Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are you 100% Complete? Linkedin #IN Changed Profile Completeness

LinkedIn (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)
Many users are aware that LinkedIn frequently makes changes to features and capabilities without great fanfare.  LinkedIn made changes to their Profile Completeness score that also impacts your Linkedin search rankings on February 14, 2012.  Profile Completeness makes your personal brand stand out.

  • The Profile Score will put more emphasis on your skills and expertise sections. This means you can showcase your areas of expertise to connect with people that have similar skills or with companies or organizations looking for subject matter experts.

  • LinkedIn is also changing how they calculate profile completeness itself. The new calculation gives you more control over the score by emphasizing things you have more direct control over, like Skills, and putting less weight on areas you may have less control over, like Recommendations.

  • The score also takes profile freshness into consideration, so frequent profile updates can help with profile completeness.

In working with clients profiles, I have noticed the Key Word Search rankings have also changed for some users.  I attribute this to the new profile completeness score factoring into overall search rankings. 

Stand out from the crowd!
According to LinkedIn, adding a profile photo makes your profile 7x more likely to be found in searches. And that having your 2 most recent positions listed, makes your profile 12x more likely to be found.  Simple updates like these make a difference in search and whether we are looking for a job or marketing our business.  So it is important to list more than your current job.

Here are quick steps to create a complete profile and ensure you’re putting your best foot forward:
  1. Add a profile photo.  Make sure it is a picture of you in an appropriate pose.  Do not use a logo as this violates LinkedIn's Term of Service.
  2.  List all the jobs or positions you have held, along with descriptions of your roles.  Factor in your key words in these job position titles versus the official HR title.
  3. Have 5 or more skills on your profile.  Five is the minimum for profile completeness.
  4. Write a summary about yourself and complete the expertise section of the summary.  This is another area where your key words should be included in a "readable" format.
  5. Fill out your industry and postal code.  If you  are willing to work or relocate to major cities, list those in your summary.
  6. Add where you went to schoolThis also helps to be found by your classmates.  Your profile completeness tool will also ask you to list classes.  While not part of the profile completeness scores, LinkedIn now allows you to add grades to your profile.
  7. Have 50 or more connections for 100% completeness score, but you need more connections to increase your odds of being found with LinkedIn’s three degrees search.
That is all you need to do for 100% profile completeness.  Whether it’s connecting with people you may know, helping companies find experts like you, or even opening up new business opportunities, a complete profile helps you stay connected and competitive.  And don’t forget, freshness matters.  So be sure to update your profile frequently if you want to keep your score up.

Linkedin has also rolled out a new ‘Improve your Profile’ tool and it will take you through areas to improve your profile completeness.  Now that your profile is complete; engage in Groups, participate in Answers, and let your network know what you are up to through Status Updates.

What do you think about these profile changes?

You can follow my Pinterest Board which highlights many Linkedin Tips found on the web.

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