13 steps to crafting a winning LinkedIn profile

Perfect your presence on the platform and increase your networking and self-branding opportunities. Here’s how.

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When it comes to professional networking, I’ve found that there are two types of people: Those who are shocked that I don’t have business cards—and those who, like me, default to LinkedIn as a business-card proxy.

I’m not saying we should get rid of business cards altogether—I understand their relevance—however, they’re no longer essential. We have LinkedIn to thank for this. It’s rare to go into a meeting with someone I don’t know without first looking up his or her LinkedIn profile.

With the added (and increasing) emphasis on LinkedIn as the default professional “stalking” mechanism, now is probably as good a time as any to refresh your profile and make sure that it’s up to date.

Here are a few tips to make sure your profile is on point:

1. Snag a customized LinkedIn URL.

2. Update your photo.

3. Punch up your profile with a background photo.

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