For many if not all business students, your professors and peers have stressed about the importance of having a presence on LinkedIn. However, many students quickly assemble a raggedy profile together and then never look at it again until they are jobless and desperate. Many companies even state in their application requirements that they need to see links to social media accounts including LinkedIn.
In order to optimize your portfolio and presence on LinkedIn, I have compiled tips that I employ on my own profile as well as things I am constantly improving.
1. Give yourself a personality – First and foremost you need to write yourself a compelling summary that concisely gives you some backbone as to what you are like and your skills. This is a really good area to state any specialties, passions and pertinent information.
2. Don’t be selfish – I’ve talked to many people at school who complain that no one endorses their skills on LinkedIn and in return I ask, “what have you done for them?” Generosity goes a long way on a platform like LinkedIn where the basis of business relationships or forged. When you get a new connection or are perusing old ones, take a minute to scour their profile and possibly write a recommendation or endorse a skill; it will go a long way.
3. Be brave – The only way you are going to get more connections is if you actively seek them. Do not be afraid to send an invitation to someone you do not know if you think it is going to help you and them further. Most people like building their reputation on LinkedIn anyway. The worst that can happen is that they don’t accept your invitation, but if you play your cards right that will never happen.
4. Be personal – Before I talked about being generous with other connections, but something that is often cherished is personalization. In a world where we can send a mass text or tweet to thousands of people, we start to lose a sense of customization and personality. When sending a request out, instead of keeping the standard message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network,” try looking at their profile first and sending a personalized message as to why their connection would help both them and you.
5. Keep your profile picture classy – Sometimes I see profiles with terribly shot photos, or even no photo at all and I think to myself that that person is doing an injustice to himself or herself. If a photograph is someone’s first impression of you, make sure it is a good one. LinkedIn recently increased profile photo size for a reason.
6. Start sharing content – Just like twitter, others will follow if you say things that they value. On LinkedIn, it is a great way to share any business and/or communication related articles that could be useful to others. If you are a mover and shaker, people will start to recognize.
7. Fill out your Resume – This is probably one of the most important tips I can give. Make sure you have a complete Resume with key descriptions of your previous and current work experience. Often when users search on LinkedIn, individuals will come up due to the fact that their profile keywords matched. In order to grow your profile make sure you are inputting relevant keywords into your work history.
Remember, LinkedIn is 277% more effective in business lead generation than any other social networking platform. I hope some of these tips will help you in filling out your LinkedIn profile to become more engaged and influential within your designated community!
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