When I first signed up for my LinkedIn account I did not realize that I would be assigned a rather long and difficult to remember profile URL that was a mix of my full name and random numbers and letters. LinkedIn gives users the opportunity to customize their public profile URL (I changed mine to www.linkedin.com/in/kathymkelley, which I think is much more professional than the automatic URL I was assigned when I opened my account …./in/kathleenmariekelley93dnc9el3).
I suggest that users customize their URL as soon as possible, because first come/first served - if the URL is available now it may not be in the future. My name is fairly common so I had to go through several combinations to get a URL that was short and made sense. Customizing becomes even more critical when a business owner develops a company page (discussed in my next blog) and wants a LinkedIn URL that closely matches their website or Facebook URL. Grab it while you can!
Not only have I customized my LinkedIn URL, but I have done something similar for the three websites (the maximum I can add) I've added to my profile:
- My Penn State Profile (http://plantscience.psu.edu/directory/kmk17),
- our Farm Business Management website (http://extension.psu.edu/farm-business),
- and link to this blog (http://farmbusiness.blogspot.com)
LinkedIn gives users a couple of labeling options when they add URLs to their profile page. In the edit contact info option I have two choices for describing/labeling the webpage associated with the URL:
- I have the option of choosing one of the general/generic names produced (personal website, company website, blog, RSS feed, or blog) or
- I can develop a more specific label of my choosing, though I am limited to 30 characters or less.
Entering customized link descriptions and how they look on my LinkedIn profile.
As you can see, some of what I've described about LinkedIn is similar to what you might have had to provide when you built your website or even when you set up Twitter or Facebook accounts. LinkedIn does have an extensive help menu and FAQ section – and LinkedIn personnel are responsive when users ask questions via their “Contact Us” form. This is just the start of our LinkedIn conversation. Do check back next week when I describe a bit about networking and company pages.