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I’m increasingly finding people including their LinkedIn profile within their email signature or on their business card – that’s great!

I’m also finding people that are using the auto-generated random-character terrible-looking profile link – and that’s awful!

So, in the interest of keeping people from embarrassing themselves, I’ll bring this topic back up from a couple years ago…

Public Profile

Your public profile is just that – your LinkedIn profile available to the public as a web page – no login to LinkedIn required.

And all of the search companies like google and bing love these pages. They’re a great storehouse of useful information. It isn’t a question of if, but when the sites pull in new data.

How much is up to you

You control how much information is available on this page within the “Edit Profile” -> “Edit Public Profile” setting area.

Don’t want to reveal the details of your former positions – don’t check that box.

Want to be off the grid – disable the feature completely.

It’s up to you.

Claim a page

By default, LinkedIn will have created a page for you – something like this:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname/2/HH/4B

Now isn’t that special?!

But LinkedIn has to have some “default” – I’m sure they have some mechanism to turn any individual profile into a unique string like that – because with 80 million accounts, they certainly can’t just use everyone’s name!

So you should grab a page like:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/SteveTylock

Doesn’t that look better?

Taken

So while I don’t know of any other Steve Tylocks out there in the world, if your name happens to be John Smith, you can be certain that a good number of you do exist…  If you go to claim that as a public profile, you’ll probably find it already taken.

So get creative… Use your middle initial, nickname, business slogan – something to distinguish yourself. Remember to tie it into your personal brand – the nickname of “stinky” probably doesn’t…-)

Change the default

But for goodness sake, don’t take LinkedIn’s default profile web site link and print that on business cards or add it to your signature…

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock