10 Steps to a better LinkedIn Profile
YOU are a Product Too!
Your LinkedIn Profile should be your own ‘Sales Brochure’ that helps build your credibility and your reputation.
Will your profile add to, or take away from others’ perceptions about you?
And will it show your true value and get you noticed?
That may be the difference in being considered for your next business or career opportunity and getting that next meeting or interview -or going unnoticed.
Most individuals understand that they have to compete, but many don’t know that LinkedIn gives them the platform to do so. Get your new professional profile going or improve the effectiveness of your current profile.
Most individuals do not understand the opportunity and advantages that a rich, professional profile on LinkedIn can present to them, whether that’s for their business, for their careers, or in their immediate search for their next career opportunity.
But I already have a LinkedIn Profile.
You’ve taken an important first step by adding yourself to LinkedIn. Now take the next step and raise your profile’s effectiveness through a LinkedIn Professional Profile Renovation of your own.
In my Self-Recruiter® Building Your Professional Network with LinkedIn & How to Use It for Your Job Search lecture at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, many attendees ‘have’ their profile set up, or at least they have entered their resume on the LinkedIn site, but they don’t understand what else they should be doing. They are just waiting. Looking up to the heavens and waiting… for that ‘networking’ lightning bolt to strike. And they keep waiting until they quickly lose interest, failing to see the true value that is awaiting them -if they have used their LinkedIn profile in a different way.
Your LinkedIn profile… is Your Sales Brochure that is all about You.
Imagine how your Client or Customer meetings, Job Interviews, and even your pursuit of your company’s internal open positions would change… if the individuals that you were meeting had spent time reviewing Your Sales Brochure beforehand.
Q: Isn’t my LinkedIn Profile just my resume?
Many individuals do have their LinkedIn profiles that are ‘just like their resumes’.
But, those individuals are missing the real opportunity:
Your Professional LinkedIn Profile should be ‘positioning and selling’ your background, your accomplishments, your connections, and your industry expertise in ways that no resume can because of a resume’s inherent limitations.
As I teach in my Self-Recruiter® Resume Renovation video on my Self-Recruiter® YouTube channel, in order for Your Resume to be effective for you, it should be a Simple Sales Sheet that creates desire to hire, and that must be in a single page format to increase its effectiveness among the thousands of resumes competing for attention.
Your Professional LinkedIn Profile is a multi-dimensional Sales Presentation all about You -or at least it should be!
Not just a resume.
In the modern world, perception is reality. Ready to improve that reality with a LinkedIn Professional Profile Renovation in just 10 easy steps?
Your Professional LinkedIn Profile can include:
1. Your Brand. That’s your Name, Your Headline, and Your Professional Picture. Most poorly developed profiles happen because individuals just ‘answer the automated questions’ during their LinkedIn sign-up process. That produces a profile that looks like a basic, but typically ineffective resume. Each area where you can input text and information about yourself within LinkedIn is another area to better sell yourself. Rather than just answering ‘the questions’, take back control for yourself and use each one of these spaces as opportunities to shine the light and build your credibility.
Your ‘Current Status’ is part of your brand too. Think of this prime space below your headline as your Personal Promotional Marketing message. What will you say about ‘You’?
It’s a great chance to spotlight your current projects and agenda. When I work closely in my Career Coaching & Mentoring service with professionals that are not currently looking for a new job, it’s almost always on their challenge with internal and industry marketing efforts ‘of themselves’.
Those that actively manage their careers know that you must continually be ‘taking credit’, and marketing that credibility that you are building, to others. That’s one of the best ways to be seen as a leader, an expert, and the right choice for that next-level position that suddenly opens up.
2. All or part of your Resume(s). You may have more than one specialty. If your career has focused in-depth on two or more areas, it’s critically important when going after a job to send a resume that speaks directly to the opportunity that you are pursuing. But, how do you resolve having different versions of your resume with what your LinkedIn Profile says about You?
It’s about knowing what information that you have written is of value to your profile’s visitors, and which information is not. And each piece of information that you include must continue to build your credibility -and add a foundation of support for all of your resume versions.
Whether your profile visitors are potential Clients or Customers, HR professionals or hiring managers, understanding how to properly frame your experience and accomplishments – to properly take credit and never to misrepresent – involves a deep understanding of your business and career goals, and an understanding of how the hiring process actually works. If you are unsure of how to best accomplish this delicate balance, you should consider working with a professional for your LinkedIn Profile Creation / Renovation.
