social media how toAre you getting the most out of your LinkedIn personal profile?

Interested in ways to drive traffic to your website?

LinkedIn offers many overlooked ways to optimize your profile, helping more people discover you and promote your business.

In this article you’ll discover 11 tips you might not be using on your LinkedIn profile, but should.

eleven ways to optimize linkedin for exposure

Discover eleven ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile for more exposure.

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#1: Emphasize Your Professional Skills

If you haven’t added skills to your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on an opportunity to optimize your profile for specific keywords and get quick endorsements from your connections for those skills. LinkedIn showcases your top 10 skills based on endorsements so people know where you excel.

linkedin skills section

Emphasize your professional skills in the Skills section.

#2: Promote Your Projects

You can use the Projects section (originally created for students to share projects they completed at university) to highlight products, services or other projects, such as the podcasts listed on Jay Baer’s LinkedIn profile. Directly link each project to your website and include team members when applicable.

linkedin projects section

Promote your products, services and projects in the Projects section.

#3: Link to Your Publications

The Publications section is perfect if you’re a book author, regular contributor to top publications, or have ebooks, white papers and other content that you want to promote. You can directly link each publication to where visitors can buy your books (like Mari Smith does on her LinkedIn profile) to author profile pages and landing pages for your content.

linkedin publications section

Link to your books, author pages and company content in the Publications section.

#4: Share Your Honors and Awards

Another section originally designed for students’ scholastic achievements, the Honors & Awards section is where you can highlight notable lists and mentions you’ve received from recognized authorities and publications in your industry.

linkedin honors & awards section

Share notable lists and mentions in the Honors & Awards section.

#5: Showcase Specialized Certifications

If you haven’t completed a higher-education degree, the Certifications section allows you to showcase your specialized educational achievements within your industry. If your business boasts a certification for your industry, you can list it here and link to it so people can learn more about it.

linkedin certifications section

Showcase specialized certifications in the Certifications section.

#6: Highlight Industry-Related Coursework

Not all courses come with a certification. If you’ve taken any courses that would apply to your business, you can list them in the Courses section. This includes coursework you completed at university, those you completed as part of your on-the-job training and those offered by recognized organizations in your industry.

linkedin courses section

Highlight industry-related coursework in the Courses section.

#7: Feature Your Professional Memberships

If you belong to professional organizations in your industry, use the Organizations section to highlight your membership and the position you hold beyond just being a member. It’s also another great opportunity to optimize your profile for keywords. For example, professional photographers can include their membership to Professional Photographers of America.

linkedin organizations section

Feature professional memberships in the Organizations section.

#8: Demonstrate Language Proficiency

Demand for people who speak two or more languages is on the rise. Therefore, if you are fluent in multiple languages, include that information in the Languages section.

linkedin languages section

Demonstrate language proficiency in the Languages section.

#9: Highlight Your LinkedIn Groups

When you join LinkedIn groups, you have the option of listing them on your profile, as shown in the Groups section below.

linkedin groups section

Highlight your LinkedIn group memberships in the Groups section.

This can benefit you in a few different ways. First, people who want to get to know you can do so by joining the groups you’re in and engaging with you there.

Second, if you join groups related to your industry, such as groups for social media consultants, you can add more keywords to your profile. Finally, if you run groups for your business, you can display them on your profile to help increase membership.

#10: Publicize Your Interests

When you follow specific news channels, publishers, influencers and companies found on LinkedIn Pulse, they will appear in the Following section of your profile. You can use this section to optimize your profile for specific keywords, highlight publications that you may contribute to and showcase your customers.

linkedin following section

Publicize interests you follow in the Following section.

#11: Support Your Causes

Did you know that one in five hiring managers has chosen a candidate based on his or her volunteer experience? Add the Volunteer section to your profile to show others that you also care about helping others. For nonprofits, this is a great way to promote your organization and cause.

linkedin volunteer experience & causes section

Publicize interests you follow in the Following section.

Support your causes in the Volunteer section.

How to Add These Sections to Your Profile

To add these sections to your LinkedIn profile, open your profile (choose Profile and select Edit Profile from the drop-down menu) and look for the Add a Section to Your Profile area beneath the section that contains your profile photo and headline. You may need to click the View More link to see all of the available sections.

linkedin additional sections

Choose additional sections to add to your LinkedIn profile.

Click on the Add links for the sections you want to add and fill in the details for each listing as specified. Pay particular attention to opportunities to add a URL to an external website within the Projects, Publications, Certifications and other sections. This will allow people to go directly to your website from your profile.

linkedin publication section details

Fill out each section’s basic information.

Note that certain sections, like Projects and Organizations, allow you to select your occupation at the time you participated in the project or became a member of an organization.

linkedin organization section details

Link specific job experiences to projects and organizations.

The project or organization is then linked to that listing in your Experience section.

linkedin experience section details

Include links to projects and organizations in the Job Experience section.

