My LinkedIn Tips
Useful stuff they don’t always tell you.
Look, this is your professional profile. Your storefront. Your face to
That means you can do it any way you want to.
But some ways work better than others. Some ways trigger the
power of the system and get it to work for you (and for your
Others, well they thwart the power of the system.
So here is what I recommend…
List all of your
This is your professional profile,
not an employment application.
So it should reflect the whole
professional you – not just your
Military service, volunteer work,
coaching, advocacy – these may
be where your most valuable
skills came from.
And listing this stuff lets your
colleagues who shared those
experiences find you.
Give it some life
What in your work was cool,
important, worth doing? Don’t
just put your job title.
The title should be what your job
or function actually was, not
some cryptic payroll code. In
your description, use the terms
and phrases that are meaningful
in that field.
Imagine this is your “elevator
speech” about why your work
was valuable and interesting –
because that’s what it is.
Spell out your
Start typing the full name, and
grab it from the dropdown. In
LinkedIn’s database, this is what
makes the link.
Otherwise it’s just a bunch of
words in a box. Abbreviations –
or explanations, like “a project of
XYZ Corp.” – will not match
anything, so there will be no link,
and you will end up with no
colleagues or classmates. Sad
Include dates for
jobs and schools
At least list the years. Without
dates, LinkedIn can't identify
anyone as being your colleague
Select the “industry” that
matches your own profession,
not your employer’s business.
If you are an accountant at an
airline, pick Accounting, not
Aviation. Remember, this is
Point at your thumbnail (top
Right), select Privacy, Turn
on/off your activity broadcasts,
and uncheck the box.
Do this when you’re fussing with
your profile. Otherwise people
will be congratulating on your
“new job” when you only got rid
of a typo.
Your profile has a "Headline" that
you write, and an "Industry" that
you select. (They’re in the Edit
link by your photo when you edit
That and location is all that
people see in a list or a search
result. So make sure that it
doesn’t say you’re a blank.
Include a profile
picture. Do it.
A professional head shot may be
better than a selfie. But not
always. And a nice selfie (or
even a logo) beats a blank.
An untraditional pic can even be
more effective than a studio
shot, if it’s pertinent. Let’s say
you’re a biking advocate, a
photographer or a cartoonist...
Look, I think these profile pics of
my friends are awesome. Heck,
just having them associated with
my profile makes me look good.
And that’s the thing: You being on
LinkedIn helps all your
connections. Passively. In your
sleep. But much more so if you
Because by your profile looking
good, sounding interesting and
listing cool projects – you make
them look better too. “We are
known by the company we keep.”
Truer now than ever.
So do it for your
Go ahead, be cool. Do it for your
friends. And for you.