As part of creating the “You” brand you should focus heavily on your LinkedIn profile. To give you an idea of how big LinkedIn has now become it has 300million members internationally. 6million of these are in Australia and just 4 years ago this was only 1million. A completed LinkedIn profile will always be the first thing that comes up on a Google search of yourself. It can be the difference between getting the interview at your dream job and not getting the interview. Henny O’Brien the Talent Market Strategist at LinkedIn was recruited via LinkedIn. An Inmail sent to Henny asked if she would go for a coffee to discuss her options. She started at LinkedIn 6 weeks later.
If this doesn’t make you want to sort your profile I am not sure what will. It sure made me think twice about what my profile was saying about me. So how do you make your profile stand out?
I recently attended an evening with Henny and Tara Commerford the Head of Communications at LinkedIn who went into detail about how to improve your profile.
- Make sure that you have a professional photograph on your profile.
- Include a summary of at least 40 words, this should be an over view of your career but you also need to include how you stand out from others. Remember it is the first paragraph that people are really going to read.
- When writing your job titles, the title you give does not have to be your official job title. Henny’s title is “Sourcing great talent at LinkedIn” it means that when people are searching if the key words are in that title you are more likely to come up. Your job title could be obscure and not necessarily match what you actually do.
- Include volunteer experience or causes if you have any. This will make you stand out from another person that has a similar profile to yourself and will also set your LinkedIn profile apart from your Resume.
- Follow groups on LinkedIn and make sure you are active, like and share interesting news feeds.
- Follow influencers that are in your industry, you don’t need to know them to follow them and find out what they are talking about. People like Richard Branson, James Caan, Arianna Huffington all have interesting posts to follow.
- Add rich media to your profile. If you have any videos or presentations that you can post add them, these will make your profile stand out in comparison to others.
- Don’t be afraid to show the company culture within which you work. If you are doing something interesting in the office let LinkedIn know about it and get your colleagues to get involved in liking and commenting on the post.
- Blog, if you have something interesting to say, say it. You will create yourself as an industry leader, people may want to know what you are saying.
- Ask previous employees and colleagues for recommendations and endorsements. It may feel awkward but those recommendations and endorsements from previous working history will help you in the future.
Remember you are creating your professional brand, this is not something that only job seekers do, this is something that will help you network within your industry and call on the experts that you meet at networking events in the future for help, advise or just a chat.