Last week we introduced the basics of utilizing social media to your professional advantage. Now we'll take a closer look at LinkedIn in particular.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network with over 400 million members worldwide. Professionals use LinkedIn to promote their skills, experience and connections. If you'd like to take the next step in your career, start with enhancing your LinkedIn profile. (If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, go create one now!)
1. Learn the 7-Seconds Rule
When you first meet a person, you have seven seconds to make a good impression. SEVEN SECONDS! The same goes for social media. A hiring manager or a supervisor should be able to understand who you are and what you have to offer within seven seconds of viewing your profile. In order to create a proper snapshot of yourself, you need to define your personal brand. Establish your professional identity by solidifying your name, title and approach to the work.
2. Don't Spam Your Following
Before you start making any major changes to your LinkedIn profile, make sure to turn off Network Notifications. LinkedIn automatically alerts your connections each time you update your profile. Once you start making changes, your peers will be inundated with notifications. Disable this function to prevent alert overload.
- Hover over your photo on the upper-right corner of your LinkedIn page, and a dropdown menu should appear. Click on "Manage" next to the Privacy and Settings option.
- Under the Privacy Tab click on "Sharing Profile Edits."
- Click the button under "Choose whether your network is notified," and make sure it's set to No.
3. Be Consistent with Your Name
If you use your middle initial on your business card, make sure to it appears the same way on your LinkedIn profile and resume. Also if you're more comfortable going by a nickname, such as "Jenny" instead of "Jennifer," make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects how you like to introduce yourself.
4. Focus on the Big Picture with Your Headline
Take a moment to think about your skills and what you enjoy doing the most. Your headline should reflect your specialty, your industry, and what makes you unique from other managers. It should also incorporate the future of your career. For instance, your official title is "Project Manager." You have many responsibilities, but you excel most at managing finances. Consider using the headline "Budget Strategist" to showcase your strengths.
5. Invest In Your Image
The only thing worse than having an inappropriate photo, is no photo at all. LinkedIn profiles are 14 times more likely to be viewed if they include a photo. Don't just crop a photo of you when you were on vacation just to have something. Take the time to put on business clothes, find a location with good lighting and smile. You don't have to hire a professional photographer, but you should reserve the time to take a decent headshot.
6. Write an Effective Summary
Expand on your personal brand by going into detail about what makes you unique. Make sure to consider your audience and decide what message you want to convey. What do you want them to know about you? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to do after viewing your profile? Your summary is your sales pitch so include the most impressive facts and figures about your career.
7. Use Keywords
91% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, but they aren't scouring each individual profile. They're filtering their searches by targeting certain keywords. The secret to getting noticed is knowing how to use keywords to your advantage.
The Experience section is essentially your all-encompassing resume. Standard resumes only contain experience relevant to a particular position. However, your LinkedIn profile should include your entire professional history. For each position you've held, go on Indeed or Monster and search for that job title. You'll find that all of the descriptions for that job will have similar phrases. Include these keywords and phrases when you describe your job. Repeat the process for the Skills and Endorsements section.
If you really want to rise above the competition, find the job description for the position you want to move up to. If you're already exhibiting those skills, include those key phrases in your summary and experience. You might get promoted faster than you may think!
8. Get Engaged
Take some time to engage with your professional network. Go to your employees' and supervisor's pages and leave honest reviews. Endorse their skills and suggest new ones. Not only will you encourage your team and show them your dedication, you'll remind them to give you a boost in return. They'll be more likely to endorse your new skills and suggest new connections in the future. The more you get involved, the more exposure you get.
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