23 Jan 2012

Top 10 Tips to Loving Your LinkedIn Profile

When was the last time you gave your LinkedIn profile a little love?  When was the last time you even looked at your LinkedIn profile?

LinkedIn is a handy network.  Certainly not as social as Facebook, but there are opportunities for interaction in groups, status updates and the Answers section.

Before you go overboard joining groups and connecting to people, take a peek at your profile and review the information.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Have meaningful Job titles, they are searchable and speak volumes to people who come to your profile.
  2. Your summary is the most important real estate on your profile.  When writing your summary think future forward.  This is not your resume, it should be about who you want to meet, do business with. It also gives the people who visit your profile a good idea of how you do business.
  3. Customize the text in your website URL.  Instead of leaving it as the default “my website” change it to your business name.
  4. When listing your experience be skill specific.  What did you do (tasks), who benefited (ie: client, marketing department, IT support) and tailor it to speak to the people you want to meet.
  5. Get recommendations.  PLEASE only ask for recommendations from people you have actually worked or done business with.  Nothing reads worse than a fluff recommendation.
  6. Join Groups – start in your niche, but look beyond industry groups.  I am all for learning from my peers, but I am there to make connections and build business.    Groups offer discussions, job postings, polls and other ways to interact with people.  It’s a great way to get to know people.
  7. DO NOT PITCH.
  8. The answers section lets you flash your brain.  Find questions that are relevant to your industry / skill set and offer up some pearls of wisdom.  Don’t tell people to visit your page for an answer, offer it there.  Take the 10 min to write a paragraph.  This has actually landed me a contract, I know it works.
  9. Make sure you fill out you company’s page.  Set up the products and services you offer, write good descriptions and make sure the other employees of the company are following it.   You can get specific recommendations for your service offerings as well.
  10. Connect.  Connect with people you know.  Look at who they know.  If there is someone in their circle, request a connection.  Having someone else forward your connection request is similar to an introduction and a handshake at a business event.

Freshen up your summary every few weeks.  Make sure it’s current and describes you, where you are looking to go and who you are looking to connect to.  Update your status message a couple of times a week.  If you find a great article, feel free to share it with your connections.

Most of all, interact and have fun.  Social Media is social above all else.  Answer questions, share your knowledge and be helpful.

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