At a recent networking event, where I was discussing the benefits of social media in a marketing plan, I heard over and over again how these professionals were on LinkedIn, and therefore participating in social media. As I’ve written before (Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make), having a profile is not social media, although it is a small part. What is most important is how you use that profile or page.
So, you have that LinkedIn profile all set up, right? Well, if it looks like this, you have a long way to go:
What’s wrong with this profile? What can you do to optimize it for both LinkedIn search as well as Google search?
Let’s begin with the “Professional Headline” which appears right under your name. This should be a descriptive sentence about who you are, or what you do. Good examples would be “Social Media Marketing and Education for Small Business” or “Marketing for the Digital Generation”. Just make sure to use keywords that people would use to search for someone within your field.
Next in the profile is your career, education, websites, and other social sites that you are connected with. This should be filled out as completely as possible, using as many keywords that are appropriate to your career/profession. Also, while completing this information, make sure to take advantage of the ability to edit your public profile “URL”, or address people will use to find you. LinkedIn assigns a long string of letters and numbers, which is difficult and confusing. Change it to something meaningful – (my URL is www.linkedin.com/in/CraigEYaris)
Finally, there is the “Summary”, which is where you get to really tell all about who you are. This is a great place to explain a career path, or why you are in the field you are in. Just make sure, as you complete this section, to also use some important keywords.
After these main sections are completed, it is time to fill in some of the other available options to increase your profile “completeness”. This includes your “Honors and Awards”, “Volunteer Experience”, interests, Groups and Associations, and even some personal information.
All of these items will help you increase your visibility within LinkedIn, and will put you on the path to more connections.
Want to continue to grow your network? You should be searching for groups within LinkedIn to join, and make sure to participate in those groups. Offer opinions, ask questions, be helpful. You can also add applications to your profile, such as the Amazon Reading List, and you can even have your blog imported straight to your profile.
Most importantly, avoid the following “buzzwords” within your profile, as they have no real impact, and may even hurt your career prospects:
- Communication skills
- Problem solving
- Track record
- Extensive experience
By now, your profile should look like this:
Now, go visit LinkedIn, and get your profile in order. Let the networking begin (and feel free to start with me)!