Most of us have a LinkedIn account, but not all of us are using it to its full potential, maintains social media maven Stephanie Schwab, founder and CEO of social media and marketing agency Crackerjack Marketing and founder of Social Media School (socialmediaschoolny.com), both based in Yonkers. So, what should we do?
It’s imperative, says Schwab, “to make your profile as complete as possible,” including filling out your Headline, Summary, Skills & Expertise, and other oft-ignored sections, including a Twitter handle, if you have one. The goal is to have the kind of information people are looking for. “A lot of LinkedIn is about discovery, and you will be discovered only if you include the right keywords in your profile. Use all the fields. Write out acronyms, and don’t use too much jargon if it’s not what people will be searching for. Also, make sure your profile is widely visible. Under ‘Settings,‘ then ‘Profile‘ and ‘Edit your public profile,‘ select ‘Make my public profile visible to everyone.’”
Also: “Your Headline is the most important one hundred twenty characters in your entire LinkedIn profile,” Schwab claims. “This is your professional identity and should not be your title—it should be your aspiration.” In the Summary section, she recommends that you “display your personality as well as include lots of great keywords. Write this in first person, and make sure the spelling and grammar are impeccable. Three to four short paragraphs is great.”
Also, when editing, turn off the mode that allows others to see your updates in the Settings menu. “That way, everyone won’t get bombarded every time you change a comma. Then turn it back on when you’re making one final change so people can see you’ve made an update.” And, use the Settings menu again (‘Profile,’ ‘Edit your public profile,’ ‘Customize your public profile URL’) to set up a customized LinkedIn URL that you can use in letters, resumés, emails, etc.