Guest author Tova Herskovitz is a marketing consultant who helps businesses leverage social media to build brand awareness and reach their goals. You can learn more about her branding philosophies at http://bit.ly/1UhcTU2
Are you maximizing Linkedin for your career yet? No?
That’s a shame. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for something you can do relatively quickly and passively. And since it’s basically like a never-ending business networking event, first impressions count enormously.
Your profile is critical in helping you create a professional, compelling first impression; so if that’s something you’re willing to invest a few hours in, keep reading.
Create an unforgettable summary
Your summary lets you introduce yourself, on your terms; yet too many people overlook this opportunity and instead slap on some generic description. LinkedIn positions your summary way above the skills and work experience section so be sure to include the most impressive details about yourself up there. Like click-bait, a juicy summary will encourage people to keep scrolling to learn more about you. Be sure to include what makes you unique, why people would want to hire or work with you and what has, or continues to, inspire and influence you in your work.
Give us your info
Unless they’re in your network, LinkedIn won’t allow them to view your contact info. And those you don’t know may not be able to connect with you if they don’t have your email address (mobile users are the exception). So if you want to connect with more people in your industry, you’ll want to put your contact info such as email address, phone number, and Twitter handle right in your summary. This will make it even easier for the right connections to reach out to you with that amazing opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Don’t be shy and don’t be vague
LinkedIn is no place to be coy. If you want job offers, collaboration opportunities or leads, you’ll have to communicate that. Be clear as to what kind of position you’re looking for, what skills you want to put to use, what kind of projects you’d love to join and your ideal clients. Include a friendly and exciting call to action such as “Let’s have coffee” or “Ask me how I can help your business.”
Pick a catchy title
The title under your name (called a “professional headline” by LinkedIn) is an amazing way to quickly grab people’s attention by using relevant words or messages. If your title is “CPA, that might not pique anyone’s interest, but using the more specific, descriptive title of “Corporate Finance CPA | Tax specialist” will better explain what you do and get the right people to notice. You can also include catchy descriptions of what you do or part of your mission statement. For example, my title says “The Branding Stylist | Styling Your Brand Online.”
Give us details
While it might seem obvious to you, for many looking at your past job roles might not understand the roles you’ve played and the work you did. Detailed descriptions of your responsibilities, accomplishments, and changes implemented will give a richer sense of exactly the kind of work you’ve done and the positive results you’ve achieved in those roles. Some titles like “business development” or “project manager” can be generic so the more details about your responsibilities, the better.
Create a post
Though it does take time, writing a post will give people a taste of your expertise, personality, and viewpoint. If you have an article about your industry that you’ve written in the past, just tweak that to make it more user-friendly (read: short and choppy for short-attention-span-LinkedIn-social-butterflies to peruse). If you don’t already have an article, think of a topic in your industry that you feel you have expertise in and feel passionate about. If writing an essay-style post scares you, a listicle (like what you’re reading this very second) is a quick and easy way to establish your authority and provide value to readers in a rush. You can write about the top 7 trends in your industry or the 10 best ways to succeed in your field. Think about whose attention you are trying to gain on LInkedIn and what kind of article or information would impress them.
What are your thoughts on LinkedIn? Which of these tips are you going to try?