Business Software

LinkedIn's Top Names for CEOs, Engineers, and More

How to Set Yourself Apart: 3 Tips

If you're a Peter, Bob, Deborah or Sally--or just have a common name--LinkedIn offers three ways to distinguish yourself from others who might share your name, but not your profession.

1. Claim your name. One way to get your profile to the top of search results when someone searches for your name is by customizing your LinkedIn profile URL so that it uses your first and last name as one word with no spaces, such as www.linkedin.com/in/JohnDoe.

To do this, visit your profile and click "Edit Profile." Scroll to where it says "Public Profile," and click edit. If your first name/last name combination is already taken, try a few easy-to-remember alternatives.

2. Showcase your skills. Another way to differentiate yourself from others with your name: add relevant skills to your profile. LinkedIn Skills is a hub where you can search skills to determine its popularity, peruse featured professionals and locations associated with that skill, find related jobs and groups, as well as discover whether that particular skill is trending up or down. To add them to your profile, visit the LinkedIn Skills & Expertise landing page.

[For more on LinkedIn skills, check out: "LinkedIn Quick Tip: How to Discover the Hottest New Job Skills.]

3. Beef up your connections. LinkedIn says that the "magic number" of connections is 50 contacts. That means your network should be comprised of all sorts of people: clients, coworkers, former managers, vendors, friends and even family--all people you trust, it says--so your network can vouch for you and contact you when they see career opportunities that might be a good fit.

[LinkedIn Etiquette: The Right Way to Request New Connections]

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Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at kburnham@cio.com

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