Years ago, television had infomercials. Perhaps they still do, but most of us do not watch “normal” TV anymore. We should ask our grandparents about this. At any rate, an infomercial was a long commercial that focused on a single product and all of its value and benefit – usually small appliances or beauty products. They lasted about 30 minutes.
This is how you should view your LinkedIn profile/presence – as a personal infomercial in which you present your brand and share its value with others. It is a grand venue for developing a strong presence that will accomplish many things – your reputation in your career field, the chance to network and find more customers/clients, the opportunity to get recommendations, and a method to find new career opportunities.
As important as LinkedIn can be, you want to stand out among close to 250 million members and/or over 3 million company pages. Here are 6 Linkedin Profile Tips for you to do just that.
Taking the analogy of an infomercial further, your LinkedIn summary must capture your brand and value in a short statement, much the way in which in infomercial opens and closes. Many have also compared this to an “elevator pitch,” in which you tell your reader who you are and what you do – combining your skills with you as a person.
If you read other great summaries, you will find that they are written both in the first and third-person. There is no “right” way, but the one thing that is important is this: be honest, professional, but not arrogant. Answer the following questions with your summary:
- Who are you other than your position title?
- What makes you unique with your profession?
- Why would someone else wish to connect with you, network with you, or see value in who you are?
Before you finalize your own summary, read through those of many others in your niche and who hold similar positions. You don’t want to “copy” them, if course, but you will get some good ideas of what they contain and how they are formulated.
You will notice that most photos are of two types – headshots that have obviously been professionally photographed and those that have been less formal but still good. Lots of people actually do their own headshots on their phones. As long as the picture is clear and of good quality, a phone shot is fine. You may have far less formal headshots on your other social media profiles, but LinkedIn should probably be more formal. Consider these two headshots of Jeff Bullus, for example.
The one on the left is his LinkedIn headshot, versus the one he often uses on his blog and other social media channels.
Your resume or CV can be included as an attachment on your profile. Many choose to have these documents because they provide the details of educational background, work experience, and specific accomplishments. As well, if they ever are in the job market, it is easy for a potential employer to access that resume easily.
If you choose to add your resume or CV, be certain that it is professional and impeccably composed, and highlights your accomplishments well. It might be wise to enlist the services of a professional service, such as Resumes.Expert, to review your resume and draft one that is more contemporary and fully in line with hiring managers’ expectations in your niche.
If you have your resume attached, make certain that it is updated regularly.
Certifications, Awards, and Organization Memberships
These should all be included in your profile. Adding these specifics provides proof of your professional status and ability and connect you to reputable organizations. Include as many as possible; however, if you are new in your career and do not have such “proof” yet, be certain to communicate your abilities and any accomplishments in college in your Skills section. Over time, you will add to this section as your career advances.
LinkedIn is, of course, a professional networking site. Its idea of a social network is much like others – to connect people based on their commonalities and interest in one another. Making connections through digital means is a huge improvement over trying to do so in a previous brick and mortar world when face-to-face connections could be difficult. On LinkedIn, you can broaden your reach, build relationships, and spread your personal brand from your computer, and have a pretty strong impact. You can do this by joining groups.
To find groups related to your niche, simply click on the “Groups” link in the “search” function, and then add a keyword phrase that relates to your niche. Related groups will then pop up. Explore the purpose of the groups, the members, and their positions, and join those that are best suited.
When you join a group, make it a point to provide an introduction and begin to participate in the discussions. Over time, you will build solid relationships with other group members.
The another benefit is that every group you join is then listed on your profile, adding to your “proof” of professionalism.
Endorsements and Recommendations
Once you are established on LinkedIn, you will see that you begin to get “endorsements” from people you do not know. This is a common activity on the part of members who want to add to their list of “connections.” It would be a good idea to check out those endorsements to be certain they are people you really want to be connected to you. If not, you can remove them in this way.
At the same time, you should be cautious with endorsing others. Be certain they are connections that will be beneficial and perceived by others as valuable.
Regarding Recommendations: the mutual writing of recommendations is another common activity of LinkedIn members. According to the “rules,” you can request recommendations (written referrals) from others if they relate to the skills/positions you have listed in your profile. At the same time, you can write letters of referral for others. Be discriminating here. Be certain you have a solid understanding of the professional reputation of anyone you recommend – they reflect on you.
LinkedIn Pulse is, at the same time, both a blog and a sub-social network within LinkedIn. It is a self-publishing platform for any member. Thus far, the largest categories of articles/posts have been in the areas of marketing, professional growth, finance and career paths. As it continues to expand, more and more users will be able to highlight their expertise to audiences that are professionally important to them. And, the other benefit? Unlike a regular blog/post, these do not have to be “marketed.” Once you are comfortable with the types of posts in your niche, and once you see an opportunity to post something that will add to your niche, craft an engaging and well-written piece that others will find valuable. This will serve to elevate your status among peers and others. Many of these posts have gone rather viral, and this type of exposure can do much for your career path.
Evolution is the Key to Your Presence
There are much more tips that you will pick up as you become accustomed to LinkedIn and learn of all the possibilities for you to spread your personal brand. These Linkedin Profile Tips, however, will lay the foundation for you to then build a stronger presence over time. Your profile and your presence must be a continual “work in progress.”
Got your own golden rule to stand out your Linkedin profile from crowd then do share with us by commenting below!