7 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

I admit it. I Google myself. No, I’m not vain. Okay, maybe a little. Even so, I am always curious to see what Google ranks sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot and Blog Talk Radio (yeah I’m as shocked as you are), as well as LinkedIn.
Even more surprising was the fact that my LinkedIn profile ranked at the top of my Google search results. If you are on LinkedIn, search for yourself on Google and tell me where your LinkedIn profile ranks. I’m curious.
LinkedIn is more popular than Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t mean that Google gave LinkedIn profiles an advantage in search results. It’s more likely that LinkedIn is professional than the personal, leisurely nature most of Facebook posts and tweets.
Google prefers LinkedIn for search results. This is something to keep in mind when you’re job hunting or networking. Don’t assume that potential employers won’t Google you if they consider you for a job. Your LinkedIn profile will be the first to show up on a potential employer’s search results.
My job as a social media manager at a training company is to advise different departments on how to properly network on LinkedIn. These tips will help you improve your LinkedIn profile.

1. Give a good face
The photo that appears with your profile headline is the first impression anyone who searches for a LinkedIn account gets. It should be a recent one. It should look professional. LinkedIn is not the place for that photo of your frat brother at the tailgating party last autumn.

2. Think Headline
Most people believe that your profile headline must be your job title. This is not always true. It should be treated as a headline, much like LinkedIn does. Can you reduce your elevator pitch to eight words? If so, you can create your new LinkedIn profile headline. You don’t have to use “East Coast Sales Manager” instead. “IT Solutions Provider/Cloud computing Expert” or “Assists Fortune 500 companies with IT Solutions” are acceptable as long as they are true statements.

3. The Headline is the Backbone
Now that you have your headline, tell the story behind it. Who will be proud of you if you don’t? You don’t want your audience to think you are a chest-pounder. You should state the facts clearly and concisely, just like a good news story. Include the Who, What and Where details. And, most importantly, the How. Do not just list your job description if you want to be unique. It should be compelling and truthful. Make it compelling and truthful.

4. Know Your Audience
If you are a networker, write your job descriptions and summary like a networker. If you are looking for a job, write your job descriptions and summary for potential employers. It’s impossible to have it both ways.

5. Know Your Keywords
Keywords are what you need to make your search go the distance. I deal with people in the IT industry so terms such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, and virtualization are often used. It is important to know the keywords of your industry and ensure they are included in your job descriptions and summary. Even if it doesn’t improve your Google search results, it will at least improve your LinkedIn search results. Last year, LinkedIn users searched for 2 billion times. Now is the perfect time to update your profile with keywords.

6. Get personal
LinkedIn introduced a personal update feed, similar to Twitter and Facebook. When someone logs in to LinkedIn, the personal update feed appears. Make sure it’s good. One thing I love about LinkedIn personal updates is that if someone comments on it or “likes”, it appears at the top again, even though it’s only days old. This is another reason to make sure it’s good. LinkedIn personal updates could be as simple and straightforward as some advice or questions from people in your industry. If you are really interested in this topic,

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