-to-date on trends in business and your industry. You can also use this to promote books written by friends or people you respect.
  17. Look over the list of add-ons and see if there are any you can use to add dimension to your profile. For example, if you travel a lot, you might want to use the trip add-on.
  18. Go back over the profile and see where you can work in keywords that are relevant to your prospects, your clients, and people who could refer business to you. The right keywords will help you be more findable in Google as well as LinkedIn.
  19. Try to get at least one recommendation for each of your jobs. The best way to get a recommendation is to give one – so pick a couple people you worked with, find them on LinkedIn and submit recommendations for them.
  20. Set your privacy settings so people can see your full name, your complete profile, and your activity feed. Look at the other options and decide what you are comfortable sharing, keeping in mind that the more open you are, the more people will be exposed to your profile and your ideas.
  21. If you want to make it easy for people to contact you, include your email and phone somewhere in your profile.

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