By now, you know that LinkedIn is a vital tool for your career, whether you are actively or passively looking for a new job, or an independent consultant marketing to the public. You create a profile, maybe put up a picture and your employers/job titles, and stop there. While that's a good start, don't stop there. A half-written profile says more about you than no profile at all. LinkedIn profiles are the most requested service among my clients, and honestly, I love working on them. It's become an art form and it's important to know the elements to ensure are included. I recommend clients state clearly who they are professionally by thoughtfully thinking about their message and then building their profile accordingly.
Here are a few of my favorite tips:
1. YOUR PHOTO: Why are you on LinkedIn? What do you want people to know about you? What is your brand? Let's start there. If you are a professional working in an office environment, do you really think using a photo of you camping while on vacation conveys that message? Have a professional photo that reflects the image you wish to convey. There are dozens of articles on this topic. Click here for one. Also, add a background photo that reflects either your professional image or your profession. If you are a musician, choose a photo that reflects this. Go to Flickr.com, create an account for free, and download from an incredible amount of professional photos made available.
2. KEYWORDS: There are certain fields in your profile that are key to being found by those searching for someone with your skills and experience. Those two fields are your Headline and you most recent Job Title. Your Headline most likely reads something like: Senior Accountant at XYZ Company. Change it to the key words that are most relevant for you. Not sure what they are? Do some searches in LinkedIn's Advanced Job search or your favorite search engine and see what words are frequently used.
3. SUMMARY: Write a professional summary of your experience with a slightly personalized flair. Let the reader see your personality. Your resume is more sterile, but here is a chance to let the reader see a bit more about you. Don't go overboard, don't be silly, but try to infuse it with a bit of your personality. You'll be more than just words on a computer screen.
4. BE ACTIVE: On your home page, share articles, like other people's posts, or write a post if you enjoy writing. Choose topics that are relevant to your profession. And remember LinkedIn is NOT FACEBOOK. Save the details of your personal life, political commentary, or all those 'what's the first word you see' posts for Facebook. These do not add to your professional image.
5. LOOK AT OTHER PROFILES: One way to get noticed is to look at other people's profiles. First, be sure you don't show up as anonymous when you view profiles, then look around for people who work at companies you are interested in, or who could be hiring managers. You can be sure most will notice you looked at their profile, and they will look at yours. At best, they may reach out to you. At worst, they'll just ignore it. So, it's worth a try.
6. STILL STUCK? Look for articles on profiles and review profiles of others. See something you like? Use it as a guide. If all else fails, hire a career coach who is experienced in LinkedIn. They can provide a top notch profile that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. I had one client who had no fewer than 10 job interviews within a week of updating his profile. Don't you wish you had those kinds of results?
Just a few changes on your profile and usage can have a HUGE impact on your results. Give it a try.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.