Monday, April 9, 2012

Create a LinkedIn Profile That Rocks: 7 Tips

One of the great things about being a reporter is that, quite literally, I learn something new every day. Here's what I learned while researching this story: My LinkedIn profile does not rock. In fact, it may stink.
This is partly because when I filled out my profile, I didn't care. I was a busy freelancer, and wasn't looking for work. But now that Connie and I are running One Thing New, all kinds of people may be checking me out on LinkedIn –-potential readers, partners, reporters, advertisers, anyone. Time to step it up.
Here's how I'm going to do it. And how you can do it too, whether you're looking for a job, trying to find new partners or clients, or heck, running an email newsletter.
1. Customize your URL. This is just common sense, and takes almost no time. Left to its own devices, LinkedIn will assign you a long and incomprehensible URL. To change that, click on "Edit profile," then, "Public profile." In the right-hand column, select "Your URL" and type in a URL that actually has something to do with your name.
2. Personalize your Web site. LinkedIn lets you link to other Web sites or blogs from within your profile. I chose "Web site" and then included the link to One Thing New. Wrong! Instead, choose "other." Here's why: Choosing "other" lets you 'name' your blog or Web site. Instead of a link that just says "Web site," it can say, "Awesome resume help," or "World's best bakery." I simply chose "One Thing New." Whatever works for you.
3. Know your keywords. Recruiters use keywords to search for job candidates on LinkedIn. So why doesn't your profile reflect this? Like me, you probably didn't think about it.
Time to start thinking. Ask yourself: Why am I on LinkedIn in the first place? If your first answer, like mine, was, "I'm on LinkedIn out of some dull but undefined sense of obligation," try asking yourself what, ideally, you would like to get out of LinkedIn. Need a hint? Some 98% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find job candidates, compared to 33% who use Facebook, according to a survey from Bullhorn Reach.
If you want a new job, then find a few job listings for your dream job. Pay attention to the keywords used to describe that job. Write them down. If you're looking for new clients, think about the services you offer and how your clients describe them. Look at a few job descriptions, too. Again, write down your keywords.

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