LinkedIn may not be the world’s greatest social media platform for sharing with your best friends and family members, but it’s a crucial tool to utilize when it comes to building your personal brand.
It’s the go-to place for professionals, and more importantly, one of the first hits that will pop up if anyone does a Google search for your name. In fact, 86% of companies that use social networks to recruit talent do so with LinkedIn.
You don’t have to be a current job-seeker to benefit from impressing employers and colleagues, because today’s LinkedIn is way more than a placeholder for everyone’s resumes.
It’s an excellent way to make valuable connections and get the latest scoop on fresh opportunities, so it’s well worth taking the time to create a profile that attracts others.
Once you’ve gotten the basics down, use these tips to power up your presence on LinkedIn:
Write a Memorable Headline
Your profile’s headline is like the first line of a good book: it should create a hook that pulls the reader in, wanting more.
Don’t simply restate your job title. Think of your headline as a tiny, mini bio about how you use your position to create value for those who work with you.
For example, you’re not just a sales manager; you’re a sales manager driving growth for small businesses.
Lifehacker lists the headline as one of the top three ways to help your profile reach the top of the search results.
Don’t Ignore Recommendations
Don’t be shy! If you’ve done work for a client or company, politely ask for a recommendation. Also, be sure to endorse and recommend others for excellent work or expert skills.
This action is a two-way street, and you’re more likely to receive some unsolicited endorsements if you give a few first.
Forbes compiled a whole list of the reasons why recommendations can make or break your hiring potential.
Make sure your profile is peppered with industry-relevant keywords. This will help you show up in searches better, which places more eyes on your profile.
However, according to LinkedIn, you want to avoid these overused buzzwords.
These are overused descriptive adjectives like “creative” and “organized.” If you are creative and organized, it doesn’t mean you’re banned from using these words – but do avoid stuffing them into the titles and subheadings of your profile.
Don’t use a keyword just for the sake of using it; make sure it flows with the surrounding text and don’t use one single word over and over again. Work relevant terms in naturally, especially in attention-grabbing areas (like your headline).
Here is a good list of resume power words from Money-zine.
Delete Outdated Information
If you’re not actively job-seeking, you may forget about portions of your profile that you haven’t needed to update. Regularly read over your profile and weed out outdated information, remove yourself from groups that are no longer relevant, and update sections that may have changed.
Make Sure You Have a Custom URL
If you haven’t claimed your own URL yet, the address to your profile will be something like http://linkedin.com/in/, followed by a bunch of numbers. Edit this in your profile and claim your own name as your URL, so that people can find you by typing in http://linkedin.com/in/yourname.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for building new connections that can lead to fresh opportunities. Take advantage of this, and make sure your profile reflects how fantastic and valuable you are as a colleague and career-minded individual.