What are all of the “little” things that a company needs to do to make sure their page is “perfectly branded” on LinkedIn?
Having done several dozen LinkedIn branding jobs for clients, my agency came up with a checklist we use for each project.
This checklist will help your personal brand be effective and stand out in the right way on LinkedIn. Your goal should be to build your LinkedIn profile in a way that ultimately endorses your personal branding.
Personal Profile Checklist
Headline - Your profile headline is the first thing someone sees after your name. Make it memorable. It should help someone understand the role you want to do next and/or contain keywords important to your profession. You have 120 characters
Photo & Background Image - Choose a professional, high quality headshot for your photograph. Also use the blue space at the top of your profile to further brand yourself by inserting an image.
Email - List all your active email addresses so they are associated with your LinkedIn profile. You can set the default email which will be viewable by your connections and the account that receives InMail and updates from LinkedIn.
Vanity URL - Your LinkedIn profile has a URL (an Internet address). You can and should edit this by adding your name (www.linkedin.com/in/yourname). This also looks more professional when you include it on your resume, business card, or email signature.
Other Web References - If you have a personal website, professional Twitter account, or links elsewhere on the web, you can add them to your profile within the “contact info” section at the top. You should change the label from “other” to a short, descriptive title.
Personal Details - Your birth date and marital status are the least important details. You may choose not to include this information on your profile.
Summary - Consider this section as the answer to “tell me about yourself.” Highlight the best of your background, experience and skills. You could also provide insight into your leadership style, personality, values, longer term goals, or outside interests. Keep the reader’s attention by using short paragraphs. And make it more personal by writing in the first person by using “I”, “Me” or “My”. Add a specialties section within your summary to list important hard and technical skills. Consider including your email address to make it easy for people who are not connected to contact you. Make the most of the 2,000 characters available.
Work Experience - Include all the significant work history and include strong, keyword rich descriptions and accomplishments under each position. Your work experience should be the same as listed on your resume. You may choose to include more or less detail for each job.
Embed Media - Add media (documents, video, images, audio) to your profile to make it an online portfolio. You can embed these links in your summary, work experience and education sections.
Skills and Expertise - List all the skills and areas of expertise which are most important to your profession and you want to highlight.
Education - Include all the institutions you’ve attended. List your concentration, major, and/or minor. If you are a recent graduate, include clubs committees and groups you were active in.
Certifications, Test Scores, Courses - These sections are particularly helpful for new graduates. List the most relevant and important information.
Projects - You can reference class projects, special work assignments and side gigs as a project. This is another way to showcase skills and experience.
Recommendations - Ask for recommendations from colleagues, managers or even clients who know your work.
Honors & Awards, Publications, Patents - Complete these sections with as much detail as necessary to highlight why it is important
Organizations, Volunteering & Causes - Provide details about your involvement in professional associations and the organizations you belong to or committees you serve on. You may also choose to list the volunteer work you do and causes you support. Use discretion when choosing to include any religious or political affiliations.
Status Update - Regularly update your status so your network can see what you are up to. A status update could include a link to an article, information about a presentation you are attending, or it might be a question you would like feedback from your contacts.
Groups - Join college alumni groups, professional associations, and any industry related groups. Participate by answering questions, sharing links to interesting articles and engaging in conversation with other like-minded professionals.
Make it An All-Star Profile - Don’t leave information blank or overlook the criteria LinkedIn uses to boost your profile to all-star. Your industry and location, an up-to-date current position (with description), two past positions, education, a minimum of 3 skills, profile photo and at least 50 connections.
Make It Public - By default, LinkedIn sets your profile to be viewable to the public. For active job seekers this is the best option.