LinkedIn is far and away the preferred network for business professionals. It has now become a standard for people of business to have a LinkedIn profile; it offers a thorough and dynamic way to represent yourself online, and, when properly fleshed out and optimized, is an ideal way to network online. Here are some tips to creating an effective LinkedIn profile.
Update your Photo
It can be very off-putting to connect with a business professional and then find out that they are 20 years older than the headshot they are using. At worst, it appears disingenuous and in the least, it appears lazy. Make peace with your appearance and get an up-to-date photo up there!
Create a Compelling Headline
In your headline, you have just 120 characters to deliver your elevator speech and insert critical keywords for your business/profession. This is arguably the most important part of your profile. Spend some time on this and choose your words carefully.
Here is a good one (learn and do likewise):
Send the Right Message with Your Summary
Your summary should be a representation of who you are. It is the ideal place to set the tone of your personality/business. It should make those you network with want to develop a long-term business relationship with you. If you are a business consultant, create a serious tone and highlight your accomplishments. If you own a cupcake shop, have a little fun with it! Determine the right tone for you and create. And never forget… you can always look at other profiles in yours or similar industries for reference and inspiration.
LinkedIn has made huge leaps forward in the last 18 months, the most significant of which is the addition of media to a profile. You can now add YouTube videos, Powerpoint/Slideshare presentations, documents, PDFs and more. Take full advantage of this by adding these resources to your page.
Make sure that the content you select is quality content and serves a purpose. Regardless of the section of your profile, make sure that the content is clear and to the point. Uploading video? Consider changing the name so that it is better suited to the networking professionals who will be viewing your profile (and include keywords). Did you spend your early twenties tending bar? Doesn’t need to be here. Ensure that the right message is being sent in a very clear, concise and appealing way.
Follow these tips and you will be off to a flying start with your LinkedIn profile! If you find that you need some assistance with your profile, contact me; I will create a profile that will effectively convey your skill set and experience, that will appeal to potential connections and will be optimized for search engines.
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