This article is written under the assumption that you already have a LinkedIn account. If you do not, head on over to www.linkedin.com and set one up immediately.
It is important for everyone who wants to increase their professional visibility, whether they’re looking for a job or their goal is to network. Here are some tips for ensuring that your profile will be found by people searching LinkedIn:
1) Complete your profile 100%. None of the sections of your profile should be incomplete. Everything in your profile will increase the likelihood of your being found in the search results.
2) Be sure to display your personal photo. This shows that you are a real person and gives you social media credibility. Photos of your pets or your kids have no value on LinkedIn.
3) Use your profile headline for ‘branding.’ The space underneath your name is your ‘professional’ or ‘profile’ headline. It appears in search results next to your name, as well as next to any questions you ask or answer. If you are only putting your title and company name here, you are wasting the most important piece of real estate on your LinkedIn Profile. When someone finds you in a search result, this is the information they will use to decide whether or not they want to look at your profile.
4) List all Employers and Schools. When you’re listing your employment and education history, be sure to go beyond your current status. You will be located on LinkedIn through searches for company names and schools. If you use only your current employer or the university you graduated from, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to be found. For this reason, go all the way back to high school.
5) List all your Websites. You can list three Web sites on your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to take advantage of that. Begin with your business or company Web site, then move on to your blog and then another social media Web site, such as Twitter or Facebook.
6) Add quality connections. Again, your connections lead to your being found on LinkedIn. When you do a search, you’ll see results from your network and vice versa. The more connections you have, the more search results you will appear in.
7. Update your status bar frequently. It’s preferable that you update your LinkedIn status bar every day or two, and certainly don’t let a week go by without doing this. LinkedIn suggests the following starts to your status: ‘working on…’ ‘traveling to…’ ‘looking for advice for…’ ‘reading…’ ‘looking for a job…’. The status bar demonstrates that you are serious about your profession…after all, this is the reason you’re on LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is the most important of all your social media networking sites. You should spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day on the site updating your profile and your status bar, joining groups, making connections and entering into discussions. Your daily investment of time on LinkedIn will give you the professional edge you’ve been looking for.