Are you on LinkedIn? It is currently the leading social platform for business professionals and offers many opportunities for connecting, learning, sharing and building a strong personal brand. The problem is many people aren’t using LinkedIn to its fullest potential. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your presence on LinkedIn, review these steps for reinvigorating your profile.
- Create a compelling headline: Use keywords that clearly and accurately describe what you do. This will make it easy for people to find you and quickly grabs their attention. If possible, use a word or two that differentiates you, such as “Experienced,” “Advanced,” “Driven” or “Expert” to help your headline stand out even more.
- Summarize: Draft a persuasive and succinct summary so that others quickly have a “snapshot” of your professional skills and experience. List your area(s) of specialization to further promote where you excel, particularly if you’re involved in broad business functions such as marketing, finance or human resources.
- Use a recent headshot: Letting people put a face with a name creates a much more compelling profile. If you have a professional shot, that is your best bet. A crisp, friendly close-up will also work and is certainly better than nothing.
- List accomplishments: Don’t settle for just letting others know where you’ve worked. Also, don’t settle for listing job responsibilities. Include at least three or four specific accomplishments, such as how you saved the organization money or increased business volume. This will demonstrate that you’re a goals-oriented professional that provides value to the organization.
- Get recommended: Do you know a few people who would recommend you? Contact them and ask that they put it in writing. The more recommendations you can generate the better. Recommendations can be a powerful influencer, particularly if the person reading the recommendation knows or is somehow familiar with the person doing the recommending.
- Publish updates: Attend a conference recently? Have an article published? Finish a key project at work? Be sure to let your network know. This helps to keep others current about your activities. If you don’t have any specific news, share an article or video you found helpful. Your network will appreciate the fact that you thought about them.
- Use LinkedIn Answers: Help other professionals by answering some questions in your area of expertise. If you’re fortunate enough to have your answer selected as “best,” you’ll be recognized for your expert answer on your profile. By using LinkedIn Answers, in addition to the great feeling that comes from being helpful, you further position yourself as a leader in your field. If you don’t feel comfortable answering questions for the world to see, ask some questions. This demonstrates you are studious and eager to acquire new information.
- Add an application: Explore the applications LinkedIn offers to add to your profile. If you have a blog, be sure to display it or provide a link. If you’re on Twitter, consider adding a link to your account. There are many other applications as well that will help you stay visible to your network, display what you’re learning and provide value to others.
Don’t settle for a static presence on LinkedIn. Make up your mind to make the most of this important platform for professionals. Use these ideas and get started today!
What do you think? How have you optimized LinkedIn and built your profile?
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.