Why and How to Be [a STAND OUT!] on LinkedIn
Why would you want to be on LinkedIn?
I get asked this question often. Undoubtedly, it is from those who are not on LinkedIn. For those of you who are, this post will show you why and how to be on LinkedIn - at least for your career and next job!
Let's start with the following great summary...
In today’s age of algorithms, who you are is in part determined by your digital footprint, which means that if you network for business then you will need to network online.
Why? Because while business is in some ways the same as it ever was (based on mutually beneficial relationships), social media has turned the way we form those relationships on its head.
What people have always said about Networking is more true now - and on a global scale. Some takeaways from the above post:
- "if you network for business then you will need to network online."
- "...how you use the platform depends on what you want to achieve and that varies widely. Businesses can use it to raise funds, for recruitment, to job search or for networking with peers, among other things."
- "Professionals need to look ahead and adapt the way they connect and communicate to keep up with this change."
Hopefully you see the points. In brief, I'd summarize it this way:
LinkedIn is an online networking tool, that allows more and electronic media for your resume, skills and endorsements, a way to stay current and share info on a ton of Group topics that altogether takes networking, job opportunities and learning to a whole new level.
How to Stand Out on LinkedIn
Let's use the following summary quote to do 4 things with your LinkedIn profile right now!
"LinkedIn is the new résumé — while it doesn’t necessarily replace the paper version, it’s the first place most people are going to look at when you apply for a new job, and the place where recruiters and headhunters are most likely to come across your profile. It’s important to do whatever you can to ensure you’re found, but also to stand out and have visitors stick around to read about the great things you can offer.
In this context, it’s your headline that stands as the most important element — your key opportunity to make a positive first impression and entice the reader to want to know more."
1. Before you go further into this, make sure you have a full All-Star profile
WHY? The main reason to complete your Profile is to ensure that you will appear in LinkedIn search results. "If you don’t have a 100% complete Profile... you will beINVISIBLE when searched, game over."
Here are the Profile Sections you need to complete to get to ‘All-Star’ (100%):
- Adding a profile photo
- Listing 2 or more positions you’ve held, along with descriptions of your roles
- Having 5 or more skills on your profile
- Writing a summary about yourself
- Filling out your industry and postal code
- Adding where you went to school
- Having 50 or more connections
2. Your full name is the first thing people see, especially in searches
This should be the real name you are known by, like Chuck instead of Charles. You can add a suffix or certifications to your Last Name.
You might even add a trademark symbol, since there is no other field for these.
3. Update the 120 characters of your Headline
By default, LinkedIn puts your current title in there. Yet, you can change this to give viewers more of a value statement. So, perhaps state your profession or topics you are great at, and maybe a teaser as to the value/result to others. When people search for you or hover over your name, this is the what they see. Think of it as a teaser/summary for your modern cover letter: the Summary section. You've got to give them a brief reason to read the rest of your profile, your modern resume...
4. Update your Summary and move it to the top
- Per the above linked post, put an elevator pitch and your key 5 data points at the top, in your Summary. Perhaps consider it a 20-second value proposition statement you would make to your most important potential customer or the CEO, followed by the 5 remaining areas from the 6 in the post above, since your name is already covered.
- Then use as much as you can - up to 2,000 characters - to relevantly describe yourself, professionally, like a story, but with no fluff.
Here are some great posts for that...
How effective is this?
You could get a job in 2 weeks using this approach. Think I am kidding?! Check it out.
Also, here is a great summary of common LinkedIn mistakes people make.
How has LinkedIn been working for you?! I would love to hear about it in the Comments! There's a lot more that can be done with your Profile - and even more posts on the subject.
You really should also have a good content in as many sections of your profile as possible. More on that for another post...
For now, STAND OUT - so you can make a difference in the world!
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