How to Improve Your Linked ROI By Tweaking Your Profile

Filed in LinkedIn 61 comments

How do I love LinkedIn?

Let me count the ways — and share them — so everyone can improve their Return on Time Investment.

This week I’m conducting workshops entitled:

“I’m on LinkedIn . . . Now WHAT?”

Below is a list of what we discussed until time ran out. So this article is two-fold:

1) For those who may be missing some key tips and features for maximizing their LinkedIn profiles


2) For those who already know how robust this platform is — and can add more  suggestions.

8 Ways Updating a LinkedIn Profile Will Increase Find-ability

1. PROFILE HEADLINE: Too many people, myself included, initially neglect to maximize the power of the Title or Headline. That is the 120-character message to the left of your photo icon. When you post on group discussions and Q&A, your photo AND that title will “brand” you.

At first, I simply wrote “Community Manager at Performance Social Media” because I was proud of that label. But what did the “label” do for my readers, i.e., anyone who viewed my profile?

Nada, really. Most people don’t even know what a community manager is.

And, then, there are my friends who are proud to tell people they are the CEO of this or that consulting agency.

Daah? What does that do for me? How can they help me?

The key here is to use those 120 characters to broadcast exactly how you personally [because it is all about people helping people] can help me, i.e., give me a reason to want to find out more about you.

So what should you do?

One recommended format is to aim for two “problem solutions” and one “descriptive title.” Here’s how I changed mine:

Social Media Strategist: training&blogs I PR2.0 writer/editor | Chief Blogger: SHARISAX IS OUT THERE I

Here is how my friend Kay Karchevski, the H2o Water Lady updated hers:

Source for purified water | sustainable&healthy | Independent Distributor of Multi-Pure water filters

Another friend Diane Castro, senior living consultant, changed hers from “Founder of SOS4Seniors” to this:

Senior Living Consultant | Finding the Right Fit For a Vibrant Healthy Life

Don’t tackle this “simple” fix alone. Ask a friend or two. You’ll be amazed how their suggestions can help you frame just what it is you do.

2. YOUR UPDATES: Remember that your updates, i.e., the messages that you write on your LinkedIn Home Page appear beneath your name, photo, and headline.

So, post accordingly.

Some people love automated tools to post the same messages on every social media site they belong to.

Not a good idea, especially for your LinkedIn connections.

I love the analogy I’ve heard that MySpace is like meeting your friends at a bar; Facebook is meeting them at your backyard BBQ; and LinkedIn is meeting them at the office.

Post accordingly.

Twitter does allow you to add the hashtag #in to the end of your Tweets and they will automatically post on LinkedIn, but be deliberate how you use this.

While you may post many times a day on Facebook and Twitter, Common Wisdom & “Business Etiquette” would suggest that you not post more than once or twice a day. That being said, DO POST. Let your connections know that you are engaging in valuable activities that will support your value in their minds.

3. POSITIONS & EDUCATION: Let your resume help here . . .  AND in achieving the sought-after 100% completeness.

Fifteen percent of the total is devoted to whether or not you have imported your resume.

LinkedIn helps you upload the information on the right sidebar under “Edit my Profile”:  you will see a link to click on with instructions.

But don’t stop there — like I did.

“After the fact” i.e. a few months after my profile was 100% complete, I learned that several of the “past” positions had errors — either repetitions or the incorrect company name. SO BE CERTAIN to go back and check those entries.

How do you do that?

You are in Edit Profile and you CLICK on the word Past [see below]:

Carefully read through each entry and click the “edit” link where a change needs to be made.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS: This topic probably needs an article article on its own, but your profile must have recommendations — to achieve the 100% completion, but, more importantly, to show that people do value your expertise.

How to get those recommendations? Do good work, of course.

In the beginning, however, you may have to simply ask customers, clients, and friends who know your accomplishments. Many times if you offer an unsolicited recommendation to someone else, they may reciprocate.

5. CONNECTIONS: The magic number is 500. Once you surpass that number, your total will remain 500+, whether you have 501 or 5,001.

Whom should you connect to?

Some people choose to keep their LinkedIn community close, i.e., only folks they know personally and would be happy to recommend.

On the other side of the LinkedIn world, you will see “LIONS” — LinkedIn Open Networkers, who accept every LinkedIn invitation and display their email addresses.

I, myself, fall in the middle. In addition to people I know in person, I like to “meet” people in Group Discussions and through Q&A, check out their profiles, and send invitations if I think we can support one another in some way.

If you, personally, are FOR or AGAINST being a Lion, please add your opinion in the comment section below.

6. WEBSITES: Here’s a big opportunity that many people miss when they opt for the default titles “My blog” or “My company” or “My website.”

Edit this section, and in the drop down box, click on OTHER. Then you have the chance to write the actual NAME of your blog, company, and website — another opportunity for key words on your profile AND increased “Find-Ability.”

7. PUBLIC PROFILE: Another simple “fix”: Edit the default URL from a long unwieldy string of numbers and letters after your name to just your name. Of course, like me, someone with your exact name and spelling of the name has probably already secured that URL, so add something like your city.

Here’s mine: — I merely added “sf” for San Francisco after my name.

And Here’s the Biggest Opportunity – Fine-tuning your Summary

8. YOUR SUMMARY: Last October I wrote an article titled “The Magic of LinkedIn: Making your Profile work for you,” based on a presentation I’d attended.

But, like most of you, I’m learning a ton of new things every week, and so I’m going to “sum up” the meat-y part of that article and add a bit more.

A) Here is the 3-paragraph format I believe is effective for most of us:

  • FIRST PARAGRAPH: Communicate quickly and clearly the type of opportunities you are seeking.
  • SECOND PARAGRAPH: Highlight 3 or 4 key career accomplishments that demonstrate your qualifications. [Don’t use bullet points. Make it a friendly narrative.]
  • THIRD PARAGRAPH: Answer the question: How are you UNIQUE? How are you DIFFERENT?

B) After these short, clear, and concise paragraphs, include a COMMON MISSPELLINGS line like mine:

[Common misspellings: Wise, Wiess, Sharon, Sheri, Sherry, Shari Sax]

If people are looking for you, don’t let them miss you simply because they don’t know how to spell your name.

C) Finally, there is the SPECIALTIES section which is hugely important.

Here you put the KEY WORDS that employers are looking for when they search the LinkedIn site. My latest understanding is that keyword PHRASES are better than single words  — to help you differentiate yourself from the many others who mostly put in single words.

YOUR TURN: How can you help the rest of us love LinkedIn even more? Add your thoughts and suggestions, and connect with me on LinkedIn.

PS I just found this Video on Filling Out Your LinkedIn Profile from

And here are a total of TEN videos on How to do LinkedIn

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   14 March 2010
Tags : , , ,
Mar 14, 2010
8:42 pm

Thank you Shari, I am amidst revamping my profile and there are some things here I did not know. Very helpful! Great post and all around blog.

Shari: HERE’S AN ADDITION TO THE ARTICLE: [August 18, 2010]

1) Add your email to profile headline/title

2) Add this line to summary: “For more information, please check out my blog: and follow me on Twitter @sharisax”

3) BIG ONE: Add Keywords to your Job Descriptions. You can use the keyword phrases you have used in your Summary Specialties — where appropriate.

4) When you upload your resume, be certain to correct errors that will be introduced from “imperfect” uploading, e.g. wrong position or company name; duplication of companies.


Author Mar 14, 2010
8:47 pm

THX, Jennifer.
We both know that we are continually learning and learning and applying and applying. It makes life dynamic and fun.
Let me know if you have any tips to suggest.
BTW, are we connected on LinkedIn yet?
If not, let’s connect

Mar 15, 2010
10:11 am

As always, very useful info Shari. Thanks much!

Author Mar 15, 2010
10:15 am

Thanks, Marla, were there any real “surprises,” i.e., something that really struck you?

Mar 15, 2010
12:49 pm
#5 Kerry Rego :

Shari, I really liked the misspelling line. I can only imagine all the ways my name is misspelled. I’m also going to relook at my headline for layman word usage. Nice article! Thanks, Kerry

Author Mar 15, 2010
3:19 pm

Kerry, with all of your wonderful experience, I’m hoping to see some additional tips from you. Next workshop I’m offering is a LinkedIn #2 and we’re going to talk about Groups.

Mar 15, 2010
2:44 pm

Thanks Shari – very interesting, and I’ll use your advice to tweak my profile!

Mar 20, 2010
2:30 pm
#8 Sharon :

You are the consummate teacher who is clearly passionate about social media, and generous and giving of your knowledge and time. Props to you! I’ll visit your blog often.

Author Mar 20, 2010
2:45 pm

Sharon, thanks for the comment here. I just sent you a LinkedIn message letting you know about this article, but I guess you found it first.
Tomorrow I intend to check out your LinkedIn profile. Now if that isn’t a challenge, I don’t know what is.

Mar 23, 2010
4:29 pm

Shari, Excellent post! I did not know I could edit the title under My Company or My Website. Thanks. Also, great tip about including common misspellings. I can’t count how often people misspell my last name as Peyton instead of Payton.

Author Mar 23, 2010
6:12 pm
#11 Shari Weiss :

Beverly, you know how they say “the Devil is in the Details” — right?

Author Mar 24, 2010
1:15 am
#12 Shari Weiss :

Discovered a new “punctuation mark” — When I first wrote this post, the titles had forward slashes, i.e. online content provider/social media trainer.

But it looks better with a straight up line, i.e., online content provider | social media trainer.

Here’s how you do it: SHIFT button & the backslash.

Mar 24, 2010
4:47 am
#13 Kerry Rego :

I see that line all the time on Twitter and had never figured it out. Thanks for sharing!

Author Mar 24, 2010
4:34 pm
#14 Shari Weiss :

which line were you specifically talking about . . . I want to know where the thank-you goes :-)))

Apr 6, 2010
12:15 pm
#15 Mioara Iacob :

I’ve often made the mistake of posting the same message on every social media site I belong to; just because it’s fast and easy. I’ll be more careful with my posts. Excellent tips.

Author Apr 6, 2010
12:23 pm
#16 Shari Weiss :

THX, Mioara, for helping spread the word. We can support one another’s efforts to make the Web more valuable for us all.

Apr 15, 2010
11:24 am
#17 Katie DeVito :

Great article Shari! Such wonderful insight. Going to take a look at my LinkedIn profile right now and make a few adjustments.


Author Apr 15, 2010
12:05 pm
#18 Shari Weiss :

Katie, I just learned another valuable “insight” yesterday, and I’m going to tell YOU and then put it into the article: When you get to the point where you “upload your resume” — don’t stop there. Yesterday I discovered that there were MANY repetitions and errors, so you do need to go back and EDIT once the resume has been added.

Good luck with the process.

May 2, 2010
2:54 pm

Great article Shari! There are some great common sense tips here to help maximize exposure on LinkedIn. I am definitely going to have to do some tweaking.

Author May 2, 2010
3:04 pm
#20 Shari Weiss :

So Chuck I’ll be checking 🙂

May 6, 2010
4:03 pm

Thanks for pointing me here Shari. I have implemented a number of these tips and feel a lot better about how I am representing myself on LinkedIn.

Anthony Russo
Conferencing Specialist
Infinity Conference Call
Skype: anth.russo
Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

May 10, 2010
7:37 pm
#22 Samuel Jong :

Wow ! very helpful. never knew LinkIn is so useful

May 24, 2010
10:46 am

Thanks, Shari!

I had most of your suggestions already implemented–except for #1. So smart!

Now, I’m up to speed on LI. Now I wish there was an easy way to link all of my answers on LI into my blog. I doubt anyone ever browses through those answers very much. But they’re valuable and directly illustrate my expertise.

Author May 24, 2010
1:55 pm
#24 Shari Weiss :

Catherine, here’s what I do — but it is hardly “automatic”: I put ANSWERS from people into blog posts.
But now I see the possible benefits of POSTEROUS, i.e. to publish short pieces that aren’t really appropriate for blog articles [whether too short to merit separate posting or just somewhat off the main topics of the blog]. The challenge, of course, is narrowing choices and not adding more places for all of us to check. I do believe that is what Friendfeed USED TO BE, but alas has lost its power/popularity/momentum since its purchase by Facebook.
PS That #1 tip, i.e., profile “title[s]” really is a BIG ONE.

