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April 07, 2014

3 Simple LinkedIn To-Dos

With new social media apps and websites multiplying like rabbits, it can be hard to keep up with the good ones, or the ones that are worth your time. Whether you are in career transition or keenly interested in career advancement what might be clear, safe-zone advice when it comes to your brand on LinkedIn? Before you try to get all sophisticated on LinkedIn consider some fundamentals that most people skip or skimp on during their brand journeys.

LinkedIn has been on the rise for a few years now, and has quickly become one of the strongest digital tools to not just the young professional, but everyone looking for a serious career or career advancement. The company’s stock along hovers near $200 and the multi-billion Wall Street valuation means something to someone, doesn’t it. But what does it mean to those of us who need to invest our time in something valuable or that may create some ROI in our career life?

Linkedin-Job-Search

Image Credit: http://www.webbloggers.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Linkedin-Job-Search.png

Take the time to sit down and create a profile utilizing the tips below.

1.Create Your Image – You don’t necessarily need to spend the money on getting a professional photographer but you shouldn’t have a selfie or poor crop job representing your image. I certainly recommend professional head shots as they call them for many people because your one picture will follow every single activity in groups and in your interactions with others. Image matters. Choose wisely. You want to look like the professional that you aspire to be. Put on a suit jacket, stand against a plain backdrop and have your friend take the shot with a quality camera. Make sure your image answers the question – how do I want to be perceived by those I want to influence?

2.Full Profiles Matter – Make sure you’re taking the time to fill out all of your experience. Don’t just list the company and your position title. Write out what your main responsibilities and accomplishments are and don’t forget to include the dates of employment. Here is a tip! You really should work with a professional resume writer on most of your content because every little nuance and every word counts on LinkedIn. It’s not a place (whether you are in transition or passively open to new jobs) to sloppily experiment with words and keywords. It’s also very important that you just don’t cut and paste from your resume only. Excerpt your resume. Create some style here. Do not “slap” all your resume content in there without some thoughtful reductions and edits. Sometimes recruiters will look at your profile to see if you’re a fit for the job they are trying to fill- how will they know if they don’t know what you’ve done?

3.Customized URLs Matter! – Most LinkedIn users don’t realize that there is an option to customize your profile’s URL, free of any additional cost. You can change it in just moments from the link directly below your headshot, going to Customize Your Public Profile URL and claim a name that is close to your name. If you have not done this you look like a LinkedIn amateur. Instead of having a random combination of numbers and letters, fill out your full name so you can have a recognizable link to give out to potential employers and include on your resume. You can add this signature to your business cards and email.

Creating an effective LinkedIn isn’t as challenging as you may expect. It’s worth putting a little extra time into because it’s just like your resume except accessible by whoever, whenever. Additionally, you have more of an opportunity to create your image exactly how you want to be portrayed. You just need to start integrating these tips into your profile and before you know it, you’ll be rated as an All-Star!

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