LinkedIn Tip: Claim Your Custom URL

You’ve spent hours finessing your LinkedIn profile. You’ve pondered your keywords, struggled with your headline and methodically built an effective network. Now it’s time to get people there.

Change your default public profile URL to your full name. Add it to your resume, email signature and business cards.

Change your default public profile URL to your full name. Add it to your resume, email signature and business cards.

The Public Profile URL is an often-missed part of the LinkedIn marketing toolkit. It appears on your profile page, beneath your profile picture, and it’s unique to you. Anyone who clicks that link or who enters that URL into their browser will go to your “public” page on LinkedIn — ensuring that they don’t end up looking at someone else.

That makes it a useful tool, particularly for people in a job search or people with common names. Adding your LinkedIn profile to your résumé, your email signature, or even your business card makes it easier for people to go directly to your page.

By default, LinkedIn uses some version of your name, followed by a bunch of letters and numbers that help identify you to LinkedIn but are worthless from a marketing perspective. Instead of a URL that says, you want one that says

To make the change, go to Edit Profile, look for the URL beneath your photo, and click the “Edit” link that appears next to it. In the box that pops up, enter the name you use for your profile. If you’re “First Middle Last” on LinkedIn, try to be “firstmiddlelast” in your URL.

The trick here is that you can only use letters and numbers — no spaces, no hyphens, no special characters. Capitalization doesn’t matter. LinkedIn will always show it in lower case, although you can capitalize the important letters, if you want.

And no two people can use the same URL. If someone else is already, then you have to come up with something different. LinkedIn will help, offering to make you /firstmiddlelast14, or something like that. But don’t get stuck with a number. This is a branding exercise, and you want the URL to help you stand out. You may try initials rather than names (again, no periods or spaces). You might add credentials, like /firstmiddlelastcpa or /firstmiddlelastpmp. Or you may come up with a branding label that emphasizes your skills and expertise.

Once the URL is set, you can add it to your résumé, email signature and other marketing materials so that people who click go straight to your page. That saves time, and reduces that chance that they end up looking at someone else’s profile by mistake.

How do you get people to your LinkedIn profile? Is it on your résumé or email signature?