There’s a lot of buzz around LinkedIn lately, and there’s good reason for it! It is a great place to network and market your business… it is not just an online resume site, although it is great for that too!
There are some basics that you will want to be sure you cover if you are just getting started with LinkedIn.
Why complete your profile? I’m glad you asked….
When creating your profile on the site, be sure to complete your profile 100%! You want to have everything there that someone looking to do business with you… or hire you, would need to know to get you the job. By the way, the Improve Your Profile button below your picture and headline in the Edit Your Profile area is a great way to go through all of this step-by-step!
You also want to visit the site frequently to update your profile. Keep any eye on your profile views and how many times you have come up in the search. You may need to tweak some sections if you aren’t seeing an increase in these numbers. You can also get more profile views by posting updates, but more about that below.
If you want to get into specifics…. you’re in luck:
Here are some basic points to keep in mind to maximize your LinkedIn profile:
1) A great, professional profile picture. Remember that this is a professional site. You want to put your best foot (face) forward. This is not the place to use your Facebook profile pic, and probably not a good idea to include your family members in this one either. Keep the size of your photo between 200 X 200 to 500 X 500 pixels.
2) Create a creative Headline. Many just use their current job title here, but that will show elsewhere, so use the headline to tell more about yourself. Use some keywords that would help someone find you in the search. For example, are you a Passionate Sales Professional Focused on Increasing Revenues or are you a Sales Manager? Which would you prefer to do business with?
3) Don’t skip the Summary section. I see a lot of people skipping over the Summary to go straight to the Experience section. The Summary is a great place to tell everyone what you do, what you want to do, what you are passionate about, and what you are looking to do in the future. Again use some keywords, but don’t go too crazy.
4) Complete the Experience section… and yes, that says COMPLETE. Don’t just list job titles. Treat this as your resume. Tell them what you have accomplished at each of these positions, what were you responsible for, etc.
5) To complete the rest of your profile you will need to add your Education information, Skills and Expertise, website (up to 3 can be added), Twitter username, Interests, Groups and Associations, and Honors and Awards. Again, think hard, and fill in each section. More on the Skills and Expertise and Groups below…
6) Skills and Expertise: Here you can add keyword and phrases that describe skills you have and have utilized in your past positions. The really cool thing about this is that you can now be endorsed for each of these skills. Endorsements are easy to give. You just go to a person’s profile, scroll down to their Skills section, and click on each keyword or phrase to endorse them. When endorsing others they will get a notification, and chances are that they will return the favor. Ask those you work with and do business with to endorse you.
7) Groups: A great way to network using LinkedIn is through Groups. You can join groups on all topics. Search for groups using keywords then request to join. Once you join a group participate in the conversation, ask your own questions, network. Use it like you would a networking event, only you don’t have to leave your home or office.
8) Request Recommendations! When you ask others to Endorse your skills, also ask them to write a Recommendation of your work. These are a bit more in depth, a few sentences, telling others about how it was to do business with you. Recommend others, and again they will receive a notice and will be more likely to recommend you!
9) Utilize the News Feed. The News Feed is similar to Facebook in that you can post an update for your connections to see in their News Feed; however, again this is a professional site, so you would not want to post the same update that you would post in Facebook. Post about your business… without being salesy or too promotional. Share interesting articles, blog posts, or other information about your business or others in your network. Anytime someone writes a recommendation or endorses you a notification will appear in your connections feed. This keeps you top of mind in your connections eyes, and may just get your profile a few more views!
What do you think? Do you have any tips or advice to add?