LinkedIn has more than 225 million users around the world, and if you’re not one of them, you may be missing out on job opportunities or new client leads. How can you make sure your LinkedIn experience is the best it can be? Try following these seven tips for LinkedIn personal branding success:
Perfecting your LinkedIn Profile
Whether or not you’re actively seeking employment, creating an irresistible LinkedIn profile is a must. You never know when a job recruiter, headhunter or hiring manager could be looking at your profile.
#1: Have a professional photo in your LinkedIn profile
The first step to a successful LinkedIn profile is your photo. Always use a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile. “A picture paints a thousand words,” and having a professional headshot is worth its weight in gold. It sends a strong message about you.
#2: Create a compelling LinkedIn headline
Secondly, create a LinkedIn headline that reflects what you want to be seen as. If you don’t want to be seen as a cashier, even though that’s where your job experience lies, don’t put “cashier” in your headline. Additionally, make sure to use keywords in your headline so your profile comes up in search results.
#3: Use the LinkedIn summary to tell your story
The third tip is about telling your story in the “summary” section. No one likes to read boring lists of corporate speak: “Highly motivated, detail-oriented go-getter” doesn’t really tell your story. Use action words and authentically connect with people. Write out your “summary” section in Word to perfect your message, and then copy/paste into your LinkedIn profile.
#4: Ask for recommendations
Ask for recommendations from your peers, colleagues and friends. The best way to ask for a recommendation is to send an email with a link to your LinkedIn profile. You can also write a recommendation for someone else, and typically, he/she will return the favor. Get as many recommendations as you can.
LinkedIn is not just about a killer profile
LinkedIn is a social network, which means it’s meant for interaction and engagement. The only way to make profitable connections is to participate in LinkedIn, just as you do Facebook or Twitter. The more you participate, the richer your LinkedIn experience will be.
#5: Find relevant LinkedIn groups
Once your LinkedIn profile is maximized for results, take some time and find LinkedIn groups in your areas of interest. Start out with 2-3 different groups at first. Introduce yourself and make meaningful conversations with other group members. Add value to each interaction. Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Ask questions and seek advice from those you talk to. Just like a “real life” networking party, people will remember you if you are a pleasure to be around.
#6: Let people know you are looking for new opportunities
Looking for new career opportunities or clients? Be sure to tell people you meet through LinkedIn. Think of all the unseen connections your LinkedIn friends have. They can be your eyes and ears, especially if you’ve made a good impression.
#7: Review your LinkedIn profile regularly
Finally, audit your LinkedIn profile regularly to see what updates you can make. Can you revise your headline or summary? Do you have more experience or education to add? How about uploading your latest articles or PowerPoint presentations? Don’t “set it and forget it” with LinkedIn – the more you keep it updated and fresh, the more attractive your personal brand will be.
With a strong LinkedIn profile, you’ll be on your way to creating a positive personal brand – all helping you find new sales leads, job offers and clients. Add LinkedIn to your personal branding strategy, and you’ll reap the benefits time and time again.
This article was adapted from articles originally published in Inside Trinity, a Hibu publication. Reprinted with permission.
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