Not long ago I heard the morning crew on my favorite wake up news channel – WGN in Chicago – bantering about how LinkedIn was rapidly becoming a viable dating site. I stopped what I was doing and laughed, especially at co-anchor Robin Baumgarten’s comment on the idea. A single professional, she was amazed at the idea and noted that what she looks for most in a date is character and noted that “there’s a lot of good characters out there, and most often none that have any character.”

Completely amazed, I had to look into this and learned that it really is a thing, and it’s not new! A recent Chicago Tribune article noted that while some people find this practice to be creepy, “LinkedIn profiles contain a thorough, tidy collection of a person’s life accomplishments — something that can also be a rich mine of data for strangers to sift through.” I guess LinkedIn is now “one item in a toolbox for searching online ahead of dates.”

After enjoying investigating this new use for LinkedIn, I decided to take a little time and review the state of my LinkedIn profile to make sure it was performing as well as it could. Here are some tips to make sure your LinkedIn page stands out:

  • Complete and neat profile. How complete is your profile? 95% isn’t bad, but 100% is definitely better! LinkedIn makes it easy to fix this, offering “Profile Completion Tips” to help you get to 100%. According to LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman in an article by John Nemo that ran recently on­­­­ Inc.,“The more completely you fill out your profile…and the more information it contains about who you are and what you do for others, the better chance you have of being discovered on the network.”
  • Recommendations hold real value. Nothing is better than recommendations from people who know how good you are at what you do. If you are shy about asking for recommendations, spend some time providing unsolicited recommendations for people you worked with first. When you do this, you don’t usually have to ask them to return the favor; they typically do it on their own.
  • Status updates. We are all used to updating our status on Facebook, Twitter, even IM. Don’t forget to extend this practice to your LinkedIn account. And, be sure to update it often.
  • Personalize your invites. This tip is one we’ve heard many times, but it is worth repeating. Don’t just use the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” when communicating. A personal message that reminds folks about who you are will go a long way.
  • Sell yourself. Be sure to sell yourself and use your headline first and foremost to do that. Including a goal is a great idea and will help the right people find you. Hoffman advises, “Have your profile written from a viewpoint [that appeals to] the people searching for or reading your profile,” Hoffman adds. “And they read it, and think, oh, [you are] someone I want to talk to!”
  • Have fun with your page! “Although LinkedIn is a “professional,” suit-and-tie type social network, that doesn’t mean you have to scrub all traces of personality and individuality from your profile page, photos or posts,” notes Hoffman. Have fun with your page and posts – your creativity will be noticed!

Implementing these tips will go a long way in boosting your visibility on LinkedIn – whether you are hunting for your next gig or the love of your life. What have you done to get more out of LinkedIn?

Pam Flores

Pam Flores

Pam is adept at fostering relationships with respected thought leaders and influencers. She has 20-plus years of experience in social engagement, media and blogger relations, thought leadership, community building and copywriting.