November 18, 2009 Jason

Get more from your LinkedIn profile

I wrote this post for my blog at work, but I think this is an appropriate topic for effective brandscaping.

You’ve mastered Facebook to promote your business and you are flirting with being identified as a twitterholic, what’s next?

Are you using LinkedIn to promote your name, experience, and business?

You should – because your competition and your future employers are using it to check you out.

Here are 10 quick tips to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn experience:

1. Update your Picture – Yes, it’s fine to have a pic of a LOLCat for your twitter handle, but your LinkedIn profile should have a picture of you.  This will help future contacts, be they potential future employers or potential business leads, establish a bond with you.  By seeing your face, you make it easier for them to get to know you – and want to do business with you.

2. Update your information – If you can’t take the time to provide current information to people you want to do business with, why should they bother reading it?  Follow through and attention to detail are much desired, yet rarely demonstrated, qualities in business relationships.  Your resume nor your sales brochure wields the same impact that an updated LinkedIn profile holds.

3. Ask for references – Ask those that know you to endorse you.  The strength of the recommendation from your peers or previous employers shouldn’t be overlooked.  If you did a great job, be proud of it, and ask them to support you.

4. Give references – If you want to demonstrate your leadership qualities, do so by writing a review that shows that you were able to identify the right professional traits in someone that you worked with.  Writing a reference can show that you are able to lead, you are able to work in a team environment, and maybe most importantly, you are able to get along with those you work with.

5. Join Groups – Whether it’s to be an expert on a work related subject, or to demonstrate your interest in a new subject, groups can be a powerful component of your profile.  Choose your group, and then become an active member.

6. Make connections – OK, maybe this one is obvious, but just in case you aren’t comfortable getting out of your safety zone of work friends… expand your circle.  Making connections is a way to promote yourself and/or your business, so start with the folks you are comfortable with, and then branch out from there.

7. Update your status – Use the status update to share the changes in your professional life.  Share your blog to promote your work ethic/writing ability/values/beliefs.  Share your recent victories, your work related requests, and your commitment to the community.  Don’t share your love life, family life, or social life – this isn’t the place for that.

8. Ask questions – When you ask questions, you are giving someone else an opportunity to demonstrate that they are an expert.  This type of crowd-sourcing can result in a quick, yet good, answer to your question.  Ask questions, and help your fellow LinkedIn contacts show off their knowledge and experience.

9. Answer questions correctly – If you want to be impressive in LinkedIn, become known as an expert in your field.  If your answers are not accurate, you risk being known as that dude that likes to answer first – regardless of whether he knows the right answer.  Questions give you the ability to show that you are the expert – people are going to read what you wrote, so respect their time and get it right.

10. Demonstrate balance – You don’t want to work at a company that has their folks constantly updating their LinkedIn profile – either begging to get a new job or showing that they a. don’t have enough to do, or b. don’t care enough to do it.  Show that balance is important to you by updating your LinkedIn profile a tad less often than you update your facebook page or twitter status.  Everything in moderation, including LinkedIn updates.

Ok – 10  points might be a bit lengthy, but take a look at your profile over the next few days.  If you were looking to hire a person or business, would your profile accurately show who you really are?  Are you someone that you would do business with?

What are some of the techniques that you have used to make your profile reflect who you really are?


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