(This article is updated to reflect recent changes to LinkedIn’s profile layout.)
Creating an easy to remember custom LinkedIn web address, called a public profile URL on your LinkedIn profile, is an important part of making it easy for people to find you online.
And the process of doing so is straight forward – assuming you know where to look to create your custom LinkedIn web address.
LinkedIn encourages you to “enhance your personal brand by creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn public profile.” But, they don’t highlight it’s importance or make it obvious to you when you are setting up your new LinkedIn profile.
For this reason, many (possibly even the majority) of LinkedIn users do not have a custom public profile URL for their LinkedIn account.
A Custom LinkedIn URL Is Important
The importance of having a custom URL for LinkedIn (or any social network) shouldn’t be underestimated. Especially for anyone who wants to promote their profile, by adding their custom URL/web address to their email signature, business card, marketing materials, etc.
The URL or web address assigned to you by LinkedIn is not easy to remember and share, in print or verbally. Most of us would find this (customized) custom LinkedIn profile URL or web address – linkedin.com/in/SueCockburn – more professional looking and easier to share with others than linkedin.com/pub/johnfitzgerald/40/263/205.
(Note: some social networks like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. have you set up your customer web address at the time you create your account. Other social networks, like LinkedIn and Google+, don’t. And some social networks, like Facebook, occasionally set these up when you’re setting up your account … but not always.)
Choosing Your Custom LinkedIn Public Profile URL (Web Address)
Use your personal name when creating your custom LinkedIn public profile URL. Use your business name when creating a custom LinkedIn URL for your business page. A business page is not the same as your personal public profile.
When you go to create your custom public profile URL (web address) for your personal profile, you may find that your first choice isn’t available. If so, you will need to consider other options like a middle initial, a middle name, or some other unique identifier that is logical and will be easy to remember and share, in print and verbally.
LinkedIn will allow you to change your public profile URL more than once (at this time). However, it is better to get it right the first time. As more and more people sign up for LinkedIn and other social networks it is becoming more difficult to get the exact name you would like.
How To Setup Your Custom LinkedIn Public Profile URL (Web Address) In 4 Easy Steps
To create your custom LinkedIn public profile URL and web address:
Step 1: Click on your LinkedIn ‘Profile Photo’ in the navigation bar or when in the ‘Home’ tab page. Clicking your ‘Profile Photo’ will take you to your profile view.
Step 2: When your profile view page opens, find and click on the ‘Edit your public profile’ words/link.
Step 3: The ‘Public Profile’ page will open with a right side panel that says ‘Edit public profile URL’. Find and click on the pencil icon that appears to the right of your public profile URL to open up the field that will allow you to change your public profile URL. (A URL that is not customized will include a string of numbers along with your name.)
Step 4: Enter your name as you would like it to appear in your custom LinkedIn public profile URL. Click ‘save.’
Assuming no one else has already secured your name, you are now good to go. If the name isn’t available, try a different variation that will work for your personal brand.
Once you have your public profile URL (web address) setup for your LinkedIn account, use it everywhere! On your business cards, your email signature, your other social networking sites and any marketing material.
Title Case Your LinkedIn Personal Profile URL Where It Appears In Print
LinkedIn won’t allow your public profile URL to be title cased when you create it. This doesn’t prevent you from title casing your custom LinkedIn web address when you use it in print. Be sure to title case your custom profile URL (web address) when you print it on your business card or anywhere it will appear in print. This will help the name pop and make it easier for people to read at a glance.
LinkedIn.com/in/SueCockburn is much easier to read than linkedin.com/in/suecockburn.
Note: Your custom LinkedIn URL must contain 5-30 letters or numbers and may not include spaces, symbols, or special characters.
For tips on how to help people find you online, see ‘6 Easy Ways To Help People Find You Online.’
This article is updated to reflect the recent changes to the LinkedIn profile layout.