Too often, as I am browsing through LinkedIn to find new connections, I see people I know but I hesitate when it comes to adding them as contacts. Why? Because their LinkedIn profile is so lacking that I feel like adding them would be a waste of time.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, you should at least complete the following info:
- A profile picture. I mean, does this picture actually make you want to connect with someone?
- Your full first and last name. I understand the desire for privacy but chances are there is already lots of information about you out there on the internet (related: have you done a Google search of your full name lately?). LinkedIn is a professional social media site, and if you are going to be on it, you should use your full name so that people know who they are connecting with.
- A list of your work experience. Seeing a profile that just lists one current occupation looks empty and incomplete. Take some time to list other positions you have held over the years.
- Check in occasionally to accept invitations to connect, and to browse and add other people who you may know. If you only have 10 connections, it doesn’t look like you’ve made much of an effort.
For bonus points, consider adding these extras to your LinkedIn profile:
- Your city and province / state. There are some instances where you may want your profile to say only the province or state (such as a real estate agent who wants to serve a broad area) but the majority of the time, it will help you connect with others if you are specific with your geographic area.
- Descriptions of past jobs. Add some information about positions you’ve held and, if applicable, add a link to the companies’ LinkedIn profiles.
- A summary. This section is the first major portion of your LinkedIn profile that people see, and it gives you a chance to express yourself however you like. You can talk about your accomplishments, skills, clarify your business offerings – it’s up to you. And if you’re stuck, look up other people’s profiles on LinkedIn for some inspiration.
Are you on LinkedIn? I invite you to connect with me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenhames