LinkedIn is the social media platform you go to, to connect with business people, groups and conversations. There are over 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Like all other social media platforms it has issues with spam, fake users and annoying news feed situations. Aside from that, it’s the first port of call for anyone doing a CV reference search, a profile check before a meeting, or a hook up prior to a seminar.
Therefore, your LinkedIn Profile needs to be up to date with your current professional CV information. It needs to include your qualifications and generally boards and committee information.
Your LinkedIn profile does not need to contain every keyword and/or search term known to mankind for your industry. Yes they (LinkedIn and many social media consultants) will encourage you to do this. Consider this: when you visit another executive or respected profile, what do you see? Which profiles impress you and make you take notice. The profiles who ARE NOT SELLING themselves with a stack of unnecessary words will impress far quicker.
Your profile also does not need to include a long commentary about every role you have ever worked.
What should you include?
You should use basic information from your most relevant and current roles:
Dates From and To
For your most recent position, make sure you link the Company Name in your profile to the Company’s LinkedIn page. This way readers can research and find out more information themselves. Additionally, if you are currently employed by this company it will promote them as well. If the company you work for doesn’t have a LinkedIn page, call 0424644624 for Charlie as you need her.
Once the basics are sorted, let’s consider the rest:
- Your Profile: needs to have a clear, current headshot image. If it is a company branded headshot photo, even better. You should also include a company or brand representative header image on your page to jazz things up.
- Your Contact Details: need to be clear. LinkedIn provide a messaging inbox for emails but you can and should include commentary or additional contact points, like websites etc.
- Your Professional Headline: is a good place to attract search results and quick eyes by using keywords that describe YOU, rather than stating your role or title. LinkedIn provide the ability to search and see what others are saying in your own industry. Have a peek. Here is an example: http://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_I=98&trk=prof-edit-headline-examples Avoid the trap of smart marketing headliners. Quite simply – they are wanky.
- Your Publishing Strength: If LinkedIn provides publishing rights to you, you should publish an article regularly (at least once a month). Besides helping your profile, it gives you promotional power. Your network will receive a notification about new articles that you publish and this will bring your voice into peoples minds consistently. Your publishing articles don’t need to be a journal. Consider what you are writing and your professional audience. You may simply mimic what your company releases through the press in the form of announcements, you may write things that have inspired your month, or you may write freely about issues facing your industry. Whatever you write, have a purpose in mind as this will help generate a following.
Finally, be real in your profile. It is a platform to network with other professionals, therefore not to be taken lightly.