This is the second installment of the Social Media for Jobs Series where I am providing tips on how to social market your most important brand, you. Last week we discussed the importance of building your personal brand. Today we’re focusing on ways you can stand out by optimizing your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile is today’s digital resume. It’s very important!
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for professionals. As of August 2, 2012, the network had more than 175 million members worldwide.Why wouldn’t you make sure you’ve got all the necessary information up front to make a great first impression? Let’s face it, companies are searching for the best, and they’re using LinkedIn to help lead them in the right direction. Companies could be searching for someone with your skill set and your expertise, but if your profile isn’t updated and keyword optimized they won’t be able to find you. You’re probably missing out on hundreds of opportunities to connect with the right person as you read this.
Here are ten tips to make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects who you are and why you’re the best candidate for the job!
1. Know your career goals. Ask yourself what your goals are for having a LinkedIn page. Think about your careers goals and what jobs you are interested in. Ask yourself how you want others to see you. Once you have a vision for your future you can adjust your LinkedIn profile to reflect your aspirations.
2. Use your full name and be open. Using your full name ensures people will actually be able to find you. The more open and accessible you make your profile, the more people you will connect with. LinkedIn has a tendency to lock down privacy settings by default. Edit your settings to allow people to easily find you and invite you to connect. You can always decline. But you can’t make up on missed opportunities.
3. Have an eye catching headline and a kick ass summary. Your headline is like your tagline and it’s either going to entice potential employers to read your summary or hit the back button. Let your personality shine through. Be professional, but also don’t be afraid to get creative!
4. Use a professional photo. If your headline is your tagline, then your photo is your logo. It all goes back to communicating your personal brand. You’ll want an image that feels friendly and approachable. While a stuffy suit is appropriate for LinkedIn, it can lack warmth. On that same token that cropped bar photo of you with your arm around your invisible friend on Facebook will not bring the type of connections you’re looking for. Find a happy medium between friendly and professional and you’ll have a winning photo. Don’t forget to shine you’re winning smile too!
5. Make sure your profile is updated and complete
- Straight to the point.
- Use keywords and tags that people in your industry might be searching for, and that accurately reflect your capabilities.
- Fill in your work history. Include all relevant positions that will highlight your expertise in your given field.
- Add your skills.
6. Participate in industry and group discussions. Groups are a way to network online with people in your industry and show that you know what you’re talking about. Some groups even post jobs that you might be interested in.
7. Post something cool. Make sure you share updates regularly about topics related to your profession. Show potential employers that you are a valuable resource. Do not syndicate posts from Twitter or other social networks. It’s bad form and does not show that you are spending time in LinkedIn to network.
8. Ask for, and give recommendations. Yes, ask and you shall receive. LinkedIn makes it easy to ask other people for recommendations. Don’t be shy, everyone is doing it. Don’t forget to give recommendations too because the more you give, the more you will receive.
9. Connect with people who have to potential to help you build your career. Follow the companies you’re interested in working for and build relationships with people within those companies. Find a mentor. Leverage your contacts to and get introduced to key people in your industry.
10. Integrate. Make sure you share your LinkedIn profile on your resume, Facebook page, blog and other social media sites. Visit the Linkedin Developer website for easy plugins. There are several smart integrations you can apply to your LinkedIn profile page as well, including Slideshare, Twitter and your reading list. This lets employers know you are accessible and savvy too.
I’ve heard great stories from people using LinkedIn to land jobs and new business. While I love spending time on Facebook, Twitter, and other casual spaces online to have fun, I’ve found LinkedIn is serious about its business. How has LinkedIn worked for you?
Next in this series
Next week’s topic – Social Media for Jobs Series Part 3: Connect With the People You Want to Work With.
This is a five part series and you can get notifications when the next one comes out by choosing your RSS reader or subscribing below.