LinkedIn is by far the most valuable social networking tool for professionals---job seekers, business owners, and entrepreneurs alike.
Use it correctly - and it could well help you build successful networking connections with ideal employers, employees or clients.
Since you're competing with over 420 million other professionals, you need to build a killer LinkedIn profile that’ll help you stand above the crowd. This will help set you apart from the people who bring similar value as you. Your profile is the first meeting of your brand to your key audience.
You should have these two goals with your LinkedIn profile:
Search engine optimize (SEO) and visibility;
To send a unique branding message that clearly aligns with your career/business goals.
Here’s how you can create a killer profile:
Send a friendly message in your picture, and, importantly, SMILE. And, don’t be afraid to show your quirks. You need a picture with good lighting that captures your best angles and whole face, and displays a professional image.
A professional headshot is highly encouraged, but not the 'end all be all.'
LinkedIn automatically defaults this 120-character headline to your most recent position. But, this doesn’t do you justice to describe who you really are/what you do.
After reading your Headline, your audience should know instantly how you could bring value to them. It is an area the search engine rates as key in establishing your profile’s ranking in search databases. It should capture your target position and most critical skills.
Here are some my favorites headlines of people on LinkedIn:
I challenge conventional thinking about leadership & organization and deliver critical & creative insights.
Disruptor in the recruiting industry who believes that JOB SEEKERS have WAY MORE POWER than Human Resources; 23 Yrs. Exp Recruiter…
Recruiter...Husband…..Possibly Batman…….Follow me on Twitter @ Hervbird21
You will grow your summary gradually; however, starting out you can always use the first few lines or so of your resume profile, or content from your sales page.
Also, use a Call-to-Action to let people know immediately how they can reach you.
When completing your profile, don’t forget to include your work history. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you wouldn't believe the amount of profiles I've come across that don’t reflect any job experience.
Gather recommendations from clients, colleagues, business partners, coworkers, etc. to increase your brand's credibility. In fact, LinkedIn doesn’t consider your profile ‘complete’ until you’ve obtained at least 3 recommendations.
Don’t make it hard for people to reach you, so complete all the elements of the Contact Info section. Make it easy for people to connect with you by stating your email address, phone, and social media handles in your Summary, too.
Creating a vanity URL on LinkedIn is a great step towards establishing your brand. To create the URL, use a combination of your first and last name (Please get rid of the numbers behind your name, too) :-)
Make sure that you have activity on your profile for two reasons: (1) to show people what you're passionate about, and (2) increase your visibility/ranking on LinkedIn.
Want more tips?!
Download the free guide, "LinkedIn Network Marketing Solutions for Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs."