Friday, April 19, 2013

Pimp Your Profile: How to Effectively Market Yourself on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn is more than your online résumé. Sure, it has your work experience, but it can be so much more. Treat the website like an online portfolio. It is where someone can go to see what you've accomplished. Better yet, put on your marketing hat and convert your LinkedIn profile into a multimedia advertising campaign.

Think about the big name brands: Coke, Ford, The New York Times. Their websites and commercials contain customer testimonials, product demonstrations and visual proof of their products. Companies are doing much more than stagnant print advertising, and with the power of the Internet so can you. It just takes a little creativity. 

What media can I add? LinkedIn says it officially supports images, video, audio, presentations and documents by certain providers, but others may work too. The one thing you should know is that the media you include in your profile has to have been published to the Web (it needs a URL). Where can you put these nifty media clips in your profile? They can be part of your summary, incorporated into each position listed in your experience section, and in your education section. Just look for the little blue box when you edit your profile.

What to showcase. Think beyond boring job duties. Instead, think about the problems you've solved at work. What differentiates you from the hundreds and thousands of other people who have the same job title as you? Is there a picture of you receiving an award? Have you given a presentation or spoken at a conference? Have you written articles? What would you want someone to find if they were searching for you on the Web? These are the images, articles and content you can create and publish yourself online. Please think of your LinkedIn profile as a brag book and begin collecting screen shots and links.

I've got nothing. If you don't have anything, create it! You can create a PowerPoint highlighting your accomplishments and publish it to SlideShare, which is fairly simple to do. The most difficult part is figuring out what you will put into the presentation. Search around SlideShare and get ideas from other people who have created online resumes or personal profiles. If you're interested in creating something a bit jazzier than PowerPoint, you may want to test Prezi.com.

More Tips and the Complete USNews Article

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