12 Tips to Spring Clean Your #Linkedin Profile

The goal: effective LinkedIn profiles stimulate the reader to contact you for business opportunities once he/she has a clear view of “why you do what you do.”

Author’s note: This Post is based on last year’s version, but updated to keep current. You should be doing that too!

Here are 12 tips to put more “spring” in your LinkedIn personal profile.

  1. Wait! Before you make any of my suggested changes, first uncheck the Activity Update box to keep your individual changes private. Now you don’t annoy all your connections with each and every amendment as you make them. Once your revised profile is complete, go back and check that Activity Update box, and then make an announcement to all your connections (much like unveiling your new website).
  2. Reassess your Photo and Headline–they follow you all over LinkedIn. Do you look the same as the old headshot? Does it make you look professional yet approachable? Does the Headline succinctly describe who you really are, not blandly list {your title} at {company name}? In today’s world, you only have the headshot and a mere 120-character headline to make an immediate electronic impression. Use SEO keywords in your Headline.
  3. Check that your contact details make it easy to get in touch with you, in all communication media. Be sure that all links to your Twitter, Google+, Facebook,, email, blog and website are working.
  4. Capture your own shortened LinkedIn URL. Show it on your website, resume, blog, email signature, slides, marketing materials, business cards, etc. to make you look more polished. Use it in these places so visitors to your profile can see the latest and greatest description of you and your work.
  5. Don’t refer to yourself anywhere in your entire profile as “{your first name}” or “he” or “she” or as “Mr./Ms. {your last name}” since it looks stuffy. Nor make it look like you copied and pasted your bio. Do you ever speak that way? Be approachable.
  6. Construct your Summary section as just that: a quickly digestible snapshot of you, expressed the way you speak. This is your short introductory elevator speech, spanning the reading time it takes to travel only a few floors on the elevator. Add pertinent short videos, podcasts, links, PDFs, or slide decks as additional material to reinforce what you said. Use SEO keywords here.
  7. Be sure your Experience section reflects the breadth of what you know and bring to the proverbial table. This section should complement the Summary section. Resist overusing acronyms or industry-specific jargon, so as not to alienate readers outside your field. Use “I” combined with power verbs (see to make an impact. Use SEO keywords here too.
  8. Recast your Skills with laser-focus: a skill called “analysis” is vague (is that psychoanalysis? financial analysis?) and nowhere as clear as “competitive retail market analysis.” Cull out endorsers who don’t directly know each skill directly, but somehow endorsed you for it anyhow. Think SEO here as well.
  9. Update the Publications, Organizations, Projects, Volunteer Experience, and Honors sections to be sure they convey your point of view, interests, roles, and other contributions. Show them in chron order, most recent first. Describe them in terms of how you are unique or how you helped others by using your skillset. Be sure to list any pro bono nonprofit expertise you could offer or board position you would fill, so a nonprofit can find you and tap into your expertise.
  10. Review all sections for errors in grammar, format, syntax, and (eek!) typos; a mistake is all they will notice to the exclusion of the rest of your profile and potentially dismiss you as careless.
  11. Retain only the trusted connections, meaningful recommendations, and knowledgeable skill endorsers who clearly reinforce your value proposition. Delete, disengage or hide any of these, as needed. In each of these sections, quality far outweighs quantity! It is a privilege to connect to you, recommend you or endorse you.
  12. Finally, keep updating and tweaking your profile as you morph, have new work to show, change jobs, shift focus, devise a new product/service, open a new business, etc. Your LinkedIn persona is organic only if you grow it; otherwise it is freeze-dried in history. If you work better with a recurring calendar reminder to prod you to review and update your profile, schedule that now.

In sum, refine the concepts you want to convey, show your value proposition, reinforced in each section, from top to bottom.

Sometimes spring cleaning involves minor remodeling, sometimes more severe structural renovation.

Be sure you always show your best credentials on LinkedIn, continually spruced up and polished!


Originally posted to LinkedIn by Marc Halpert

Marc W. Halpert (CLAS ’77) is a “multi-preneur,” having started 3 companies, all of which he continues to operate. His third company “Connect2Collaborate” spreads his LinkedIn and networking evangelism worldwide to train and coach others to better explain their brand and positioning on their LinkedIn profile pages.


Thoughts on “12 Tips to Spring Clean Your #Linkedin Profile

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