While almost everyone seems to spend a ton of time and energy into their Facebook pages, few make equal efforts to develop their professional online persona through LinkedIn. Sure, it’s fun catching up and keeping up with people from your present and past through Facebook, but it’s really just a personally indulgent pastime that yields little other than entertainment. LinkedIn on the other hand can be very rewarding and actually yield positive, tangible results in one’s professional life. The time spent on LinkedIn is much more of an investment, and should be appreciated and utilized as such. Here’s how top professionals are using LinkedIn to further their careers and/or businesses.
First and foremost, top LinkedIn users recognize that it’s essentially one big professional marketplace, one in which it’s easy to get lost. They eliminate this risk by employing effective keywords (words that their potential customers/employers might use to find services/products such as they offer) in their headlines. Located just under your name, headlines should be descriptive and make intelligent and repeated use of your target keywords. Be direct, clear and concise. This is essentially your personal “tagline”, a one sentence sales pitch that should help you to be picked out from among the crowd.
Second, top LinkedIn users understand that, while the platform is a virtual technology, the connections remain very human. This means contact and personal interaction. So, spend a few minutes to make sure that you have secured and included the necessary contact options, including your phone numbers, your email address, your various instant messenger names, your Skype contact name, and any other potential means of communication that people in your industry commonly utilize to communicate with one another. The easier you make the connection, the more likely someone is to reach out to you. Keep the descriptions user-friendly and professional (don’t use inappropriate nicknames and/or monikers from your college days).
Third, top LinkedIn users take the time to analyze and understand their profile from the other side. They visit their LinkedIn URL and view themselves according to the way the public sees them. While this information can be customized in a variety of ways, it’s generally best to include as much relevant information as possible (without overindulging on personal details such as address, birthdate, etc.). The more open you are, the more your potential contacts will be able to learn about you and your personality, history, and objectives.
Finally, top LinkedIn users invest a significant amount of time crafting their personal stories. Found in the Summary section, these 2,000 characters allow you to go beyond your attention-grabbing headline and really sell yourself. Unfortunately, too few profiles make use of the full potential of the summary, often including just a few sentences. Keep in mind that, if they’ve taken the time to go beyond your headline and they’re still reading, you’ve got their attention – this is your big chance. Don’t skimp on the details. Be specific. Make it personal. Make it more than just a dry bio. Make it interesting, and by all means, make it complete. Use every inch of “self advertising” space that LinkedIn is willing to provide you. It’s valuable virtual real estate.
Other important points to consider when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile include:
Adding a link to your personal or corporate website (if you have one)
Uploading a personal video introducing yourself (video is much more effective than text)
Adding a list of any publications you’ve written or published
Completing your education details, including academic awards and achievements
Posting relevant and intelligent articles related to your field
Regularly posting insightful and useful status updates.
If you are a professional and you can find the time to spend on social media, you’ll want to make LinkedIn your first priority (and Facebook a much less frequent guilty personal indulgence). If you have any questions about how to best utilize social media for yourself or your company, contact our sister company Capital Designs at 866-664-7465.
[schema type=”person” name=”Daryl Muzy” orgname=”Lescault and Walderman” phone=”866-496-2042″ ]