Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Secret to Building a LinkedIn Profile That Gets Results - 7 Steps

By Lily Zhang

Everyone is on LinkedIn now. With over 300 million users and growing, you probably already know that this is where you want to be to manage your professional reputation. But with so much competition out there, how do you go about grabbing the attention of recruiters?

The best way to raise your visibility among your peers and have a knockout profile is by creating a cohesive, compelling brand for yourself on LinkedIn.

What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, when you’re branding yourself, you’re suggesting a unique promise of value that separates you from your peers—you are someone or do something that’s different than everyone else out there. And then you’re communicating it on LinkedIn—and to the world.

1) How to Do It

The majority of your work actually involves figuring out what your brand is first. While there’s a lot of advice out there on how to develop a personal brand, the golden rule is to be authentic.

Think about what really matters to you: your vision, purpose, value, and passion. Know what you have in common with your peers and competitors, but also what makes you stand out. For instance, if you’re in business development, do you specialize in managing top clients, or are you the guy who creates connections out of nothing? Then, get external feedback: What do other people know about you? What do they think makes you unique among others they’ve worked and interacted with?

This initial groundwork can take time, but once you’ve done it, see how you can connect your self-perception, the perceptions of others, what makes you compelling, and your promise of value together. Then (and here’s the fun part), figure out how to roll it all up in one sentence—a pithy, one-line, statement that sums up your personal brand. Here are a few examples:
  • Extroverted office manager with passion for event planning, from office holiday parties to company retreats employees actually look forward to
  • Sports marketing professional with expertise in social media analytics and Millennials
  • Coder with a conscience: Solving problems in healthcare with technology
This step can be hard to get right, but once you do, it’ll be easy to turn it into elevator pitches—and, of course, your LinkedIn profile.

(For more on this process, read about the first step to building your personal brand.)

2) Express Your Brand - read more about #2, steps 3-7, and the complete article

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