Use LinkedIn effectively – starting with your profile


Alice

The social networking site for business has to be LinkedIn. Anyone in business should have a profile that is properly completed and updated. Failure to do so is like submitting your CV with gaps and omissions, which would certainly not impress a prospective client or employer – since it is both these targets you should be presenting to.

Let’s examine a profile. Apart from your name (and it is you that the LinkedIn profile should be about, not your company) there should be picture of you. Any decent head and shoulders photo will do, so that your profile visitor can see what you look like.

Under your name is a brief description of your profession/job, which acts as your signature throughout your LinkedIn activities. This short phrase could be regularly revised to see what response it brings.

Next comes the status update, where you can write your latest comments and provide accompanying links that you would like to share with your LinkedIn community, and on Twitter if appropriate.  It will default to your latest activity, such as your blog feed, if you don’t update it regularly.

The next area resembles your CV, which should be fully completed to list your current and past positions and your latest education status. It extends to show how many people have recommended you, how many connections you have, links to your websites and blogs (which can be optimised), a link to your Twitter profile and your LinkedIn URL (which can be personalised).

Below that is a summary of what you do in your current role.  This is something that should be carefully constructed, consistently updated, and written with your prospective client or employer, not to mention search engine optimisation, in mind.

LinkedIn also provides applications that allow you to show your latest presentations and feed your blog posts and tweets into your profile. All this activity shows your online proficiency outside of LinkedIn, plus extra exposure to your business and expertise status.

Don’t forget to fully complete the experience area. Here you can describe in detail about your present and past positions, which should be regularly revised. Attached are links to ask for recommendations, which are listed below prominently showing what others say about you, your business and your effectiveness in performing within your industry.

If you are members of any groups, these will be listed with the latest connection at the top. It is all very well being a member of a group without some sort of contribution, which is listed in your activities section in the right column.

As well as listing your latest activities in LinkedIn (your updates, new connections, blog post feeds, plus any questions you have asked or answered and groups you have contributed to), the right column also lists any groups you share with others, recommendations you have given recently, and other profiles that the viewer has also visited.

A particular section is revealed once you become an expert in an Answers section (I am privileged to have given a best answer in graphic design, search marketing and blogging).

You can see examples of all this in my LinkedIn profile, built up over a number of years. There is no reason why you cannot have something similar, it just requires time and effort to update and improve it.

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