Create the ultimate LinkedIn profile in 6 steps

Want to get more mileage out of your LinkedIn profile? This guide explains where to add keywords, how to create a vanity URL, and more.

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LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals and networking. With 161 millions members to date, it’s one of the most popular social networks. Are you using it to its fullest potential?

While we hear a lot about Facebook and Twitter for lead generation, LinkedIn can be just as good—if not better—if you spend a little time optimizing your profile.

Here is the ultimate cheat sheet to create your LinkedIn profile:

1. Use a professional picture.

Use a professional picture you wouldn’t mind your mother-in-law or grandmother seeing. This is not the time for shirtless photos (men) or duck pouts (ladies).

Despite what people say, first impressions count. You don’t necessarily need to have a photo of yourself in a suit and tie, but make sure you consider your audience, branding, and what kind of message you’d like to portray. Your profile picture must be square, no larger than 4MB, and be in a JPG, GIF or PNG file format.

2. Create a keyword rich, customer-focused headline.

This is the shortened version of your profile that appears to the right of your profile picture.

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