Whether you're happily employed, employed but actively seeking another opportunity, or unemployed, you need to have a LinkedIn profile. With over 200 million members worldwide, it is a professional social networking site that offers users the ability to showcase their skills and work experience online. LI users are also able to build professional networks that can potentially lead to career advancements, research and discuss industry issues with other users, join groups to ask and answer questions, and much more.
Now that we've established that you must have a profile on this professional network, let's consider the ways that you can make the most of it:
- Be thorough. Fill in as much detail as you possibly can. This should include work experience, education, hobbies, and plenty of industry jargon. This way, you can be more easily located through key word searches.
- Upload a professional picture. Profiles without a professional photo look unprofessional and incomplete. Chances are, these profiles will be overlooked.
- Personalize your page. Adjust your settings so that your name is in your LinkedIn URL. This will make your profile more accessible through Google and other search engines as well.
- Endorse and be endorsed. Attempt to have at least one endorsement from a colleague or supervisor per position listed on your profile. This adds an element of credibility. Return the favor and endorse others too.
- Grow your network. If you're limiting connections to co-workers that you work with on a daily basis, you're missing out on countless networking opportunities. Reach out and connect with clients, others in your industry, former supervisors and colleagues, and even those you don't know if you share common professional interests.
- Include a link to your profile in your email signature. In addition to your name, contact information, and title, including your profile in your email signature is an excellent way to increase the visibility of your profile. This excludes personal and company email accounts.
- List your URL on your business card. While you should still include traditional information on your business card, adding the URL to your profile will help promote your profile while allowing potential clients and business partners to learn more about you.
- Get involved. Read industry related blogs and articles. If possible, create a profile that includes your personal URL. Then join the discussion by visiting the comments section and sharing your thoughts and opinions.
- Tweet your profile. If you haven't already, join Twitter to share your industry insights. Whenever possible, ensure that your tweets include a shortened link to your LI profile.
To learn more about making the most of your personal profile, visit the LinkedIn section of the Staffing Plus Blog.
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