LinkedIn insider shares 3 profile makeover tips

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Have you updated your LinkedIn presence recently? Are you using LinkedIn’s latest, greatest features to attract and engage more followers?

If not, you’re at a disadvantage. The No. 1 professional network recently hit 300 million users and continues to grow, making it harder for company and personal pages to stand out from the rest.

Here are three easy ways to give your profile an edge, courtesy of a key LinkedIn insider:

1. Upload a high-quality, professional headshot. Profiles with photos receive 14 times the views as others, and those with headshots enjoy even more engagement.

“We recommend a profile photo that features a close-up of a person’s face,” says Lana Khavinson, group product manager, trainer and brand evangelist at LinkedIn. She also recommends professional attire and a neutral background that doesn’t detract from the person’s face.

The following two LinkedIn employee accounts perfectly illustrate her point:

[RELATED: Register for our Oct. 15 webinar, “Mastering LinkedIn for Communicators: Insider Spills Secrets for Boosting Brands and Careers,” to take your LinkedIn results to the next level.]

2. Write your summary in first person. A profile summary is your first chance to connect with visitors before they scroll down. Make it engaging by using first person in your summary copy and by framing your experience as a passion.

Khavinson’s summary, for example, reads: “My passion is helping individuals & small businesses achieve their dreams.”

She recommends writing more than 40 words and adding keywords, but not buzzwords. “Think about what terms you want to be found for and include those, but only if they make sense in the context of what you are writing.”

Also, include your accomplishments and aspirations. “This should be the ‘story of you,’” says Khavinson. “Don’t make it a bulleted list of what you’ve done. This is your place to engage someone in conversation before you’ve said a word to them.”

She advises studying the summaries for San Francisco startup advisor Ken Shuman and LinkedIn marketing executive Shannon (Stubo) Brayton for more ideas about writing an engaging, personable summary.

3. Bring your accomplishments to life with rich media. Add videos, images, website links and Slideshares to your experience section.

“YouTube is the best bet in terms of adding video to your experience section,” Khavinson says. “Video should support the story you are telling and/or spotlight your accomplishments.”

Khavinson points again to Brayton’s profile: “She uses a lot of rich media, and it looks great.”

She also recommends LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s account as an example of successfully including Slideshares.

Adding Slideshares to your profile demonstrates expertise and boosts the visual appeal of your profile. Moreover, Slideshare’s audience of 70 million will help you reach more people.

Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Lana Khavinson, group product manager at LinkedIn , will share more viral marketing secrets in the Oct. 15 PR University webinar, Mastering LinkedIn for Communicators: Insider Spills Secrets for Boosting Brands and Careers.”

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