Did you realise that having a completed LinkedIn profile can dramatically impact your visibility in the LinkedIn search results? If your profile is not yet at 100 per cent completeness, this article covers the seven key areas you need to work on to complete your LinkedIn profile.
Earlier this month, LinkedIn announced that it now has more than 150 million members across 200 hundred countries with more than 34 million members in Europe. At the time of writing this article there are almost 9 million LinkedIn members in the UK and over 650,000 members in Ireland.
There has never been a more important time to ensure that your LinkedIn personal profile represents your ‘best professional self’. I’ve worked with professional services firms whose managing partner and executive team review the LinkedIn profiles of people they will be presenting a tender to. It is absolutely not just the job seeker that is using LinkedIn.
Why are people who have never met you reviewing your LinkedIn profile? Well it’s everything from reviewing your background as you may be someone that they would like to approach about a business opportunity, through to which mutual business contacts all of which can point to how to build rapport in your meeting.
You might have noticed the green coloured bar on the right hand side of your profile with a percentage noting how complete your profile is. If you do want to increase your visibility within LinkedIn search results, one of the important factors that is taken into consideration is how complete your profile is.
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LinkedIn has recently changed it’s algorithm in relation to how they calculate if your profile is 100 per cent complete – this is particularly helpful for those of you who are early in your career.
Here are the factors you need to focus on to achieve 100 per cent completeness of your LinkedIn personal profile:
1. Add a professional picture
Your photograph should represent you professionally – this is not the same photograph that you may use on your personal profile on Facebook. Nor should it be a logo for your company. LinkedIn comments that ‘adding a profile photo makes your profile seven times more likely to be found in searches’.
2. Update your profile with your career history
LinkedIn recommends that you list all the jobs or positions you have held including descriptions of the roles. I would caution against adding ALL your positions especially if you have had many intern positions, or if like me, you have a very long (in years) career history. You certainly need to include the key positions that will demonstrate your professional expertise.
LinkedIn comment that ‘having your 2 most recent positions makes your profile 12x more likely to be found’.
3. Portray your Skills
You might have noticed the area on your personal profile called ‘Skills’ – listing 5 or more skills will fast track you on your way to having a complete LinkedIn profile. Against each Skill you can also list your level of expertise and how many years you have developed that skills for.
4. Create an engaging summary
Use this area to portray your differentiation and also include how you can help people who are looking to connect with you.
5. Include your industry and postal code
You will find this area at the top of your LinkedIn profile – just click the edit function and update the area that asks for your ‘Location and Industry’.
6. Display where you went to school
In the ‘Education’ area of your profile you can add your school and also the universities or colleges you have attended.
For those of you with a lot of career experience it’s not the primary reason people will look to work with you – this can be moved to the bottom of your personal profile on LinkedIn and does not have to appear in search results.
However, completing this feature will help you move your profile to be 100 per cent complete.
7. Grow your network
We all have different goals for being a member of LinkedIn, and equally have different personal priorities on who we want to connect with.
LinkedIn does however look for us to have more than 50 connections to get our profile to be 100 per cent complete. So look for opportunities to connect to business colleagues and re-connect to people you have worked with in the past.
But do remember good LinkedIn etiquette (a subject I will be covering in a forthcoming article) and include a personal note in your invitations to connect with people.
8. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date
An important factor that LinkedIn recently announced is that the rating assigned to your LinkedIn profile completeness is that they also take ‘profile freshness’ into consideration. So if you update your profile frequently, that can now help with profile completeness.
So whether you are searching for a new role or want to be found in LinkedIn search results for the expertise that you have developed your complete and up to date LinkedIn profile means that you will increase your online visibility.