Your LinkedIn profile is more valuable than your resume.
Don’t believe me? Well it’s the truth and here’s why:
According to Mashable, LinkedIn is growing every quarter and has now reached over 250 million active users in over 200 countries around the world. When it comes to networking, being able to get your name in front of an audience that large is clearly a winning strategy but the reason for using LinkedIn is far more than a mere numbers game.
LinkedIn has been referred to in the past as a “21st Century ‘little black book’ that no corporate recruiter can live without”.
But you need a powerful profile that people will respond to. So let’s get started with these 5 steps to a powerful LinkedIn profile:
5 Steps to a Powerful LinkedIn Profile
Step 1: Complete your Profile
Some social networks don’t require much effort in the way of creating a profile. A head shot, a quick introductory line and away you go.
This is NOT the case with LinkedIn. Here your profile needs to be as detailed as possible. It really does act like an online resumé or business profile so the more details you give, the more likely somebody is to view your profile and think “this is somebody I want to do business with”.
A complete profile will also improve the chances of your profile showing in search results on the site. Fortunately, even though your profile is extremely detailed, the site makes it easy for you to enter the information section by section. Some of the main details are:
- Current/latest position with full description – Make sure you don’t skimp on information here. You want people to know that you possess the skills to help them with their particular problem.
- Samples or previous projects – Show the very best examples of how you helped people to achieve their goals by using your expertise and prove that you can do this time and time again.
- Skills – The skills you list are searchable. So if somebody enters the words “social media marketer” and you have that listed as a skill, your profile will be entered in to the search results. You should list at least five skills but the more, the better.
Step 2: Avoid Corporate Headlines
Your headline is what people will see beneath your name if your profile comes up in a search or in a group. It is basically the first impression that people get of who you are and what you do. A lot of people use the name of their company as their headline, which is great if people know how you are already. But what if people don’t know you (which they obviously don’t otherwise you would have connected with them) and your company name really doesn’t tell anybody what you do?
A great headline tells people what you do and how you can help them in a clear, concise way. For example the my LinkedIn name and headline helps people understand what the member does and how they could make a valuable asset:
Florentina Istrati – Where European Entrepreneurs Go Global
Step 3: Be more Sociable with Apps
There are a number of LinkedIn apps that are designed to help members share
information with each other and make their overall experience more valuable. Be sure to look out for the following popular apps:
- Amazon Reading List: Share your favorite books with your connections or in groups. This is a brilliant way to break the ice in a group situation while making sure that you have fresh, non-promotional content that others may find useful.
- Events: Find conferences and other business events that you can attend and take your networking skills into the ‘real world’.
- WordPress App: Let everyone on your LinkedIn connections list know when you’ve got a new blog. Anybody who didn’t know about your blog will do now and if they love what they read they might even share it with their connections.
- SlideShare and Google Docs: Create a presentation to showcase your skills and expertise.
LinkedIn has a limit on the number of apps you can use at once. Only use those that are the most useful for you and your business.
Step 4: Give and Request Recommendations
Recommendations on LinkedIn are effectively testimonials that can be seen on your profile to show that it’s not just you who thinks you’re great – others agree too! 😉 You can give and request recommendations and it’s a good idea to do both.
Giving a recommendation – If you have a first connection on LinkedIn and you have been particularly impressed with their work, then you have the perfect opportunity to express that. All you have to do is go to the person’s profile and scroll down to where it says “recommendations”. Click on the text that asks you if you would like to recommend the person and fill out the form.
Recommending people helps you build relationships with your connections even if you no longer work with them anymore and there’s always the chance that giving a recommendation could prompt that person to return the favor.
Requesting a recommendation – If you know that you have done a great job for somebody then why not ask them to share that with the world? You earned the recognition. Not everybody thinks about writing a testimonial or recommendation for people but if they are asked for them, they’re normally happy to help.
To request a recommendation on LinkedIn you simply need to go to your own profile, hover over the “Edit Profile” button below your picture and select the “Ask to be recommended” tab. You’ll be taken to a form where you can choose:
- What you want to be recommended for – choose from your skills list in the drop down menu.
- Who you want to ask – you can choose from your connections and select up to 200 at a time.
- What message you want to send – There’s a generic message that automatically comes up but it’s always better to add a personal message so that people know that you value their time to read and respond to the request.
Recommendations can take some time to come back because most people won’t have the recommendation request on a high priority list so the key is to just be patient.
Step 5: Post
content Valuable Content
LinkedIn posts are searchable so focusing on keywords is half of a great idea to get your profile seen. The other half of the great idea is to post content that is truly valuable to the reader. In short, posting every single blog you write to every group you’re in might as well as embedding a link on your profile is NOT the way to go.
The following guidelines will ensure that you post content that your connections will like and potential connections will be attracted to:
- Share industry related content – If you’re in a group called “Health and Beauty Tips” sharing an article about “how to choose the best lawn mower” will not be a good fit. Make sure your content is relative to the people who will be reading it.
- Share guest posts – Rather than constantly linking back to your own site all the time which could easily trigger the spam alert for the people who run the groups, try linking to guest posts that you’ve written. Not only will you not be viewed as having spammy content, you’ll also be able to nod to the fact that other people recognise that your thoughts on a subject are valuable.
- Share other people’s blogs – There’s no need to endlessly promote somebody else but if you genuinely read an amazing article, sharing it with other will give you credibility as a serious individual that believes in providing effective solutions rather than making a quick buck.
By creating a powerful profile, you could get your number saved in some major ‘little black books’.
Now, back to you! 🙂
Are you using your LinkedIn profile to it’s full potential? Do you have at least 2-3 app installed? What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to LinkedIn?
Thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts in the comments section. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.