How to Build a Personal Brand Through Linkedin

LinkedIn has become one of the most important professional network platforms on the planet. It has grown phenomenally in the last 5 years, with over 200 million members worldwide and 7 million in Canada alone. With every Fortune 500 executive having a LinkedIn profile, the website has become popular not only among students, but also corporations and individuals.
In a recent article published in Forbes MagazineSusan Evans discusses a report released by Bullhorn Company concluding that LinkedIn is the dominant networking site among job seekers and recruiters. As LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner states, “It’s not just about job seekers looking for the perfect job it’s also about entrepreneurs looking to make money, sales reps looking to turn warm cold calls into prospects, and journalists looking to break a story.”
Given LinkedIn’s growing worth, with the company reporting on Feb. 7 a 192% earnings per share as revenue rose 81%, and Facebook struggling to stay afloat in the markets, a LinkedIn profile is definitely an asset to your networking cocktail. The site provides attractive options to those who wish to market themselves to potential companies, recruiters, or customers, allowing users to display their academic credentials and professional experience at the top of their profiles. In addition, users now have a larger profile picture, an attractive contact button, and the elimination of job titles at the top of the profile to make the playing field more level.
At a recent Toronto event hosted by HAPPEN (professional networking group that links professionals with opportunities), Perry Monaco, Recruitment Product Consultant at LinkedIn, spoke about the benefits and tips for building your personal brand.
Here are a few highlights: 
• LinkedIn offers 4 product lines: Personal Membership, Sales Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Talent Solutions. The Personal Membership product (personal profile) line is one of the fastest growing in the world. Visit LinkedIn’s product page for more information.
• Adding designations beside your name puts you lower on the search ranking algorithm. You want to be found and found near the top of search rankings.
• Students and new graduates are recognizing LinkedIn as one of the best tools to connect with potential employers. 
• LinkedIn provides free job listings for anyone looking to hire a student or individual with less than 6 months of work experience.
• LinkedIn has undergone a major facelift and in September 2012 a new “Endorsement” feature section was added so fellow users can endorse your listed skills. 
• The more completed your profile is, the higher number of searches your profile will appear in. 
• You can join up to 50 groups and up your exposure by posting to groups with relevant content.

What should you include in your LinkedIn Profile?  Read what to include and the complete Huffington Post Article

13 Tips to Get That Job in 2013 on LinkedIn

Vice President of Marketing, NBCUniversal/Telemundo
LinkedIn emailed me that I’m in its “Top 1 Percent” of viewed profiles. Only two million of us are, so I’ll share my pearls of LinkedIn Networking wisdom. On LinkedIn you should:
1. Use a picture and real name.
2. List a profession, even if you’re jobless. Examples: “Financial Services Professional,” “Global Brand Marketer” or “Fortune 100 Accountant.” Your headline doesn’t need to say unemployed. If you don’t list your company’s name, the assumption is you’re seeking new opportunities.
3. When you reach out to someone, know what they and their company do. Don’t assume you already know. I often get emails from people about Latin American marketing because I work at Telemundo, whose primary business is TV for U.S. Hispanics. Not the same thing. It’s not cheating on LinkedIn to use other sites like Google to research a company before emailing new contacts.
4. If you want a contact to forward your info, write an email that is easy to forward and helps you. An email with typos won’t cut it. Neither will one that says you’d like a job in three different industries like wealth management, public relations or sales. Nor does one about your interest in jobs at three competitors.
5. Don’t say that you’d like any job in the field. Know your skills and explain how they match a particular job or opening. The job opening for a jack-of-all-trades is rare.
6. Do not send job requests in an email with multiple cc’s at various companies. Court your contacts. Make them feel special. No one wants to see that you want any old job. We’d like to feel that you want a job from us or with our companies.

