Do you think that LinkedIn is just for people seeking a better job opportunity? Think again. Not only is it the “world’s largest professional network” but it is a tremendous resource for industry news, publishing original content and staying connected.
Still not convinced you should bother with your LinkedIn profile? Then let me ask you this, what is the first thing you do before you are to meet or potentially work with someone unfamiliar to you? You Google them, right? And what do you think is typically the top result you will find in your search? In most cases, you will find his or her LinkedIn profile (assuming you are not searching for a celebrity or criminal). The same goes for someone who is interested in learning more about you. LinkedIn is the easiest way for people to find out more about you online.
In order to make the most of your LinkedIn profile–your online face to the world–your should seriously consider doing these three things right away:
1) Use a good picture
– Nobody wants to do business with an unknown, so why would you let your LinkedIn profile sit faceless? A good photo doesn’t have to be a professional headshot, though those are ideal. With today’s smartphone camera technology, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to create an image of you that compliments and enhances the rest of your profile.
2) Update (or add) your Headline & Summary – This is really two things, but they are equally important.
The Headline is the description or title that appears just below your name. Seize this opportunity in 120 characters to define yourself. Don’t just throw in a job title. Anyone can be a professional, principal or a manager, so be creative, use keywords and make your headline sing. It defines you throughout LinkedIn.
The Summary is located on your profile below your picture, headline, location and industry, just above your experience. Many people overlook this section and go straight to the experience – mistake! The summary is your opportunity to grab someone’s attention and share exactly what you want them to know about you and encourage them to review the rest of your profile. Be sure to include results-oriented language, specialties and easy-to-find contact details.
3) Disable Activity Broadcasts – Don’t annoy your LinkedIn connections or raise the suspicions of your boss if you are in serious job search mode and are frequently updating and revising your LinkedIn profile. BEFORE you do anything, go to the Privacy Settings and disable (uncheck) “Activity Broadcasts” so that you are not sharing every edit and change with the world.
Staying active and up-to-date on LinkedIn is also important, but just tackling these three steps alone is a great start. It will not only make your profile more complete, it will make it more engaging and linkable with the right people.
For more helpful information about LinkedIn, check out these useful articles:
Are you on LinkedIn? How is it most useful to you? How often do you update your profile? And would you be interested in a participating in a LinkedIn class with me? Please let me know in the comments. Thanks!