In a quick glance, a recruiter or another LinkedIn member can often if tell is someone is a novice with LinkedIn. One of the dead giveaways of a new user is the lack of a “vanity URL”.
What in the heck is a vanity URL? (You might ask). Well, when you create a new account, LinkedIn assigns you a URL, or unique web address. The assigned URL is long with lots of numbers and your name mixed up in there somewhere. It doesn’t look great. Plus, it has less functionally than a nice, condensed URL.
The good news is that you can change it. One best practice is to try to change it to a URL that showcases your name prominently (hence the term “vanity URL”).
There are several benefits to making the change.
When you name is in a web address and someone “Googles” your name, the link to your profile should come up very high in the results, effectively pushing the searcher to professional information about you that you have created to build your professional reputation.
You can use this URL as a personal website to further get the word out about you. You can add it to the signature line on your email; you can add it to your resume; you can use it in a job search business card. Anytime someone is prompted to visit your LinkedIn page, it creates more exposure for you and your professional information.
If you are asking someone to visit your LinkedIn page, it is much more visually appealing to send them a nice, cleaned up URL to click on.
So, how do you change it?
Go to your profile page and look just below your picture. Hover there and you will see a “gear” pop up that will direct you to your profile settings when you click on it. Here’s a screenshot:
Then, on the right hand side of the page, you should see “Your public profile URL - Enhance your personal brand by creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn public profile.” When you hover there, an editing pen appears. See screenshot.
Now, you can create the “vanity URL” of your dreams :-).
It works in a similar way to creating a new Google or Yahoo email account.
The resulting URL has to be unique. You cannot use anything but letters or numbers.
Try your name first and see if that will work. If not, use your middle initial. Or, you can add in something related to your profession janedoemba, johndoepmp, janedoeaccountant, johndoebiologist, etc.
It’s that easy! Take a minute and be vain today. You will go a long way to looking like an expert LinkedIn user.