How You Can Benefit from an Optimized LinkedIn Profile
While many people have told me they don’t use LinkedIn, I have found many benefits from using it, both for my career and personal interests. But it wasn’t until I actually had an optimized LinkedIn profile and became active on the social network that I noticed even more possibilities.
First of all, LinkedIn is a great place to connect. With over 400 million active users in 200 countries, it’s easy to find new prospects as well as old classmates, colleagues, similar professionals and potential employers or employees. With all those potential connections come opportunities. So how do you find and leverage them?
In essence, there are two basic approaches to this: outbound and inbound. Both methods suit specific needs and purposes. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m partial to the inbound approach. Generally speaking, it’s more efficient, more sustainable, and less intrusive.
Similar to other social networks, depending on your profile, you will appeal to different viewers. A focused and optimized LinkedIn profile portrays your unique brand identity in an accurate and professional way.
Because of LinkedIn’s somewhat buttoned-up nature, it’s critical to be cautious of what you post. Outbound is about looking for people and actively reaching out to them. Inbound on the other
Get Noticed By Professionals
Before getting into how to do that,
As I mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a large social network and is used all over the world. That means that you have to stay active, be current, and interact. People want to engage with those who look professional, sound knowledgeable and who are engaging. A professional photo will make you 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Otherwise, you make it easy for them to take a pass on you.
Advance your Career with LinkedIn
An optimized LinkedIn profile can improve your career path and set you up for future success. It will attract coworkers, industry professionals, industry influencers and even interested employers. In fact, 89% of recruiters say they’ve hired someone through LinkedIn.
Including your current job will automatically push you up on the search list, and help you be found by others in the organization. Adding previous positions, along with their skills, increases your search potential even further and gives you more credibility in your industry. Credibility shows others that you are knowledgeable and a potential asset to them.
Connect and Engage with Professionals
Consider joining relevant or interesting groups to your industry. This brings opportunities for you to learn more about what’s new. Sharing your insights and integrating with a common community can bring
While following companies
Engaging with LinkedIn Influencers, when appropriate, has the potential to bring positive exposure to you and your business. Groups, Companies
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can improve your chances of connecting
A LinkedIn profile is rated on its content and given a strength level based on how it’s completeness. From 1-5 (5 being the highest), the more accurate and relevant information you include, the higher your profile will be rated. This also helps in the search. The levels range beginning from; 1-Just beginning, 2-Intermediate, 3-Advanced, 4-Expert, 5-
To reach 100%, you must include;
- Industry & location
- Current position
- 2 previous positions
- Profile photo
- At least 50 connections
So pay attention to your profile strength! Now, here are some tips to get you started.
- Be consistent with your name. Align your LinkedIn account with the name you use on your business cards, email signature and resume.
- Add a Professional Photo. Including an appropriate and current professional headshot will get you a higher response rate and make a big difference in how you are perceived.
- Create a custom URL. A custom URL (http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname) is typically shorter than the given one and sends the right branding message. Adding your full name to the URL also makes it easier for people to find you.
- Fill in the summary. Make sure to include a short summary of what you do. Use simple language, there’s no need to stuff your profile with big, fancy words.
- Add Professional and Educational Experiences. Make sure to keep these sections accurate and up to date at all times. Include your current and (at least) 2 more of your most recent work experiences, plus descriptions. Otherwise,
you’reprofile will not be complete.
- Optimize – to ultimately stand out from the crowd. Avoid buzzwords!! Too often people fill their profiles with buzzwords like; strategic, organizational, motivated, driven, passionate and creative, to name a few, and professionals take notice
tothis. Instead, research activekeywords in your industry. Include them throughout your profile – work them into your experiences, skills andinterests to make you more searchable. If you’re in finance, use words like cost analysis or budget planning. If you’re in Sales & Marketing, try including words such as competitive analysis and lead management. Make sure to check for spelling mistakes and broken links – this could really hurt your credibility!
For a visually helpful guide to perfecting your LinkedIn profile, check out this insightful Infographic: It’s All About the Presentation: How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile and Presence composed by Quill.com and Ghergich & Co.
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