Ten Critical LinkedIn Settings
Here are ten critical settings to check TODAY on your LinkedIn to make sure you are making the most of the platform
Ten Critical LinkedIn Settings you really need to <strong>check today!</strong>
And exactly how to optimise them...
by <strong>Doctor David Petherick</strong>
The Doctor Is In
I'm Doctor David Petherick. This is one of my free interactive guides to help you improve your LinkedIn Health.
David Petherick has delivered expert surgery for LinkedIn Profiles since 2006...
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#1: Hidden Contact Info
Don't make it difficult for people to contact you. Make it easy.
How exactly do I get in touch?
Don't force me to connect with you. Just give me your contact details up front.
Right at the top of your profile, there are two places where you need to make it easy to contact you.
- The first is your Contact info, visible behind a text link right below your name.
- The second is in your About section, where you should add the contact details you want to share.
So let's deal first with the 'Contact Info' element. It's hidden in plain sight. So it's often overlooked. Finding this section empty is one of the most common failings I find when I do a profile x-ray. [Profile X—Ray Service]
The screenshot here shows where this appears on your profile. It's right next to your location. You did set your location to the biggest urban area nearby, didn't you?
Where the Contact Info link appears on your profile [click to zoom in]
Click through when you are logged in to your account, and you'll have the option to view and edit it.
Here's how people see my Contact Info when they click through [click to zoom in]
Next, it's the top half of your editing area, with a few important features highlighted. Click to zoom in on the screenshot to see more.
Editing your contact information (1/2) [Click to zoom in]
The first piece of information is your LinkedIn Profile URL. This can't be edited here, but it does have a link that lets you view your profile as others see it. Useful for checking how things appear to the outside world.
Next, you have the option to add up to three separate web URLs. These can be anything you want to showcase — absolutely anything you like, anywhere online.
- Tip: Use the dropdown option to describe every site as 'Other'. This allows you to add a short description next to the link. This is far more effective than using 'Business' or 'Personal' to describe the link.
I chose this area to allow people to make an appointment with me as the first option. After all, I do want people to contact me.
Don't fill descriptions with hype
Use these descriptions to say concisely what people will find at that URL. And remember, you can take people to different parts of the same website. Home Page, Contact Page and Testimonials, for example.
If you scroll further down the Contact Information panel, you have more options. These are more specific contact, such as a phone number, email address and Twitter handle.
Editing your contact information (2/2) [Click to zoom in]
Some things can't be added directly here
When you add your phone number (and it's up to you whether you do or not) then it's a good idea to add the country code. Those trying to speak to you may well be in a different country. Make it easy.
This phone number can be an office or answering service. It can be completely unrelated to the phone number you use for account security on LinkedIn.
Rather than add my postal address here, I've chosen instead to insert a short pitch for my services. Why not? It protects my privacy and acts as a further spur to get in touch.
You can also add Instant Messenger details such as WeChat, QQ or Skype. It's of course up to you how much you want to share here — you may want to keep certain elements private.
You can also choose who can see your birthday — everyone on LinkedIn, just your network of connections, or nobody.
- Tip: I have a birthday set that is not my real birth date to help avoid ID theft. It's set so that only my connections can see the date. I don't want meaningless 'Congrats' messages every February from the world at large.
Contact information in your About Section
The other place that's important to add key contact information is in your 'About' section.
You may consider adding your contact details here to be needless repetition. But believe me, people are lazy, and they will not always click your 'contact info' link.
Some people are not even aware that it's a live link, and have never clicked it on anyone's profile.
So it makes sense to simply put your contact details in plain sight.
Make sure there's a choice of ways to get in touch
Some people like to visit a website before making direct contact. Others will want you to respond to their questions by email. Some people prefer to hit you up on Twitter or Facebook. Others like to just pick up the phone.
Another useful addition to the about section is a simple call to action. You should only have one of these, and it should be clear what that action will entail. Offering too much choice will lead to no action being taken.
I like to manage my time for myself, so I don't want people to call me at random. For that reason, I don't share my phone number on my about section.
Instead, I give people the option to book a ten minute open-ended call through my diary robot service. This also lets me to gather key information that I can reference before the call. For example, their email address their LinkedIn Profile URL.
What you share here is a personal choice. And like everything on LinkedIn, you can always change it.
