LinkedIn is more than just your resume posted online. It’s an interactive, dynamic and ever-updating network. While the content from your resume is an excellent starting point for the content you should include in your Linkedin profile, the thought process cannot end there. To make your Linkedin profile effective it must stand out among the rest. It must tell the story of who you are, not just what you do. Here are several key tips to help you create a professional and memorable image for yourself on Linkedin.
Tell a story
Your work experience is part of your life story. Rather than just listing a bunch of job titles, make your profile stand out by sewing together each past experience to tell an interesting story. Your summary is the first thing displayed on your profile and should entice people to want to read more. No matter how scattered your work experience may seem, you can find at least one underlying theme that ties it all together. Maybe each job required leadership or taught you customer service. This becomes the theme that pulls all of your experience under one umbrella. The professionalism of your content and attention to detail are also examples of your work that potential employers or customers will take into account.
Utilize the extra features
Linkedin continues to add features which can be incorporated into your profile to make it really stand out. Highlight your writing work by adding a portfolio feature to your profile. This allows you to upload and share examples of your work and showcase your talent. Do you have a blog? If so, list this blog as a publication so that all new posts are automatically displayed on your profile and publicized in your newsfeed. There are many more features available at the basic account level and even more available if you choose to upgrade your account. Be sure to keep in mind the objective of your profile as this will help determine what features are most applicable.
Network in a meaningful way
If you currently use Linkedin, you may be all too familiar with the mass messages people send that are more like spam than they are networking. Avoid using communication tactics that come across impersonal or cold. Linkedin was created to facilitate a community for networking – utilize this! Networking means a two-way conversation. If you want to get to know a contact better, write a personal message to them asking a specific question as a conversation starter. Then, let them ask for more information about you and your work before you pile it on them. Finally, format the updates you share on your newsfeed to be conversational. For example, ask for opinions on a professional-related topic. Don’t use your newsfeed as a billboard to push people to your business web site or Facebook fan page. Instead build a relationship that inspires them to do this on their own.
Linkedin is a powerful tool for expanding and interacting with your professional network. But in order to use it to its fullest, you must be sure that the image you’re creating is both professional and memorable. ~Stephanie