May 24, 2010
10:55 am

Hello Shari, Thanks for this amazing insight about LinkedIn. The importance of status message has to be taken seriously.Looking forward to more of such info in the future too. 🙂

Author May 24, 2010
1:50 pm
#26 Shari Weiss :

Kunjal, you are so right about UPDATES.
After all, the “social” part of social media means engaging. And that’s what we want to do as we support and collaborate with one another.
THX for the comment.

May 24, 2010
11:06 am
#27 John Rosa :


Great points! I’ve been using LinkedIn for years and have always felt my profile was pretty good. After looking at the GREAT points you made, now my profile looks pretty lame. Time to tune it up! Thanks

Author May 24, 2010
1:46 pm
#28 Shari Weiss :

Hey, John, of course now we ALL will be checking up on you.
But isn’t that the purpose of Social Media “presence”; i.e., to get found

May 24, 2010
11:25 am
#29 Greg Falken :

Hi Shari,

After letting my LinkedIn profile languish for far too long, I had just started making changes when I was referred to this article by one of Chris Brogan’s tweets. Very helpful advice for getting focused on the individual sections. Thanks for sharing your ideas so clearly.


Author May 24, 2010
1:57 pm
#30 Shari Weiss :

Greg, I can’t tell you how gratifying it is when people I do not know can benefit from some of my posts. Lots of luck with LinkedIn; I have found it of tremendous value — as Chris as discussed in his latest post.

May 24, 2010
1:51 pm

Hi Shari
I’m sitting here on my day off tweaking my LinkedIn as per your suggestions. So many great ideas, and small details to consider.
Thanks for keeping us up to date and I look forward now to tracking your Blog posts.

Author May 24, 2010
2:19 pm
#32 Shari Weiss :

Hey, Elizabeth . . . don’t stop with the Profile Tweak
Join a couple of LinkedIn groups and see how many new friends you can make, how much business you can generate, and how much you can learn AND contribute!!!
THX for checking me out.

Jun 5, 2010
9:47 am

Hi, Shari.
I bookmarked this post weeks ago and finally sat down today to take some action. I have now tweaked my LinkedIn profile with your suggestions 🙂 I’m also starting to get more involved in some of the group discussion boards. Thanks for the information and encouragement!

Author Jun 8, 2010
12:09 am
#34 Shari Weiss :

Melissa, I continue to find great benefits from LinkedIn every single time I figure out a way to use it.

Jun 21, 2010
2:41 pm
#35 Jamilah Nottie :

So many great ideas, and small details to consider. I need to tweak my linkedin profile a little bit more. thanks for the info Shari.

Jun 29, 2010
11:36 pm
#36 Wendy Krueger :

Great point about Twitter. I connected my account and then realized the posts would show up in everyone’s feed. I am debating about adding my blog to LinkedIn. I am working on my first post. It looks like yours is connected. Do you recommend adding your blog even though all your connections may not want to see your posts?

Author Jun 29, 2010
11:47 pm
#37 Shari Weiss :

Hey, Wendy, nice to see you again
RE: Twitter on LinkedIn. When you register your Twitter account, you have the option to send all your tweets to LinkedIN . . . I recommend NOT to do that.
The default is to add #in to the end of your tweet and then it will go on LinkedIn as an update.

RE: Blogs on LInkedIn.
I’m proud of my blog and want my professional connections to read it and learn from it. That’s why I add it to my profile. Does that help?

Jun 30, 2010
12:43 pm
#38 Wendy Krueger :

Just wanted to clarify, I am sure all your readers will want to see your posts, especially since your blog is about social media performance.

My blog is about achieving one’s vision. It will be writings, interviews, podcasts, etc. Just not sure my whole audience will want updates.

I guess if it is only once a week. Can’t imagine being able to get more than one post up a week as they are time intensive.

Jul 5, 2010
2:44 pm

Late to the game here but some great information. Once I read the recommendations, I implemented everyone. Not that I did a great job, but it is much better than before.

