Whether you are a professional, a job seeker, an entrepreneur or someone who is happily employed, a LinkedIn profile could be a wonderful asset for your career. This social networking site lets you connect to over 43 million professionals worldwide. LinkedIn functions as curriculum vitae, reference document, cover letter, and an efficient database for your professional and business contacts for a lifetime. Here are easy steps to help you build a powerful profile to magnet the jobs you are passionate about while fostering a social network that can leverage your career to its heights.
Branding your profile
Your LinkedIn profile should be flawless since you will most probably be judged by recruiters who are assessing if your qualifications will meet their company needs. There is no room for spelling and grammatical errors and it should be completely filled out.
- Headline. Try to brand yourself with the job you want and not what you currently have. Instead of placing “Marketing Specialist for Apple,” you can put “Internet Marketing Specialist for Fortune 500 Companies.”
- Custom URL. Edit your LinkedIn profile to appear something like http://linkedin.com/in/fullname. You can edit this at the public profile tab.
- Summary. The part should summarize your work experience. Spice up this section with some of your distinct skills and abilities such as industry honors and awards.
- Experience. List every single job you have ever had that is related to your current work. An easy way for you to do this is to copy and paste the bullets that you have on your resume.
- Keywords. Flood your profile with keywords since most recruiters will use LinkedIn as a form of talent search engine. Sprinkle keywords on the headline and on the rest of your profile page.
- Applications. If you run a blog, then make sure you take advantage of the WordPress app. List two to three of your blog web pages so you don’t overwhelm readers.
- Websites. You are given the chance to list a maximum of three sites. Select any webpage you own, your company’s site or a page on your blog.
- Recommendations. When recruiters search for talents, they usually view profiles with the “thumbs up” graphics on them. Ask for recommendations from previous employers, managers, colleagues, teachers and managers.
Developing your LinkedIn network
Now that you have finished writing a compelling profile, it is time to grow your network. The LinkedIn network is your professional network graph. If you are new to the site, you can import contacts from your Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Windows Live and Hotmail accounts. Be open and available to everyone by accepting their requests and responding to questions. Make sure you leave an email address on your profile so other professionals can add you. Promote your URL by placing them on your site, presentations, and maybe on your business card.
Position yourself as an industry leader
Start a group covering topics that are relevant to your career. It would also be wise to interact with other LinkedIn professionals by asking/answering questions.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat - a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.