In an earlier post, I talked about the five basics for a solid LinkedIn profile. There are still other sections to which many LinkedIn users give little attention. By completing these sections, you increase the likelihood of your profile getting noticed.
The ability for anyone who knows you to write a recommendation is one of the best features of LinkedIn. The best ways to get a recommendation is to ask for one (they will need their own LinkedIn profile to link to yours), or even better, by writing a recommendation for someone else.
2. Skills and Endorsements
You are allowed to include up to 50 skills, for your connections to “endorse” you. Some social media experts question the value of Endorsements because it is easy for anyone click a link. However, LinkedIn is committed to Endorsements, and between two otherwise equally qualified profiles, the one with the more Endorsements will rank higher on a search, and is therefore more likely to be noticed.
3, 4. Honors and Awards and Organizations
Include your professional awards or recognition, and any professional organizations or associations you belong to.
On resumes, I typically recommend you do not include dates of your education. Include education dates on your professional profile, however, because it allows you to find and connect with classmates during and around your years in school. Certainly, include all degrees earned and any additional coursework that supports your professional goals.
6. Volunteer Experience & Causes
I am a huge advocate of volunteering. If your volunteer experience is relevant to your profession, then I suggest including it in the Experience section; you gained relevant skills. Otherwise, include volunteer experience here, to show that you are a well-rounded person.
The “Causes You Care About” and “Organizations You Support” sections have pre-filled pull-down menus. Completing these sections again show that you are well-rounded.
Social Media experts agree that you should include Interests, but they differ on how. Some say you should include your personal hobbies, as a way to showcase your personality and as a hook for potential connections (“You like long-distance running? So do I!”). Others suggest this is another area to include key words for your professional branding, to benefit search engine optimization. I choose to include my hobbies, though I do not have a strong opinion either way.
In a future post, I will give more suggestions about how to optimize your profile.
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.