8 LinkedIn Etiquette Mistakes

If you want to network professionally today, you have to be on LinkedIn. And, just as in face-to-face interactions, there are some specific no-no’s when it comes to communication and collaboration on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn hangs its hat on being the most businesslike of the major public social networks, and many people who would never dream of liking something on Facebook or tweeting status updates on Twitter will participate on LinkedIn. Many people, on the other hand, are pros at using social networks and might think of LinkedIn as just one more. That would be a mistake. One of the biggest missteps people make on LinkedIn is treating it like any other social network. Think of it like flip-flops: Would you wear them to a job interview? Probably not. Likewise, you shouldn’t do the virtual equivalent of kicking off your shoes on LinkedIn.
Another way in which people sometimes falter on LinkedIn is by taking advantage of their connections. Yes, it’s really cool that you are directly connected to the CEO of your company, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should direct message her on the network. And just because you have, say, 500 connections, it doesn’t mean that you should be sending out 500 requests for recommendations. As in real-life business situations, discretion, judiciousness and courtesy should guide your interactions on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has been making many changes to its interface lately, and some of the features have been met with more enthusiasm than others. Endorsements have been a particularly prickly subject, with many people believing they are meaningless or manipulative. It’s important to keep abreast of changes to LinkedIn’s platform, and to develop an understanding of how new features are being used and perhaps even abused. You don’t want to be the one in breach of some unwritten rule. Two other mistakes people tend to make on LinkedIn are to do too much or to do nothing at all.
In trying to get into the spirit of using LinkedIn, it can be easy to go overboard updating your status, requesting connections and joining groups. But watch out. These activities can be perceived as spamming your connections.
Doing nothing, on the other hand, can be even more problematic because it renders you almost invisible and negates the very purpose of being on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful networking tools out there, and it grows in power as more people see it as the de facto professional social network. Doing nothing can be the worst LinkedIn no-no of all.

1) Don’t Be Promiscuous With Endorsements

With just a click of a button, you can endorse the skills and expertise of people you are connected to on LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean you should. Have you actually experienced this person’s skills and expertise first-hand? For that matter, have you actually ever met the person whose skills and expertise you are endorsing? Do you expect something in return? If you answer no, no and yes to these questions, an endorsement will do you more harm than good.

2) Don’t Ask Everyone And His Brother For A Recommendation

As in the non-LinkedIn world, it should be considered a big deal to ask for a recommendation, and it should be a big deal to be asked to give a recommendation. Don’t blanket everyone you are connected to with a request to recommend you. You’ll put people who don’t know your work well in an awkward position, and the recommendations you do get won’t be as meaningful as if you had asked in a more pointed way

8) Don’t Do Nothing

Doing anything too much — whether it’s updating or messaging or liking or whatever — isn’t good, but doing nothing at all might be worse, at least when it comes to your career. On LinkedIn, why wouldn’t you keep your profile updated, update your status with relevant news and content, connect with people you have met at conferences, and join and participate in industry-specific groups? When it comes to any social network, one of the biggest no-no’s is to do nothing at all.

Tips in Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Successful Job Hunting

LinkedIn and job hunting – a match made in heaven

Can your LinkedIn profile help you land your ideal job? Yes, it very well can. Considering the fact thatLinkedIn is the single largest social media platform that specializes on business networking, putting an impressive profile in this network can significantly increase your chances of getting discovered by job recruiters and employers alike. 
However, since there are millions of people who are also trying their luck in finding a job through the site, you need to create an outstanding profile and optimize it accordingly to get found by the right people. If you are absolutely clueless on how to accomplish this goal, here are some tips that may help you.
Use a powerful profile headline. For the record, a simple and direct headline or personal tag line is all you need. You can develop an effective personal brand by describing the services and the qualities you can offer without going over the top. Avoid using buzzwords such as extensive experience, innovative, motivated, results oriented and dynamic, to name a few, since they are really quite overused. Tip: Consider branding yourself on who you want to be seen to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Highlight important details. Write a compelling profile summary to build your readers’ interest and urge them to know more about you and what you can bring to the table. Keep in mind that the topmost part of your profile is the most important so try to make it more substantial and interesting.
Use industry keywords. Increase your chances of getting found by job recruiters and employers alike by optimizing your profile for the search engines. However, avoid overdoing it or Google may penalize you for keyword stuffing.
Be wise in using recommendations. In this case, more is not necessarily better. Consider featuring only the best or most recent recommendations and keep the rest away from the public to keep your profile clean. If you don’t have any experience relevant to the job you are seeking, consider asking for recommendations from your professors and classmates. You can also ask for recommendations that highlight your work ethics instead.

The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements

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A little while ago, LinkedIn began allowing members to endorse each other. Unlike recommendations, endorsements were simply a way for one member to confirm that another member has a particular skill. Because LinkedIn made it extremely easy to quickly endorse people for multiple skills, and because there is no verification required at all, many observers questioned the validity or use of the feature, myself among them.

