You’ve done it again, haven’t you?
You logged on to LinkedIn this morning with all the best intentions in the world ready to turbocharge your profile, clean up the clutter, and create an attractive online presence that really speaks volumes about your professional life.
Yet within moments of entering your password, you were drawn in by all that fresh, new content on your feed. You clicked on a single article and before you know it -boom- there you are, down the proverbial rabbit hole with practically all that time you were going to devote to your profile having gone by quicker than you can say "Ooh! New notifications!"
If only there was some simple way you could breathe a new lease of life into your Linkedin profile in the few minutes you have left before you get back to work.
Here's the thing:
Below, I'll share with you six quick and easy tips to boost your Linkedin profile, all of which you can carry out in no more than ten minutes.
1: Wave Your Banner
OK, you don't necessarily have to wave it, but at least have one.
Since 2016, all LinkedIn profiles have included space for a banner. You know, the big graphic at the top of your profile, similar to the one you probably already have on your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
If you haven't yet uploaded a banner of your own, LinkedIn will fill the space with its own generic, a bit like this:
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but this one only says "couldn't be bothered to update their profile."
I know, harsh, right?
The good news, is that it's quickly solved.
If you're feeling particularly creative, you can use an online service like Canva to create an attractive, custom banner that really makes your profile stand out from the crowd.
Prefer to keep things simple? Stick to a basic image instead.
Remember though, that unlike Facebook, this is about you as a professional, so this isn't the place for those hilarious group-selfies from your last big night on the town or pictures of your adorable young ones.
Instead, think of something that really reflects you and the work that you do.
Do you have a particularly outstanding shot of you being awesome at your job?
A stunning picture of your work premises or that product that everybody knows you for?
Any time you can demonstrate that you're proud of the company you work for and the job, take it. Trust me, that pride is going to look pretty good on you, not only to your current employers, but potential new ones somewhere down the line.
Whether you go for a simple image, or a neat, stylish, well-designed graphic, keep in mind Linkedin recommends a size of 1,584 x 396px for a banner to ensure that it looks good on your profile.
2: Review Your Headline
I'm not saying your job title doesn't have its uses but, let's be honest, simply slapping it at the top of your profile or -worse yet- letting LinkedIn auto-fill your headline based on your current role doesn't exactly say much about your passion and personality.
Your profile headline gives you 120 characters to truly express yourself and let the world know what really drives you, so the next time you have a spare ten minutes, get creative with it.
If your current headline merely says that you're a senior copywriter, for example, wouldn't it be far more exciting to say you're passionate about telling captivating stories that engage and inspire audiences?
Forget being a data analyst, you're the driving force that empowers brands to build better relationships with their customers and facilitates growth.
How can you use your 120 characters to showcase what truly motivates you?
3: Get the Right Industry
Remember when you first created your LinkedIn profile? You were working as a manager in retail banking then, weren't you?
Yet that was a long time ago, and since then your career has taken you on a weird and wonderful journey that eventually led you to a brand new life in a completely different industry.
Have you updated your LinkedIn profile to reflect this?
But don't worry, you're not alone.
Updating industry settings is often overlooked by scores of users, but this one little task can go a long way in helping you make the most out of LinkedIn.
With a whole wealth of niche industries to select, choosing an industry that best reflects what you currently do not only helps recruiters, clients, and potential partners seek you out for new opportunities, but also helps LinkedIn itself to provide you with the most relevant content in your feed.
4: Make Sure You're Working For the Right Company
We're talking in a literal, rather than a philosophical sense here.
Sure, taking the time to reflect on whether your current organisation is the best fit for you can be important but, let's face it, that normally takes more than ten minutes.
No, what I'm talking about here is not only ensuring that you've updated your profile after taking that new role, but that you haven't accidentally linked your current role to the wrong employer!
After all, it only takes a brief moment of not paying attention to go from working for the prestigious McDonald’s Financial Services Lawyers to working for McDonald’s: The One With The Clown and the Hamburgers.
Where possible, be sure to link your roles to employers' own LinkedIn company pages.
This offers more benefits than just the nice, professional finish of having employers' logos presented next to your career history rather than that ugly, grey box that currently shows up. It also helps potential connections to find you and presents an accurate, comprehensive picture of your history that is likely to serve you well when it comes time to find new opportunities.
5: Turn Down the Noise
With new instant messages, colleagues work anniversaries, potential new contacts and all manner of updates in between, the stream of new Linkedin updates flooding your inbox can be relentless, creating an endless barrage of 'noise' that can easily put you off opening your email at all.
Avoid it altogether, however, and that could mean missing out on something that's actually important.
The good news, is that it's simple to turn down the noise created by endless notifications.
From your LinkedIn homepage, click the 'Me' icon on the right hand of your screen (between Notifications' and 'Work'), choose 'Settings and Privacy' from the drop-down menu, then 'Communications' and, finally, 'Email Frequency.'
From there, you can either turn off email notifications altogether, choose to receive only certain types of emails, and even choose to how often you receive any emails you still want to keep.
6. Customize Your LinkedIn URL
Last but by no means least, here's one quick task you can carry out in your next coffee break that will make a massive difference to your online presence.
After you first sign up to LinkedIn, your profile is accessed via a long and impersonal URL, usually a bunch of randomly-generated numbers that are impossible to remember in the right order.
Whilst this isn't exactly the crime of the century, it doesn't exactly help your professional brand.
Think about it...
What looks better?
www.linkedin.com/bruceboringwayne4378a2 or www.linkedin.com/batman?
It's the latter, isn't it?
Thankfully, customising your Linkedin profile is as easy as 1,2,3.
1: View your profile
2: Click Edit Public Profile & URL in the right-hand corner (next to your shiny new banner image)
3: Click Edit URL (again in the top right-hand corner).
The best personal URL is simply your first and last name, but if that's not available, try adding in your middle initial or your profession, such as SeanMcMahonAccountant.
To create a consistent, professional brand, it then helps to visit all of your social media platforms and change your URLS to the same thing.
Sonja Firth loves working with executives and key business leaders, supporting them across the complex and ever-evolving digital landscape. Using social media and online content to market brands, individuals and ideas globally. As a LinkedIn specialist, she’s used LinkedIn in her own businesses for over 5 years and as a consultant using LinkedIn for clients from a wide range of industries. Sharing her LinkedIn knowledge through in-house and public workshops and soon to be available online short courses.