Your LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Checklist

It’s highly likely you’ve got a LinkedIn profile already – but are you using the network to its potential and is your profile as optimised as it can be.

Let’s take a quick look at 7 profile optimisation tips which are often missed:

1)    Think personal website and not CV

Given its heritage many approach LinkedIn with a CV mindset. I want you to break this and instead think of your LinkedIn profile as the opportunity to create a well-optimised professional online website. First, do some research, look at the profiles of those that inspire you, your peers, your competitors. Review with a magpie eye, collecting aspects that resonate with you. Then map out the content you want to share via your profile. Get clear on the picture you are building – before you take to the platform and start typing. Just as if you are building a brand site – think about your killer headline, your positioning, what you want to be known for. Remember: Only the first two lines of your profile now show in searches, so it is wise to keep your most impactful message, clear and up front and centre. Mine reads: Michelle Carvill – Digital Educator, Social Pro, Author. Educating leaders and game changers how to #GetSocial.

2)    Get to All Star

Whilst you can complete the detail of what’s required to go onto your LinkedIn Profile in the way you want to portray it, the profile does have a number of options that it wants you to complete. This helps LinkedIn’s search algorithms to find the right people. LinkedIn has 5 profile strengths – from Beginner to All Star. Aim for All Star as not only does it improve your chances of being found, as LinkedIn’s algorithms favour All Star profiles over others, but importantly, it looks more professional too. If you think you’ve done all you can to complete the profile to All Star spec but you’re still only on Expert – the one area to check is the description against Job Titles. So that’s one to check!

3)    Format it your way

Whilst LinkedIn enables you to enrich your profile by adding visual media – videos, presentations, images and graphics to each section, there isn’t as yet a basic text formatting system.  If you want to add bullet points or embolden things to make reading your profile online more digestible and easier on the eye than lots of large blocks of bulky text, then I suggest that you create your text content in word, or another system, and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn.  Due to formatting limitations, not all formatting will be retained, but if you have been wondering how some people are able to edit their profile in a more reader-friendly way, well, know you know.

4)    Turn off updates when editing

If you are doing some general housekeeping of your profile to update or optimise it, then it’s wise to turn off the ‘share profile edits’ feature which lives in the privacy setting section. It’s worth checking out the features in this section as there is lots of granular functionality to assist you with managing your profile. (Such as being anonymous when looking at other profiles and setting email and alert frequency etc – so be sure to check out the settings).

5)    Personalise your public profile and URL

When you create a LinkedIn Profile for those you’re connected with to see and interact with when they’re in the platform, at the same time, you automatically create a ‘public profile’.  The public profile is visible to people when they are outside the LinkedIn platform. It’s the profile that appears in google searches. You can edit your public profile, and determine which elements people see about you publically. You also have the opportunity to personalise the URL to your public profile. When in edit mode in your profile, you’ll see your public profile and your URL, if it’s a long string of characters, rather than say, your name, then you can amend it, giving you a cleaner personal LinkedIn URL. Some people have the personal profile switch off – which means you won’t be found in Google search. And given how optimised the LinkedIn platform is, it’s a great way for people to find out more about you. So be sure to switch it ‘on’.

6)    Check out your SSI – Social Sales Index

Going back to point 1 and mapping out what you want on your profile and learning from others, it’s worth checking out your Social Sales Index (SSI). Aligned with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator resource for sales professionals, it’s quite a useful resource for benchmarking your personal brand and relationship activity. Visit to view your dashboard and see how you compare with others in your industry and network. Plus if you click on each of the labels it measures: Professional Brand, Finding the right People, Engage with Insights, Build Relationships – it links to useful and quick to follow slides which provide you with even more tips to optimising your profile effectively.

7)    Connect with context via the desktop

If you want to make a connection, then best to do it via your desktop rather than via your phone. Why? Whilst the majority of us (88%), use Social Media tools via our mobile phones, the challenge with the LinkedIn App is that it doesn’t give you the option to personalise a message to the person you want to connect with. Instead, it sends the standard robotic… ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network’ message. If you’re in a networking situation and you’re talking to someone and saying, let’s connect right now – then this works just fine. But if you’re trying to connect with someone who is potentially important, useful or influential for you, and they don’t know who you are, then you really should send a message that gives you the best chance of landing the connection.  So, take to your desktop and add some context and reasoning behind the request.

View the PDF version of this checklist here.

Michelle Carvill