Adding contact details and a Call to Action to your About section [click to zoom in]
#2: Remove Distractions
There are ten other people's profiles alongside your own. Eliminate the five most dangerous of them.
There are enough distractions when you're online
Why add to them?
LinkedIn designs its website to make you spend as much time as possible there, so they can monetise that through advertising and premium subscriptions.
They do this by distracting you with shiny things. And they use psychology to get you to do what makes them more money.
One of the ways that they distract people is to show two lists of people on the right hand side of the screen. This doesn't happen on your phone, only when viewing through a browser on a larger screen.
Of course, they don't show you this when you look at your own profile.
There are two categories here
- There are five profiles entitled People also viewed
- There are five profiles entitled People you may know
You can remove the first five 'also viewed' profiles. You can stop them from ever appearing when people view your profile.
The 'People also viewed' panel alongside your profile. You don't see this when editing your own profile.
You can't remove the second group. But this group of people are far less dangerous. They are people the viewer may know — far less likely to be in a similar geography, industry or job as you are.
They are unlikely to be competing with you. A separate algorithm is at work here.
The 'People you may know' panel can't be removed
The algorithms choose the first group of people with intent. These people are as enticing as possible, to lure you away from the current profile you are viewing.
These profiles are very close in proximity to you personally and professionally. This is especially the case when people find you via a search.
That makes them a big distraction. But the good news is you can remove that distraction with a simple settings change.
Shortcut to where you can change this setting —
The setting is a simple toggle - Yes or No. You want to say No.
Toggle this setting to 'No'.
LinkedIn just loves to keep people clicking on as many profiles as possible. But you want people to focus on you when they are viewing your profile.
If you remove this distraction, it will help swing the attention ratio of your profile in your favour. Flick the switch now.
#3: Don't get hacked
Set up two-factor verification to secure your LinkedIn account.
What would it mean if you lost control of your Linkedin account?
...to a person with malice in mind?
Data leaks. Phishing. Ransomware. It's a hostile environment out there, and it's not getting any friendlier.
You should be protecting your LinkedIn account with two-factor verification. This means that you use your mobile/cell phone number to confirm logins that are unusual.
This will mean that even if a hacker has your login details, they won't be able to access your account. Unless they have also got hold of your unlocked mobile/cell phone.
First step is to make sure you have registered a mobile phone number with LinkedIn. Go to https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/phone to do this.
Where to add a phone number to your LinkedIn account
Once you have set this up you are ready to set up two-factor verification.
You reach this by scrolling down a little. Or use this shortcut:— https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/two-step-verification
Setting up two factor verification
You'll get confirmation codes to make sure everything is set up OK.
You can also apps like Google Authenticator rather than your phone for authentication.
Now, even if they had your password, a bad actor would still be unable to access your account. They won't have your phone. You do.
Change your password regularly
It goes without saying that you should change your LinkedIn login password regularly.
Use an easy to remember but difficult to crack password.
Combining unrelated words, characters and numbers only you will know is a good way to do this. Some examples below: —
These types of passwords would currently take password cracking software years to crack. And remember, now you've set up two factor security, it would not matter even if they did manage to guess it.
Just keep your phone close to you, and keep it locked when you put it down!
#4: Add your personal email address
Don't run the risk of losing your LinkedIn access when you change job.
Add your personal email addresses
Make sure you can always control your LinkedIn account even if you change jobs.
You can add more than one email address to your LinkedIn account.
And when you'e done that, you can login using any of the addresses you have set up.
You can also choose to make a new email account your primary address. This means that all LinkedIn notifications and messages go to that address.
The process is simple, and here's the shortcut to it: — https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/email
Adding email addresses to LinkedIn [click to zoom in]
I recommend having at least one 'backup' email address. You can activate this if circumstances change for any of your email addresses.
It's also worth remembering this: — people can find you on LinkedIn if they know your email address. So keeping 'old' addresses in this list makes sense if you move on from one organisation to another.
- Tip: Even if you first set up the LinkedIn account using a work email, you can retire it as the primary address. This means notifications go to your new email. You can also log in using the new email address along with your existing password.
Is your primary email visible?
You should also check your email address visibility on LinkedIn. It makes sense if you allow everyone on LinkedIn to see your email, but you may get more unwanted messages.
