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Customizing Your LinkedIn Profile's URL

By Susan P. Joyce

If you are using the default URL that LinkedIn assigned your profile when you create it, you don't look like a savvy LinkedIn user because the default URL is full of numbers. As a result, the default URL is also typically long and hard to type without mistakes.

The "In crowd" members have URL's that look like this:

Rather than a URL like this: or

With a customized URL, you will look like an experienced LinkedIn user.

In addition, the URL will look better whenever and where every you use it -- your resume, your email signature block, and elsewhere.

It will also be easier to type cleanly when necessary.

How to Customize Your LinkedIn URL

It's easy to do. Here's how to make this change in 9 simple steps:

1. Go to your LinkedIn home page. ("Home" is on the left end of the the menu bar near the top of the page when you are logged into LinkedIn.)

2. Click on the "Profile" option.


3. Select "Edit Profile" on the drop-down menu.

Select "Edit Profile"

4. At the top of the Edit Profile page, you will find a box containing your photo, Professional Headline, and current job title.  At the bottom of the box find a gray bar, like the one below, which shows your current LinkedIn profile URL.

LinkedIn URL on the Edit Profile page

5. Run your mouse over the current URL, and the tiny gear image will appear (where the arrow is pointing in the image above). The gear won't be visible until your mouse is near it on the compter screen.

When you run your mouse over the gear image (the arrow above), the words "Update Your Public Profile" will probably appear.

Click on that link (the tiny gear), and a new page will open containing a great deal of information about your Profile. 

At the top of the right column, and you will find...

Customize Your LinkedIn Profile's URL

6. Clicking on blue pencil circled, above, will open this dialog box, below --

Customize your profile URL dialog box

7. Type in your name or your personal marketing message in the box beside "" and you're done.

Pick the version of your name very carefully! Choose something that will be applicable and that you'll be comfortable using for a long time. If your name is available - like "marysmith" - that's probably your best choice.>/p>

Your name must be different from every other LinkedIn member, or LinkedIn won't allow you to save it. Bear in mind that this URL will become quasi-permanent as you use and distribute it, so try to pick something you won't need to change in the near future.

Choosing Your Name

You have a maximum of 30 characters (numbers and lower case letters) to use.

If possible, use the version of your name that you use for your LinkedIn Profile (and your resumes, job applications, patent registrations, Tony awards, and other professional visibility).

With over 400 million members, that version of your name may already be taken, so you might need to be a bit creative:

  • Using only your name is common, if it's available.
  • Add your middle initial, middle name, maiden name, confirmation name, if your "real" name is already being used by someone else.
  • Use your initials or nickname if necessary, like "mjsmith" rather than "maryjanesmith" assuming availability.
  • If all versions of your name are taken, you might try your last name followed by your first name, like "smithmaryj."
  • Perhaps you could add the job title for what you do or want to do, like "accountantmaryjsmith."
  • People also add professional designations, certifications, or degrees to their names to make them unique, like "marysmithcpa" or "marysmithmba." See the 25 Best Keywords for Your Job Search for more ideas.
  • If the above options don't work for you, consider adding a number, but don't use your age or birthyear! Perhaps your work area code or another significant number for you.
  • If you must include numbers, avoid your birth year. Your work Area Code or Zip Code could be better numbers to use if you must use numbers, assuming you don't plan to move soon.

Notice every letter in this URL is lower case. No other options, and no "special characters" like hyphens, asterisks, etc. are allowed.

You to change your name up to 5 times in 180 days (then you'll need to wait another 180 days before making another change). So this name isn't "set in concrete." However, consistently using the same version of your name is a very good idea.

Remember to promote your professional image so avoid names like "hotmama" or "superstud."

8. Click on the "Save" button. You now have a new, much cooler URL for your LinkedIn profile.

9. Copy your new URL from the your Edit Profile page (# 4, above) and add it to your Twitter Bio, business cards, email signature, and everywhere you want people to see your LinkedIn Profile.

Bottom Line

Anyone searching LinkedIn for you will find you more easily. Wwhen you link to your LinkedIn Profile, you'll look savvier with the custom URL. Don't forget to add this line to your email "signature" section at the bottom of every email you send out related to your work or your profession.

More Information About Names

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.


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