October 24, 2013

How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile



If you haven't yet added LinkedIn to your social media arsenal, it's high time you should. With over 135 million users--many of whom are professionals at the top of their game--this is the ideal place for linking with valuable connections and getting yourself noticed in your field.


Here are a few tips to help you optimize your LinkedIn Profile for networking with the pros, showing off your talents, and capturing new clients.

Your Image

Unless you actually possess a blank face with no eyes, mouth, or nose, the default LinkedIn image will not reflect who you are. Plus, in the online world, people are leery of interacting with someone who refuses to post their image.

Choose a professional quality photo that shows you smiling and dressed for business. It is especially wise to use one photograph consistently across social media accounts in order to ensure that you and your brand are recognizable.

Your "Catchy" Headline

Your headline is not just important for communicating who you are and what you do, but it is also a great way to increase your chance of being found by keyword searches. Keeping important keywords and phrases in mind, try to come up with a blurb that encompasses your job title and career goals, while being unique. It sounds like a tall order, but it is worth the effort.

Your Connections

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable LinkedIn activities, establishing connections is also the key to LinkedIn success. Begin by seeking out your friends and relations, business contacts, and other people you already know.

Then, seek out new people by joining groups that relate to your industry. These groups will prove valuable sources for awesome contacts and new clientele. And they will enable you to establish yourself as a go-to-person in your area of expertise.

Your Recommendations

Yes, collecting and giving endorsements feels great, doesn't it? And, yes, endorsements do look good. But the Holy Grail of praise in the LinkedIn world is the "recommendation."

An impressive collection of recommendations will boost your LinkedIn reputation tremendously and, potentially, open doors. When you approach someone for a recommendation, however, make sure to touch base with them in person first. Not only is it polite, but it will make them more receptive to your request.

Your LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn Answers is a forum through which members can pose questions and other members can offer replies. It is also a huge opportunity to flaunt your know-how.

If people are impressed with your response, they can vote for it. And users who receive enough votes can wind up on a board called "This Week's Top Experts." Users are invited to respond to a maximum of 50 questions each day--providing you with plenty of opportunity to show off your big brain.

Your Apps

Taking advantage of any of the extras offered on LinkedIn's Application Directory will not only enhance your profile, but it will make this social media application much more enjoyable. You can link your profile to your WordPress blog, ensuring that your cleverly crafted blog posts are shared with your LinkedIn contacts. The SlideShare add-on enables you to display your recent presentations. Have fun selecting the applications that best suit your needs and your personality.

Your Altruistic Endeavors

People often overlook the value of their charity work and volunteer efforts, but employers want to hear about it. Make sure you complete your Volunteer Work section and highlight the many skills that these experiences have allowed you to develop.

LinkedIn truly is a valuable social media tool for anyone who wants to succeed in their profession. It is, after all, the place where the movers and shakers of the globe congregate, share ideas, and extend opportunities. If you aren't "linked in" you are missing out.

How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and social media addict. She has written on a vast array of topics including WordPress plugins, social media marketing and mobile credit card processing. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.

Image courtesy of photos.com.



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