Greetings Divas! Quick question: How many of you have a LinkedIn profile? If the answer is "Yes," are you maximizing its features? Confession time! My LinkedIn profile is awful! Absolutely dreadful! Now, by awful I don't mean there's anything inappropriate on my profile. I actually have quite a bit of good information on there. The reason I label my LinkedIn profile as "awful" is because it is not complete and I have not fully utilized its capabilities. I recently had a discussion with one of my colleagues who had given his LinkedIn profile a face-lift. In doing so, his profile views have increased dramatically. This got me to thinking how beneficial ones LinkedIn profile can be for personal branding. Additionally, a completed and thoughtful LinkedIn profile gives you an edge if you are using the network as a job search mechanism. Based on this conversation with my colleague, I have compiled 5 Quick Tips to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile. Check them out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
1. Complete Your Profile - So, LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional social media site. Having a profile is pointless if it does not adequately portray your current and past professional stature. You should take the time to complete your profile as completely as possible, including the Summary, Experience, and Education sections. Also be sure to complete the section outlining your contact information. You should at least have an email address and a work telephone number. If you have a professional Twitter and/or Facebook account, it can't hurt to have it in this section as well.
2. Upload an Appropriate Picture - Just so we're clear, appropriate does not include that picture you took before you headed out to the club with your friends. I understand that your hair was laid and your makeup was beat, but LinkedIn is not the forum for this type of pic. Your pic should be tasteful and professional, and should readily identify you. This is especially important if you have a common name...your picture with differentiate you from another like-named person. Now back to the pre-club picture...I truly believe a fabulous picture should never go to waste, so upload the club picture to Facebook!
3. Nail Your Headline - Did you know that when you search your name on Google and your LinkedIn profile profile appears in the search results, so does your headline. In fact, the words you use in your headline serve as key words for many search engines. Use this section to quickly, succinctly, and specifically describe what you do. Quickly and succinctly because you don't have much character space in this section. You want to be specific so that when your profile comes up in a search, the searcher immediately sees who you are and what you do. In completing this section, don't use you actual job title...instead, use words and terms that describe your professional capabilities. For example, instead of "Attorney at the Law Offices of Martini Chronicles, LLC.," use "Attorney Specializing in Martini Recipe Creation, Talented Blogger, Connoisseur of Fabulousness." See how descriptive that is!
4. Maximize the Skills and Expertise Section - This section is your chance to show anyone who ventures to view your profile just how fabulous you are! So have a seat, and make a list of your top five skills and expertise that are related to your past and current positions. And don't just list them...explain why the specified skill or expertise makes you the best at what you do. Brag a little bit! But also be informative. Makes sense?
5. Get A Few Recommendations - They can't hurt! I suggest you have at least one recommendation for each position listed in your Experience section, and at least three for your current position.
There you have it! Five quick tips to maximize your LinkedIn profile. Can you think of any additional tips to share? Please do so in the Comments section below! Have a great week!