Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top Tips for building a successful Linked-in profile

I just finished passionately lecturing some unwitting colleagues on my best linked-in practices for profiles and thought I share. Your comments are welcome.....
Here are my top 11 hints for a purposefully effective Linked-in profile:
1.      Linked-in is the blend of professional and social media. Balance your tone with professional and personal. The use of “I” (a faux pas in resumes) can be suitable in some cases. However, unprofessional posts, pictures, and comments can make your linked-in seem like a crass attempt at humour.
2.      Linked-in is primarily a networking device. Tell your stories (concisely) to attract the right networking opportunities. You need to understand your purpose to use this tool – more clients, a new job, networking in a large company, recruit workers– then create that content. You also need to understand your competitive advantages.
3.      Ensure your picture is professional & add a background. There are 6 pages of background choices but some stock photos from the internet that have meaning to you can be effective. I had cherry blossoms from Japan on mine since I visited there this spring. Now I have switched it to hockey on a pond.
4.      Add any credentials that matter to your name – such as PMP, MBA, Peng
5.      Your professional headline is likely the MOST important element of your whole profile. Make sure it tells the story you want. By default, it loads the title of your most current job and most current employer (formatted like Sales Manager at the Bay). Click the pencil icon next to the headline and customize it to position yourself (see point 2)
6.      Current employer and most recent education show up on in your profile main section. You can reorder employers/education in the relevant section to ensure to you tell the Linked-in story you want to tell (again see point 2, hopefully it is sinking in by now)
7.      Optimize your profile for mobile devices. Most web-hits now come from mobile phones. On those devices, your summary is only about 80 characters with spaces, then gets cut off. Make sure you use those first 80 characters with purpose. The vast amount of people will not expand a section to see the whole text.
8.      Optimize your profile with SEO (search engine optimization) principles. One of those is repetition of a key words and their synonyms. So if a headhunter is looking for a welder, the profile with the word welder and synonyms that occurs the most time in a single profile is likely to be the top hit. And the vast majority of people focus on the first three hits in search engines.
9.      Be connected with the right organizations. Usually this means when you search for employers or schools, the company logo comes up. There are many times a single person makes and error (Department of National Defense – instead of Defence) and others follow them. Many people like to switch from people to companies to see who you know in common so you need to be linked with the right organization. Some headhunters will run reports on who works for key competitors to look for talent.
10.  Back again to point #2, the summaries of your experiences in each of your current and previous roles needs to tell the story you want. THIS IS NOT YOUR RESUME! Maybe you indicate what you are interested in. Maybe you comment on a current project. Maybe you pick the experience that is the job you want to really do next. Be purposeful and concise – 2-3 sentences, maybe a short bullet list.
11.  Besides building a great profile, there are behaviours you must use to execute your purpose. If not, it is like going to a party and standing in the corner not talking to anyone.  But that is for another article.

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