Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Build a strong LinkedIn profile with these 5 tips


LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Don’t think of it as Facebook, you won’t find updates about birthdays or pictures of your neighbor’s cousin’s baby’s first steps; this is where your professional persona strives.

No matter what industry you are in, having an enhanced LinkedIn profile that speaks to your goals, skills and aspirations is key to landing your next, or first, job.

Think of your profile as a way to promote your brand — a professional permalink, a fixed point on the web to promote your skills, your knowledge and your personality. Brands build trust by using an authentic voice and telling a credible story, you are your brand — you should too.

You aren’t a resume; neither is your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn hooks you into a network, not just 
a human resources department. You wouldn’t hand out your resume before introducing yourself, so don’t do it here. Instead, describe your experience and abilities as you would to someone you just met. Reflect on the past six to eight months and take time to update your profile with any accomplishments or details you think will be relevant to your job search. You’re selling yourself and your services and products here, make it count.

LinkedIn lets you drag and drop sections of your profile, to highlight your accomplishments, your expertise, your skills and recommendations. Take a few minutes to go back to your profile, drag, drop and review the way it looks. Play around with this, you never know what will catch the eye of a future employer.

In addition, write for the computer screen, formatting text in short blocks of copy with visual or textual signposts.

Let your voice shine

Light up your profile with your voice. Use specific adjectives, colorful verbs and active construction (for example cite “managed project team,” rather than “responsible for project team management”). Speak naturally: only write in the third person if such formality suits your personal brand. Picture yourself at a conference or client meeting. How do you introduce yourself? That’s your authentic voice, so use it.

Here is how you can best highlight your creative experience and accomplishments to a potential employer:
  • Choose wisely: Don’t over-inundate with every single piece of work that you’ve done over the course of your career. Include the pieces that best reflect your creative ability and industry experience. Quality over quantity definitely rings true in a portfolio. Pick your top-line projects or awards to show off your versatility.
  • Be appropriate: Your profile should be able to go from a buttoned-up corporate employer to an unconventional one without changing a thing. Your profile should speak for itself, so always remember to keep it suitable, and employers will surely see the scope of your ability.
  • Details, details: The best way to demonstrate your range from leadership to team-oriented roles is to include thorough information as to exactly what role you played in each item. This honesty as well as a tangible way to see your growth will surely be impressive to a potential employer.

Creating a strong portfolio is key to landing that next new assignment or dream job.

Write a personal tagline and memorable headline

That line of text under your name? 
It’s the first thing people see in your profile. Make it short and sweet and to the point.  
In searches, the LinkedIn headline follows your name. It’s your brand. (Note: your e-mail address is not a brand!) Use power keywords, words of action and words that show accomplishment and achievement – as opposed to words that merely describe what your previous role was.

So what if you are unemployed? What should your tagline say then?
Here are a few key points to keep in mind, when updating your Linkedin headline if you are unemployed:

  • Make sure that both your resume and profile reflect the changing times.
  • Eliminate any terms that may have become obsolete.
  • Also, if you’re currently unemployed list your current position as “open to opportunities” or “Marketing Specialists seeking new opportunities

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