In today’s job market, it is almost a requirement that you manage your professional reputation via an account on LinkedIn. If you aren’t already one of LinkedIn’s 364 million users, you’re doing yourself a disservice, and here’s why:
Without LinkedIn, You’re Invisible: Unlike other social media outlets, LinkedIn is designed specifically for the business community. It’s estimated that over 90% of job recruiters look for potential candidates using this medium, so if you don’t have a profile, you don’t exist.
It Makes Networking Easy: LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people you know already know in your industry. It also allows you to expand your network by joining a “Group” of professionals with the same interests and experience.
It’s a Simple Way to Show Your Credentials: A LinkedIn profile gives you a simple way to show off your basic resume credentials, such as education and job experience. However, LinkedIn also allows your connections to endorse individual skills related to your job. The connections endorse a particular skill you have, the more credible you look.
So, want to create a LinkedIn profile that gets results? Here are 5 ways to stand out in the crowd:
Create a personal brand: Before you begin creating your profile, think about your personal brand. What is your purpose? What are your values, your passions, your aspirations? Having a clear idea of how you want to present yourself will make filling out your profile a snap.
Make Your Headline Count: Over 90% of LinkedIn users just make their headline their job title. You have 150 words- use them! It’s good to state what you do, but also be sure to state what you are offering. For example, instead of just saying “Personal Trainer,” it would be more effective to say “Personal Trainer who has been helping clients meet and exceed their weight loss and strength training goals for over 10 years.”
Create a Personalized Summary: Like the name implies, the LinkedIn summary is a space for you summarize who you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. While you want to keep it professional, you also want to give it your own unique voice, so don’t be afraid to interject (non-polarizing) opinions or a little humor.
Expand on Your Experience: Anyone can write down places of employment and dates. Unlike a traditional resume, LinkedIn allows you to integrate media into your profile, so if it speaks to your brand and showcases your strengths, use it! Have a picture of yourself receiving an award at your last job? Post it. Have a video of a speech you nailed at a conference? Share it. Pictures and video help break up the monotony of what can otherwise be a fairly “traditional” section of your profile.
Select Your Endorsements Carefully: Keeping your chosen brand identity in mind, pick at least 10 skills you’d like to be recognized and validated. Your connections may see your skills and begin endorsing them organically, or it may be helpful to adopt the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality and endorse others in the hopes they also endorse you. If you’re actively searching for a job, it also isn’t a bad idea to reach out to people who know your skill set and ask for them for specific endorsements.