Of course, it’s nice to have a great list of skills on your profile, and having tons of endorsements for your skills is certainly more impressive than none at all. Furthermore, each time you endorse a potential partner or prospect, that person gets a nice email telling them that you thought they deserved to be endorsed for some skill.

If you thought that was all there was to LinkedIn Endorsements, then you might not have noticed the Skills & Expertise section.

Skills & Expertise

Like the old LinkedIn Answers, Skills & Expertise is hidden within the More drop down. If you can find it, you’ll be rewarded with a great-looking landing page that announces that Skills & Expertise is there to help you “Discover the skills you need to succeed. Learn what you need to know from the thousands of hot, up-and-coming skills we’re tracking.” According to LinkedIn, this feature is still in beta.

The top of the page features a search bar where you can begin typing in a skill. It can be for someone you wish to hire, or something you want to learn about and are looking for someone who’s blogs you might want to read. Or, more interesting, do a search on one of your own skills to see where you stack up.

Below is a summary of a couple of specific skills. For me, iPhone was the first “skill” listed, and the summary included cities, related skills, and featured professionals.

Skill Details

If you search on a skill and select it, you’ll see the full Skill Details page. The left side lets you search for a different skill or take a look at related skills. We’ll get back to the importance of related skills in a moment.

In the middle, you’ll see your selected skill and a nice box that details the industry the skill is typically associated with, whether or not you current list that skill, and a button to see suggested skills. You’ll also see a percentage followed by y/y, which stands for year over year. We’ll talk about the importance of this metric as well in a moment.

Below the info box will be a list of professionals who list that skill. You might think that these professionals are ranked according to the number of times they’ve been endorsed for that skill, but that isn’t the case. The top ranked professional for “Social Media Marketing” only has 33 endorsements for that skill, while the #2 individual had 99+. So getting ranked isn’t solely based on the sheer number of endorsements.

At the bottom is a list of LinkedIn Groups that are associated with that skill.
Along the right side you’ll find buttons to share the skill, charts for relative growth, size and age, related companies, related jobs, and related locations.


More Benefits and Complete Article

29 LinkedIn Tips Everyone Should Use

LinkedIn continues to be cited as one of the top sites for sales professionals, recruiters, and job seekers. Is the site continuing its’ explosive growth? LinkedIn recorded 4.2 billion professionally oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and is on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012. Additionally, they’ve added 1,000 employees this year. Yeah, that’s growth.
We’ve been working with the Minnesota Recruiters community on publishing some great content for job seekers and recruiters. 2 of the most recent posts include 25 social media tips from Recruiters and 50 job search tips. The focus for this article is LinkedIn and goes beyond the basic tips of using a professional photo.. Here are 29 LinkedIn tips everyone should use:

  1. Looking for a promotion or ideas to advance in your current role? Use LinkedIn to search for people and titles of the jobs you’re interested in. This is great research for what skills you’ll need to obtain.
  2. Use the CardMunch app for growing your network and LinkedIn connections. It’s quick and easy – use it for every person you meet and business card you receive.
  3. Use spellcheck. As Steve Levy told me in a recent call, you don’t want the word moron added to your skills inventory. A great example of this:  Are you the “Director of Pubic Relations”, or the “Director of Public Relations”. :)
  4. Create a more compelling summary. Many LinkedIn profiles lack information in the summary which is near the top of the profile. This is a quick way to stand out from others on the site.
  5. Take initiative beyond connecting. Don’t be afraid to ask for a call, a meeting, an informational meeting, or interview .
  6. Write and include a creative headline in your profile.
  7. Stay up-to-date with your network and use the site often. Don’t just engage with your network when you need something. Give back, frequently.
  8. There are now more than 2.6 million company pages. Use the company search function and use the results to research and connect with employees from target companies and follow their pages.
  9. Save time by signing up for job alerts – and let the site do the searching for you.
  10. Clearly articulate the value and impact you have made in current and past positions.
  11. Include specific information throughout your profile (context of roles, location, direct contact info, etc.).
  12. Connect your LinkedIn profile from other sites you use (twitter, facebook, blogs, about.me, etc.).
  13. Keep the skills section of your profile updated throughout the year.