3. Your Summary and Specialties. Not simply a repeat of what you might have written on the top of your resume, these two areas are a vast piece of prime real estate on your profile that should be used to ‘position you’ within the mind of the reader.
Think of a cover letter that you may have spent hours developing. Why? Because that cover letter is your chance in the hiring process to ‘position and sell’ yourself in the mind of the reader. It’s similar with the use of LinkedIn’s Summary and Specialties space.
4. List Your Website, Your Blog, Your RSS Feed. Want to be seen as an expert? Well then you have to be communicating with the world. A blog is one of the easiest ways, for those with the proper writing skills, to effectively position themselves as the go-to expert in their niche. Have a website of your own (another great way to increase your credibility)? LinkedIn’s ability to include web links can be used to highlight your current company, your own company, or your own initiatives within your industry. And, be sure to take the extra step of ‘custom naming’ your web links so the they say more than just ‘My Company’!
5. Add Your Blog to Your Profile, under Publications. If you do write a blog that raises your credibility, have it imported automatically by one of the LinkedIn applications that you can add to your profile. Let your writing work for you continuously.
6. Be Public. You can choose to make your profile public to all. Why not? I’m often asked in my lecture series about privacy. While privacy concerns do have to be dealt with, reality also needs to factor into how ‘public’ we choose to be. Ever noticed how the younger generations (sometimes to their detriment) don’t seem to have a care in the world about having a ‘presence online’? In their minds, I think many of them think, “How can you live and breath and not be online.”
In another few years, everything about everyone will exist somewhere on the Internet. And, it will be seen as a very poor screening process if someone gets hired -and they don’t have a professional presence of credibility online. My advice: if you can’t beat them, join them. Be public and take control of that perception about you.
7. Honors and Awards. Yes, it’s okay to toot your own horn. List your career achievements and awards in a special section to raise your own stock.
8. Groups and Associations. We are who we associate with -in other peoples’ eyes. Be sure to make the most of your memberships to highlight your professionalism with your industry.
9. More Privacy Options that are Opportunities. You have control over many other aspects of your activities while on LinkedIn. Be sure to ‘show’ what you’ve been up to on your profile page so that you are seen as a mover and a shaker.
10. Add a Presentation or even a Video. Do you present and speak with others in your industry? Your presentation can appear right within your profile. Now that’s a great marketing tool, for You!
There’s much more…
You can achieve much more if you understand how you benefit, in ways that you do not see, by joining certain groups.
Want to increase your perception as an expert? Try answering some of your industry’s questions, in the LinkedIn Groups section and readers who like your views on topics can click to see your full profile. Then be sure that your settings also populate your ‘answers’ to your profile page so your connections see you as that expert too.
Why listen to my advice for your LinkedIn Professional Profile Creation or Renovation?
As an industry manager, executive recruiter, sales and recruiting trainer, event speaker, and as VP of a nationwide system of recruitment offices, I have seen most every aspect of the hiring process from both the internal and external view as the decision-maker, the decision-influencer, and as the objective observer. This varied insight is what provides the clarity that that my advice will bring to your LinkedIn profile. And, I have coached and mentored thousands of professionals, at all levels, in my more than 10 years in the recruiting industry.
Be sure to check out more about Full-service LinkedIn Profile Renovations on my website, Blog, and my advice on many other Job Search topics.
Your NEW LinkedIn Profile Awaits!
© 2009 John Crant
As seen and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, on FINS.com, on CareerBuilder’s CBsalary.com, on The Ladders, in The New York Post, The Huffington Post, in Essence magazine, in CRAIN’S New York Business, on Forbes.com, in amNY, and on CNN, BBC, FOX News, Arise TV – John shares the answers and the concrete steps for success in Job Search.
John is a Featured Speaker at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, as well as at the YMCA in New York City, and is a Social Media expert for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
He speaks at Corporate Events, works with Workforce Development organizations, and teaches both students and alumni with this Self-Recruiter® Series for Colleges and Universities.
Changing the Rules: How to Be Your Own Recruiter &
Ride the Economic Crisis to Your Next Career Challenge.
© 2009 John Crant
Also check out my FULL-SERVICE:
• Career Coaching & Mentoring
• LinkedIn Professional Profile Creation / Renovation (Full-Service)
• Resume Renovations (Full-Service)
• Online Lecture Series