LinkedIn is the most powerful, professional tool available – no exceptions. From finding jobs and building a sales network to staying connected with former colleagues and managers – it’s our virtual Rolodex (remember those? If not, google it!) and a great way to build your professional brand. Here are a few ways you can boost your profile (with some instructional links included) and ensure you are noticed on LinkedIn:
- Customize your URL – More people are catching onto this, but it’s a great way to have an easy-to-remember link that you can put in your email signature, business cards, give over the phone, etc. Remove the crazy numbers and letters that follow your name and claim your link. If you have a common name, insert your middle initial or abbreviate your name (i.e. ktravia). Here is a quick link on how to customize yours.
- Build out your network – Are you new to LinkedIn? Have you not used it in awhile? Do you normally leave connection requests pending? If you answered yes to these questions, chances are your connections are less than 500. Everyone can see how many connections you have when it’s less than 500 (you can see how many you have regardless of the number). Go to the site today and accept all those pending requests. Use the feature where LinkedIn will sort through your email contacts and send requests. You can have it search through your work email, gmail, yahoo, hotmail, even AOL! Are you still on AOL? Let’s try out a new email server if you are. 😉 Here are instructions for searching importing and inviting your contacts on LinkedIn. If you haven’t done this step process in over a year regardless of how many contacts you have, do it again to ensure you capture anyone new you have emailed with lately.
- Ensure you have the meat and potatoes – What are the meat and potatoes of your LinkedIn profile? It’s actually 3 things so technically it’s the meat, potatoes and maybe green beans of your profile if I want to use a correct analogy: Profile Pic, Headline and Summary. Make sure you have all 3 and they are captivating. For your profile pic, make it a pic that is easy to see and only of you. You can get anonymous feedback on it from photofeeler.com. Just upload the pic, give feedback on other pics and then wait for yours. For your headline, don’t just say you are the Vice President, ABC Company. What do you do or specialize in? Lure people into your profile with an engaging headline: Digital Media Specialist and Creative Content Manager. Lastly, build out your summary. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should showcase who you are, what you are good at and what you have accomplished.
- Refresh your profile – If you haven’t updated the content in your profile in awhile, check it out today. And next month. And the next. Put a reminder on your phone so you can go to the site on a monthly basis and add to it. Add skills, accomplishments, volunteer experience, certifications, programs, projects, media, etc. The options are endless on what you can add to your profile. But the more you keep it fresh, the better chance you have of your profile being noticed more. This will help you for building out your network, getting more connection requests, increasing sales leads (if you are in sales) or increasing your chances of getting noticed for a new job.
It’s okay to have a robust profile with updated content and be happy to stay in your current role. LinkedIn isn’t just a site for those looking for a new job. It’s a way to build out your professional brand, increase your visibility and gain new leads (again if you are in sales). So many of my clients tell me they are scared to make changes to their profile because they don’t want their managers to see you building it out. That mindset is a thing of the past. Refresh your professional brand today. If you need help or guidance updating your profile, drop me a note!