CAREER TIPS - The Super Simple Guide To Maximizing LinkedIn For Your Career
Today, LinkedIn delivers your first impression. It’s the place where you build and nurture your network, learn and grow, source staff, expand your business and share your thought leadership. And when the entire world went virtual thanks to Covid-19, use of LinkedIn increased and its importance to your career success exploded. In short, LinkedIn is the most powerful online tool for building your personal brand in support of your goals. So pushing past the fear of using it is essential.
Get your profile in order.
Your LinkedIn profile is your first impression. Make sure it matches the real you. Focus on these elements:
Headline: Update your headline to include your title, employer, and all the keywords you want to be known for (this helps with being found in searches). Add something to your headline that makes you interesting (like how you do what you do or the results you achieve when you do it). This is how I did it. Use as many of the 220 characters as you need.
Headshot: Make sure your headshot is professional and current, and crop it so that most of the frame is filled by your face. Focus your eyes forward and smile.
About: Your LinkedIn About will be the most-read version of your bio. Craft one that sits at the intersection of credibility and likability. And make sure the first couple of lines are magnetic. That’s all someone sees when they’re checking out your profile. Convince them to read the full text.
Background. Your LinkedIn background provides an opportunity to use an image to help you convey your personal brand. Use it to differentiate your profile from the myriad others and to say something special about yourself without using words.
Get your professional contacts up to date.
When you get all your professional contacts in one place, it will be easier to remain visible and stay in touch with people who are important to you. Add everyone from your past roles and get in the habit of adding new contacts as soon as you meet them. Be open to connecting with a diverse community of people and connect with the connected (those members with lots of connections) to rapidly grow your network and visibility.
Identify two or three groups that interest you while helping you express your personal brand. Then make a plan to check out what’s going on in your groups at least weekly and engage in conversations with those who are posting valuable content.
Make a plan to share valuable content with your connections at regular intervals. Choose a frequency that won’t feel onerous—like twice a week. Then, use the LinkedIn Update feature to share content that will be truly useful to your brand community. You can share things like a new statistic you just found or something interesting you just learned in a webinar you attended.
When you visit your favorite websites, you likely find articles, videos, etc. that would benefit your contacts. Take the time to share these resources with your LinkedIn community. When you share, be sure to add your point of view—explaining why this content is important or making the content even more helpful. Curating content will help you remain visible and valuable to your connections and followers. Add all relevant hashtags to what you share to make it visible to even more LinkedIn members.
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