We all know that in today’s competitive environment your website is a credibility statement about your business. And, whether we like it or not, your LinkedIn profile is rapidly becoming a credibility statement about you, the person. It is becoming a very key ingredient of your digital reputation.
It can be easy to disregard your LinkedIn profile when you’re not actively seeking employment. Life is busy. Time is of the essence. Maintaining a professional LinkedIn profile is extremely important when it comes to finding employment but it is also important to keep your profile up-to-date and shining like a star even when you’re not actively seeking employment.
LinkedIn has become the preeminent platform for networking with others in your industry. It is also your ticket to showcase all of your skills in one location. If you’re missing information from your LinkedIn profile, it can have a huge impact on your digital reputation. To ensure your LinkedIn profile is capturing attention from possible employers, industry connections and potential new clients, utilize the tips below to support and enhance your digital reputation.
The Pacifist Doesn’t Win
That’s right. Don’t be a pacifist when it comes to updating your LinkedIn profile. Go after what you want and put the time in to make it perfect. LinkedIn does an excellent job with guiding you through the steps needed to complete your profile. If you want to land that next big job opportunity an All-Star profile is essential. Once a recruiter has found you in the vast LinkedIn world, they want to know what you are capable of. Recruiters want to see a complete list of your past employment and current employment. They look to see what others think of you through recommendations.
Create a Customized URL
LinkedIn offers a customized URL for your profile. This is another way to add to your overall professional stature. Go to the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the screen find the grey window that displays your basic information. Go to the Public Profile URL and click on Edit. Make the changes and customize this section for a professional link to call your very own. When you’re finished, click on Set Custom URL and you’re done! Use your custom URL to link your professional profile to other social media sites, your business website and add it to your email signature.
We’ve all heard the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Your LinkedIn profile picture is no exception. The picture you choose not only gives a visual of who you are to potential employers, it can portray even more. A great photo can depict passion, personality and energy that words sometimes do not. If you’re uncertain about your picture, go through other profiles of professionals in your industry to get an idea of what is acceptable and what stands out. Keep it classy. Avoid photos that are unprofessional or misrepresent who you are as a professional.
Whatever you do, don’t waste your summary space! You have 2000 characters so make use of them. An ideal summary should be a minimum of three to five short paragraphs. Adding bullet points can bring visual emphasis to specific details you want readers to notice. A good summary should provide an excellent overview of your key qualifications, industry related experience, what you’re passionate about in and outside of work and any unique skills that bring you to the forefront in your field. Don’t forget to tie your headline into your summary so profile viewers are drawn to read more.
Create a Visual Profile
As LinkedIn continues to evolve they add more ways to highlight how amazing and creative you are. Building a visual profile with the help of the “Professional Portfolio” feature can optimize your exclusive skills. You can show off your creative expertise by uploading videos, presentations, photos, links and PDF documents. This unique element is perfect for those who want to show off particular accomplishments that can’t be fully displayed on a traditional resumes.
Be Detail Obsessed
Traditional resumes are still necessary but your LinkedIn profile is an excellent place to elaborate on areas that you can’t add to your hard copy. If you took additional classes after college or participated in important causes that you are passionate about, LinkedIn is the place to showcase these skills. Past and current volunteering you’ve done should also be added to give potential employers a broader view of what you have to offer.
Buzzword Buzz Kill
LinkedIn provides you with endless opportunities to customize how the world sees you as a professional. If you are using outdated buzzwords it’s time to put a stop to the madness! Words like motivated, passionate and detail-driven are common descriptive words used on LinkedIn profiles. Buzzwords are often overused and they seldom do you justice. Instead, use action orientated words that describe your accomplishments. These will illustrate your motivation and passion. If your LinkedIn profile revolves around creativity then your profile should reflect how creative you actually are.
Recommendations and Endorsements
LinkedIn has done an excellent job evolving past traditional references. Asking current and former colleagues for recommendations, even when you’re not actively seeking a new position, can greatly increase your digital reputation. Ask if they can provide specific examples of how you demonstrated your skills on the job. Be sure to add accurate skills to your skills list. Recruiters often do searches for skills to find you on LinkedIn. Endorsements are used to show recruiters that others agree with the skills you’ve chosen to accentuate. The more endorsements you have the better! And, don’t forget to give endorsements and recommendations to others in your network. You will not go wrong if you follow the “give more to get more” philosophy.
For more information on how to keep your digital reputation squeaky clean and gain more insight on how to have a top-notch LinkedIn profile, read my 5 Critical Mistakes To Avoid on LinkedIn.
Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.
Until next time. Keep optimizing your digital reputation and polish up that profile.
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