The features on professional networking site LinkedIn change frequently, so it is worth spending some time periodically to update your profile.
Earlier this month I attended the AIIP (Association of Independent Information Professionals) annual conference. I took a bit of extra time to attend one of the pre-conference workshops put on by Scott Brown, owner of Social Information Group, on using LinkedIn. It was good to have a current, detailed look at the network and its current features.
Allow me to share a few things I learned:
- some of the formatting options are hidden under unrelated sections in the Edit Profile view.
- add additional keywords under "Interests" that you believe people looking for you will be likely to search for. You can edit Interests by clicking "edit" for your websites list.
- add descriptions to your current and past positions. You can especially add wording (key words) that might be searched by others when they are looking for people. If you write proposals or resumes, you may already have some of this wording on hand.
- include your volunteer positions, such as committee work, in your profile since these demonstrate experience and skills attained in addition to your day job.
- to format the text in your profile summary as you might have seen others do: while formatting features such as bullets are not available inside the LinkedIn system, you can copy and paste from elsewhere for a better look.
- you can add a Publications section to your profile, to which you can add any books you may have written, articles, and blog posts. You need to add these in the order you would like to see them as you will not be able to rearrange them later.
- if you are organizing an event, it is a good idea to add it to LinkedIn so that others can indicate they are attending.
- use the status message to link to items that might be of interest to your followers.
- a third party tool such as TweetDeck or HootSuite allows you to post status messages to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other sites, giving you control of where you send any particular message.
- including a professional profile photo is a good idea. Without it, your name in listings looks incomplete. Also it gives others a visual reminder of who you are when they view your profile, for example someone who you met only once at a meeting or conference.
An additional tip I picked up during the conference:
- to see information on who has viewed your page, you need to allow permission to view yours; you will want to change this setting back to show less about yourself.