Believe it or not, LinkedIn is quickly approaching its 20th birthday. With over 800 million users spread across 200+ countries, the platform has cemented itself among the top social media apps on the market. Despite the overwhelming popularity, the platform that so many business professionals know and love is chock-full of underutilized tools that can help you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd.
In most cases, these golden nuggets are hiding in plain sight and with just a few clicks you can dramatically increase the power of your profile. Better yet, the tips outlined below cost you nothing, aside from a few minutes of your time.
I know what you are thinking, “Mark, we all know that LinkedIn headlines can be customized.” It’s true that headlines have become a more popular customizable piece on a user's profile, but when was the last time you updated yours?
Most people only update theirs when they change jobs, and even then it is more often than not out-of-the-box [Title @ _____ Company]. And while there is technically nothing wrong with this approach, your headline offers so much more than just your title.
For job seekers using LinkedIn to hunt for their next role, it can be a resume snapshot. Those 120 characters are frequently one of the first things that recruiters look at on your profile. For that reason alone, help yourself by standing out.
If you have ever been asked to describe yourself, you know that condensing your glorious self into such a small space isn’t exactly easy, but here are some quick tips:
I must admit that I am lucky enough to have a fairly common name, but that hasn’t stopped people from calling me Boudain, Baldwin, Boddwen, and more. Although it doesn’t really bother me that people might occasionally butcher my name, I know that for some it is a daily occurrence that gets old pretty quickly.
To curb the innocent slaughter of names, LinkedIn created a pronunciation tool that allows you to record up to 10 seconds of audio and attach it directly to your profile.
One of the reasons that this is frequently overlooked is because the ability to record your name is only available through LinkedIn’s mobile application. Once the recording is set up, you have the option to make it available to anyone on the platform or to just your 1st level connections.
LinkedIn and SEO might not seem like an iconic pair, but the platform can help with your online searchability in more ways than one. Updating your profile’s URL is one of the most commonly overlooked SEO tools that is offered. Instead of a randomly assigned alphanumeric sequence, you can change the URL to basically anything that is available for no additional cost.
One particularly powerful aspect of this small customization is for sales reps. Being able to tie their name to the company that they work for can help increase traffic and point prospects in the right direction. Anytime I work with a new client this is one of the first adjustments that I suggest, as it can easily be implemented across the entire team.
To edit your personal profile’s URL, simply click on your profile picture on the top toolbar. From there look at the top right corner and you will find the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ button. As the new page opens, once again look in the top right corner to find the field to change your profile URL.
When was the last time that someone sent you an InMail message? While it might not be an everyday occurrence, I would be willing to bet that it was only text and not recorded audio. Voice notes are hands down the most overlooked tools within the LinkedIn platform, and this is partially due to the fact that they are only available from the mobile app.
Personally, I use voice notes for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I find it an exceptionally useful sales tool. Anytime that I can record a message to a prospect, I make a point to do so. It adds a touch of humanity and shows that you were willing to spend time to deliver something other than a canned sales message.
When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, the more customization that you can do the better. Think of it as your very own digital space that offers a chance to highlight what makes you unique and special. Don’t be afraid to mix it up occasionally and experiment with different tools within the platform and app. The pieces outlined above are a great starting point, but they are far from the only tools that can help you increase your social media presence and get the most out of LinkedIn.
Want to connect? Here’s Joy’s LinkedIn profile.
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