What Should Your LinkedIn Profile include?

It’s time to look at exactly what to enter in your LinkedIn profile.  See the illustration at the bottom for additional details.

Name – LinkedIn wants you to only put your first and last name, with the exception of a title (Dr., Pastor, etc.), and any certifications that are important to your target audience (who you want to notice you).  Do not include your e-mail address or any other information, LinkedIn has actually suspended some listings that severely violated this.

Photo – Be sure to include a picture, it helps others relate to you, and makes your profile warmer.  Having a photo clarifies who you are and says you are a real person.  That’s important in today’s internet environment.  Use a professional looking picture that portrays you well for your occupation, and the way you want to be seen, i.e. don’t include friends or other items like animals or cars unless you’re a Vet or a Car Salesman.  If your age might be a disadvantage, select a photograph wouldn’t disqualify you prematurely.

Headline – The phrases that appear just below your name are more than just your title, it’s your Headline.  It’s the difference between telling people who you are, and what you can do for them.  Use an attention-getting and easily understandable key phrase that will highlight who you are, including your areas of expertise.  Use common or generic job titles and key words that describe you and your expertise so search engines will easily find you.  Use only abbreviations that are commonly understood by everyone.  Abbreviations specific to those in your specific field will limit who will understand what you have listed.  The number of words is limited, so leave out words like “qualified”.  If you are qualified, your profile will show it.

Keep in mind that your Headline is what others will see first on your profile.  They see it when they accept your invitation, they read your discussions and responses, answer your questions and polls, and read your answers to their questions.  Make it so compelling that people will want to read your entire profile.  Give your Headline your full attention, until it does everything you want it to.

Status (what you’re working on) – LinkedIn allows you to include a short status of what you are currently working on.  Use this to keep your network connected to you, and show new events and projects you are involved in.  This statement shows on your profile.  When you update it, it is listed on your 1st level connections homepage.  Updating this at least once a week keeps your network interested in you, and up to date with what you are involved in.  If you have a Twitter account, you can tie the two together.

Current Experience – This section lists your current employment (and volunteer positions), based on the dates of employment.  i.e. an end date of “to present” will be included in current positions.  The most recent three positions show, clicking on “see all” allows all current positions to be displayed.  When you enter the employer, if one is pre-listed use it so you will show up in searches, otherwise you may type in your company/church/ministry name.

Past Experience – This sections lists your past employment (and volunteer positions), based on the dates of employment.  i.e. positions with an “end date” will be included in past positions.  The most recent three positions show, clicking on “see all” allows all past positions to be displayed.  When you enter the employer, if one is pre-listed use it so you will show up in searches, otherwise you may type in your company/church/ministry name.

Education – this section lists your education.  When you enter a state, some schools will appear.  Use the listed schools first so you will show up in a search for those schools, if your school is not listed, you can type in whatever you desire.  Be sure to list all training and certifications if they are important to your target contacts or your ministry.

Recommendations – This item lists the number of Recommendations you received, and have chosen to display on your profile.  More about Recommendations in a future blog.

Connections – This item lists the number of Connections you have in your direct, or 1st level network.  We’ll discuss how to invite additional contacts in a future blog, but be sure to customize any invitations and let your contacts know how they will know you.

Websites – LinkedIn allows you to include 3 websites.  Include all three websites if possible.  Begin with Your Primary Website and include a description that tells users where they will be directed (the website name, etc.).  Personalize the names of the other two websites with descriptive names so searchers will know what they will see, i.e. “my blog”, or even better specifically “my healing blog”, etc.  Click on [Edit] to modify your Websites.

LinkedIn URL / Public Profile – This is your LinkedIn Address (also called URL or WEB Address).  You should begin by personalizing your public profile name instead of using the default URL.  The default is impersonal, looks odd, and is too hard to remember.  Try to use your Name as it appears on your profile, i.e. my profile name is Bill Bender, so I used “www.linkedin.com/in/billbender”.  This is not only easier to remember, it appears more professional, and tells others you know your way around LinkedIn.  Your LinkedIn address should be used on your business/ministry cards, your profiles, and your correspondence, so anyone that receives your card, etc., will have quick access to your profile, including recommendations, groups, etc.  You should always include your LinkedIn public profile name in your Email signatures and other correspondence, and wherever you want people to know more about you.  Click on [Edit} to modify your Public Profile address.

Summary – LinkedIn gives you 2000 characters.  Make the first two paragraphs attention-getting, concise, and compelling.  Include how you can help others, and how others can help you (keep that updated).  Include exactly what kind of ministry you are in, what you will do for others, and why they should contact you.  Include key words you want searches to find you with, i.e. I use LinkedIn, deliverance, inner healing, etc.  You should use as many of the 2000 characters as possible.  Tell a story about yourself that describes your abilities, strengths, and results you’ve reached on various projects.  Just like a resume, descriptive results are more powerful.  Click on [Edit] to enter or modify your Summary.

Your “Specialties” are included under your Summary.  Include key words that you want others to see.  Click on [Edit] Summary to edit or modify your Specialties.

Lead with what you do most frequently and the ministry you are involved in.  Include why others might want to contact you, or why prospects would want to do business with you.

Your Summary should include what your target audience is looking for, so that when they read it, they are left with the feeling that “I need to contact this person”.

That’s enough for now.

As always, I sincerely appreciate you’re following my blog, and hope it is helping you become more familiar with LinkedIn and social media.  If you know others that this would help, please consider sharing it with them.


LinkedIn Profile Components


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