Author Jul 5, 2010
3:10 pm
#40 Shari Weiss :

Good luck, Bill
Maybe when it’s “later in the game,” you’ll do a guest post for me 🙂

Sep 6, 2010
2:15 pm
#41 Angie Perez :

I love the simplicity of the above tips all of which one can do within one sitting, assuming one’s profile needed completion. The tips seem basic and for beginners.

I think when I first joined LinkedIn, I didn’t have a purpose for doing so. I just sort of did it because others were doing it. That was years ago, but with all of the apps, groups, answers and other features, I am reaping the rewards.

Bottomline: making connections and utilizing the power of LinkedIn lies in one’s ability to reconnect and connect with new people on and off the network.

What are some intermediate and advance strategies you can suggest?

Author Sep 6, 2010
3:07 pm
#42 Shari Weiss :

Angie, I’m at a festival but I wanted to give you a few extras:1- Add keywords to ALL of your past positions. 2- Add video. I suspect I need to do a whole INTERMEDIATE post. THX got idea

Jan 14, 2011
10:20 am
#43 Nica :

Hi Shari, you mentioned something very interesting about the hashtags. What are your thoughts about putting your Twitter stream in your LinkedIn profile? Thanks!

Author Jan 14, 2011
10:10 pm
#44 Shari Weiss :

Nica, my first thoughts are that the answer depends a whole lot on what a person’s Twitter stream looks like, i.e., is the subject matter of value to the business community one has? Personally, I don’t see a real use for Tweetstreams on LinkedIn . . . but on one’s own website, that’s quite a different story.

May 1, 2011
11:55 pm
#45 Thomas :

I have to admit that I am more knowledgeable now with LinkedIn with these information. Many thanks indeed!

May 7, 2011
7:51 am
#46 Buddy Hodges @Social Media Relationships :

Wow, Shari!

This post is one of the most valuable I have read in a long time. I have been working on implementing your tips for two days now. Thanks a million!

You have analyzed the nuances of Linkedin more thoroughly than any other I have seen. Your emphasis on keywords for search engines is something I had only considered in my blog.

Author May 7, 2011
8:52 am
#47 Shari Weiss :

Thanks, Buddy, for your flattering comment. I have posted it on my Facebook page, so that others can possibly benefit. Did you see where I had UPDATED that particular article:

Jun 1, 2011
5:45 am
#48 Juliette Kemp :

Great article with a wealth of tips I’m now working on implementing!

Author Jun 1, 2011
11:59 pm
#49 Shari Weiss :

Juliette, let me know the FIRST tip you take advantage of
and be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn

Jun 6, 2011
1:04 pm

Wow this article gave me more tips than i came here to find. Before today i had never even heard of linkedin but if its the place to “meet new people at the office” it is the perfect resource for me. I am new to a lot of the social networking sites. I don’t like facebook or twitter and never had a myspace and now i know why; its because i had never discovered linkedin. Now that i have an account and the knowledge you just provided me, I should be well on my way to utilizing it fully and professionally!

Author Jun 16, 2011
12:27 am
#51 Shari Weiss :

Good luck, Traci, and have fun. If you do have some interesting experiences on LinkedIn, please let me know.

Jul 22, 2011
12:10 pm
#52 Michele :

Great information Shari. I’m fairly new to LinkedIn so thank you for sharing some great tips! Much appreciated.

Author Jul 22, 2011
1:09 pm
#53 Shari Weiss :

Hi Michele,
When you get that profile “tweaked,” please invite me to connect.

Oct 24, 2011
3:31 am

I spend more time on other social networking sites rather than LinkedIn but I have an account. I use LinkedIn only for serious business and never actually tried exploring the tools and features of this site. You shared an interesting post on LinkedIn. Hope to read more such posts in the days ahead.

Nov 29, 2011
2:00 pm
#55 Adam Kinsey :

Hi Shari, thanks for the good article. I’ve been using LinkedIn for a long time, but felt it was time to make sure I have it (and FB and Twitter) running on all cylinders. There was a lot to use here.


Author Nov 29, 2011
5:23 pm
#56 Shari Weiss :

Glad to help Adam, Have you been getting more “hits” lately?

Dec 28, 2012
9:45 am

Thanks Shari,
This insight will really help my LinkedIn profile. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

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