Resumes and Cover Letters

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile Step 1: Your Name

We all like to think we are individual and unique, but with LinkedIn’s 200+ million members, it’s likely you share your name with many other people.

“Google” your name in LinkedIn’s search box. Try your full name and any nicknames. If you share your name(s) with other people, dive deeper. How many people share your name in your industry?…In your city?

Look at profiles of those people with your name in your industry. You want to differentiate yourself. Try searching again using your middle initial, your middle name, your nickname or industry credential such as PhD, PMP, Esq., etc. If it is acceptable in your industry you can use a moniker or job description, such as “Tom Smith, Pundit,” or “Tom Smith, Innovation Guru.” Once you find the right combination to winnow down the choices, adjust your profile.

Going forward use that version of your name on all your business communications. Embed it in your email signatures and business cards. Include your profile’s LinkedIn URL in your email signature, too!

About the Author

Gayle Rigione is Ivy Exec’s Chief Community Development Officer. Gayle spent 15 years in diverse relationship management and senior management roles at MasterCard International, Arthur Andersen Strategic Services, and Bankers Trust Company. She earned her MBA from Columbia.