You can restrict its visibility to just 1st or 2nd degree connections. This means less email spam. But recruiters and those interested in your services can't mail you as easily.
You control this at https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/privacy/email and your options are available in a drop-down list.
Control the visbility of your email address on LinkedIn
#5: Connect your Twitter
Share your LinkedIn updates to your Twitter feed with a click.
Tweet when you update LinkedIn.
If you use Twitter, it makes perfect sense to share your LinkedIn updates there from time to time.
It increases your audience. It engages people who you may have no prior connection to. And it gives you a more visible digital footprint.
And it's easy to set up.
To get started, just go to this URL: — https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/twitter-accounts
Adding a Twitter account to your LinkedIn
Setup is straightforward.
- Click to connect.
- Enter your LinkedIn password for security
- Authorise Twitter to connect to your LinkedIn Account
And you're done.
Once you have added your Twitter account, this is what you'll see.
Twitter account added. You can connect more than one account.
The sensible option, switched on as a default, is to also show your Twitter handle on your profile. It will appear in your 'Contact Info' section. People can click straight through to follow you, and find out more about the sort of things you are sharing.
Once this in place, you can now publish updates on LinkedIn, and also tweet a link to the update.
- Note: This is not the case for comments, just posting your own updates.
Only the first 255 characters are shared to Twitter. So make sure you get to the point at the start of your post. It's also sensible to put at least one hashtag in early on, to help your tweet's visibility.
When you select this option, it remains the setting for updates you later post on LinkedIn. So be sure to switch it off again unless you want to Tweet all your LinkedIn updates
Could get annoying. And it's easy to overlook.
- You can follow me, David Petherick, on Twitter at @petherick. I tweet about new LinkedIn features, offer my tips, and give you insight on getting the most out of the platform.
Click to go to my Twitter profile. Do follow!
#6: Show your Public Profile
Manage how your profile appears when found in search <strong>outside</strong> LinkedIn.
“I can't find you on Google...”
Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is doing the heavy lifting for you on search engine results pages.
If nobody can find you in an online search, do you really exist?
For many people, a search for their name is likely to surface their LinkedIn profile as one of the first results.
As you can see from the screenshot of a search for my name on Google, my LinkedIn Profile is the fifth entry down.
(I only have all the other entries in the Top 10 because
- I have a relatively uncommon name.
- I've been online for donkeys years.
- I know how search engines work.
Results of a search for 'David Petherick' on Google
There are two important things here —
- I appear in these results.
- You can see what's on my profile without LinkedIn membership.
I get positive branding from the results page. But it's what behind that click that really counts.
View of a LinkedIn Profile when not logged in to LinkedIn
The key here is that I control what appears here from within my own LinkedIn Public Profile settings. I decide exactly what people can see online outside LinkedIn.
There are some big advantages to having a well defined public profile. One of the most useful is the prominence of your contact website(s). I cover how to optimise these links here.
Website links are very prominent on the page. Another reason to optimise these.
So, how do you control what appears here in search engines?
Just to go to your settings page — start at https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings
Editing how your public LinkedIn profile appears
From this page, the settings are self-explanatory. There are simple on/off options for different sections of your profile.
- Tip: It's worth noting that you can also customise your LinkedIn URL from this page, by using the link at top right. This can give you a more professional URL. One without the random junk characters that LinkedIn adds as default.
Think of your public profile settings as your way of showing the world at large who you are. You choose how much you are happy to share.
#7: Are you Open to Opportunities?
Highlight your professional services, or that you're open to job offers, or tell the world you are hiring.
Open to... opportunities
Show the world that you are open to a new job, that you offer professional services, or that you are hiring.
Or all three.
1. Finding a new job
Note this: — you can hide the fact you are open to new job offers from your current employer. You can choose to only let recruiters know you are open, or tell it to the whole world.
It all starts from the top of your profile. Click on the 'Open to' button.
Open to button has three options below
Click the appropriate option to open up your job preferences section.
Here, you can choose up to five job titles, but your choices are drawn from a LinkedIn database. You can't type your own custom job title, so it's best to be as generic and plain vanilla as you can with choices here.
Editing your job preferences
You can also choose the workplace options of on-site, hybrid or remote. You can of course choose more than one here for flexibili