If you are a civil engineering professional who engages in or plans to engage in business development activities, you absolutely must have a strong presence on LinkedIn®. According to Wikipedia, LinkedIn® is a business-oriented social networking service, primarily used for professional networking. As of 2015, most of the site’s revenue came from selling access to information about its users to recruiters and sales professionals. As of March 2016, LinkedIn® has more than 400 million users, out of which more than 106 million are active. 
There are many different courses, and even books that you can read, on how to effectively use LinkedIn®. I have published an episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast on the topic, and this month’s Seller-Doer Academy webinar will cover it as well. That being said, there is one extremely simple step that all civil engineering professionals must take on his or her LinkedIn® profiles, and that is to claim your LinkedIn® Public Profile URL.
Your LinkedIn® Public Profile URL is just what it sounds like, the URL that you can refer people to, to connect with you on LinkedIn®. Many professionals include this URL on their business cards, and it has been said that this will become standard very soon. This is why personalizing your LinkedIn® Public Profile URL is one of the most important things you can do in your career.
By default, when you first set up your LinkedIn® profile, you are given a LinkedIn® URL that may look something like this:
The URL above is a temporary LinkedIn® URL, and these temporary URLs typically have /pub/ and numbers that follow it.
Personalize your LinkedIn® URL in the edit profile setting to something that is more memorable. For instance:
Once you’ve customized your LinkedIn® URL consider including it in:
- Your professional resumes that you submit for project proposals.
- The signature section of your emails.
- Your business cards.
You want people to remember you, and having a very specific LinkedIn® URL with your name in it is one way of doing so. Otherwise, you will have a randomly generated string of numbers, and I don’t think that is how you want to be remembered.
If your company is not a member of The Seller-Doer Academy for Civil Engineers, please contact us for membership information through this form or by calling 800-WIN-1734.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
Co-Host of The Civil Engineering Podcast