You can remove a section you’ve added to your profile by removing all of the items you’ve added to that section, such as removing all publications or all projects.


Like most LinkedIn users, you’re probably already taking advantage of the Summary, Experience and Education sections of your profile. But don’t miss out on additional sections that will optimize your profile for keywords, highlight specific achievements and promote your business.

What do you think? Do you use any of these additional sections in your LinkedIn profile? If so, please share your results in the comments!

eleven ways to optimize linkedin for exposure

Tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile for more exposure.

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  • Can’t believe I didn’t use tip #2 for adding my website creation projects to my profile. So obvious but yet I overlooked it somehow. Thanks for the tips, will surely apply more of them in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for the tips Kristi! :), I have already implemented these as it looks more chunk of information and luckily it is working for me. I have posted my own website and other links in “Publication” which drives other people to my landing page. Well, can a website address be posted in publication section if it offers some useful information to garner?

  • That section is easy to overlook, and LinkedIn usually recommends it for students. But it does open the door to getting direct links to any kind of projects on your profile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You can really put any website link in Publications and Projects, so if you can phrase it like one or the other, you’re golden. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • While I have information in each of the sections you mention, I am astounded every time I look at a profile and discover the person barely provided any information about what they do, or what they are like as a person. In the sector where I do most of my work, professional services and especially law, I estimate that more than half of the lawyers put anything in their profile beyond the bare bones basics: “Partner, Smith Law Firm.” Not even a mention of what kind of law they practice. Yet surveys show that when a company is thinking of retaining a new lawyer or firm, LinkedIn is the first place they go – and the myriad of professional directories that often charge for a listing aren’t even consulted any more.

  • Thanks for your help! I get it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Can we create a Personal Page on Linkedin & How?

  • Grace Duffy

    Do you mean to a business page for your own company? Here is a recent post on how to create an effective company page on LinkedIn. Hope that help!

  • It is kind of amazing, right? LinkedIn pretty much guides you through the basic setup of adding your current occupation and using it for the headline. Not sure why more people don’t take advantage of that.

  • Linkedin social network is the strongest social networking website for business.The tips shared here are significant and useful. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Thanks Sabih! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You’re welcome John! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Grace Duffy.

    No, I want to create a page for individual How can I do that?

  • AlvinCurren

    Your profile is your personal page. Linkedin just happens to be a professional network so your personal page is about your skills, credentials and achievements.

  • E Creations

    Some great tips Kristi. One thing I was told in a conference about marketing on Lindedin is to increase your number of super connectors on Linkedin because you are limited to 6 levels deep when you post. Adding these super users increases your reach exponentially.

  • gloriameas

    If you look for extra cash with average of 50 dollars to 300 dollars a day for doing basic work at your home for 3-4 hrs every day then check this out…

  • Hi Vikas! When you sign up for a LinkedIn account, the profile you create is your personal profile. The sections mentioned in this post applies to that personal profile. The basic sections are your summary, job experiences, headline, and contact information. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • As a former headhunter, I looked at 1,000s and 1,000 of LI profiles. This is great advice. My pet peeve is the 100 skills that people are supposedly good at. Prune them down to a top 10-15 that are relevant to the job you are doing today!

  • Yan Romio

    I implemented the recommendations, thank you!

  • Mike Hoore

    Thank you!

    Very interesting, I’ll use it!

  • There are so many things and options on LinkedIn that can easily be overlooked, Thanks for this article, it’s a great reminder of all the stuff that can be updated.

  • John Smibert

    Hi Kristi – thanks for this – these are all good tips. One thing I would overlay is that it is vital to develop your personal branding strategy before doing too much of this in order to de-risk and maximise return.

    I have seen many people do themselves a lot of damage by presenting as somebody they are not – or projecting a very confusing profile – or connecting with the wrong people.

    I would suggest that in preparation individuals strive to: – Define their personal vision & 5 year goals plus 1, 3 and 5 year objectives – Get clarity and authenticity in defining who they are – Clearly define their target audience/s – identify your ‘unique promise of value’ for that audience.

    Only then can they develop a personal branding strategy. And once they have a strategy they can undertake the 11 great tips you have written about with minimal risk.
    What do you think?

  • I would like to remove the honors & awards and test scores. How do I do this. Also, how do I include a url into write up of projects? thank you.

  • You should be able to remove any of the additional sections, like Honors & Awards and Test Scores, by removing each entry in those sections. Once you’ve removed the entries, the section itself will disappear from your public profile.

    As for the URL of projects, there’s a specific Project URL field that you use when you add a new project. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I think having a personal vision and goals can definitely help out with the summary section. Most of the others are just literally what you have and haven’t accomplished. Knowing what you are going for definitely helps though. If you have a certification in something that doesn’t apply to the career you are in, it may not be necessary to list.

  • I agree on the skills part, but unfortunately, people who visit your profile can endorse you for skills that get added to your profile. So you end up with a lot even if you don’t add them.