It’s true… I am not ashamed to admit that I think LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms ever invented.
In fact, I can attribute many of my professional success stories to the platform. So it’s time for you to join me in this love affair for LinkedIn! In this post, I am going to focus on why you should care about your LinkedIn profile. If you’re as old as me, you can remember buying the linen résumé paper from the stationery store, printing crisp copies of your résumé to hand out to recruiters upon graduation and looking to land your first gig. The good news is the linen paper days are gone and LinkedIn is the “new” résumé that gives you the ability to showcase your brand and your achievements in a way better form than the linen paper would have ever given you the ability to.
So you have a profile on LinkedIn and a few connections—where do you begin? I will walk you through a simple process that will set you up to make the best version of YOU on the LinkedIn platform. The process begins with creating an optimized profile, making connections, sharing content and ultimately creating your own content. Let’s start with creating your profile.
Create the perfect profile that defines you and your brand.
Why is this so important? If you are on LinkedIn, everyone from a potential prospect to someone you just met at a volunteer event are looking at your profile to find out more about you. But, if you don’t have a profile, those same people may question your professional status. To help get you started, I found an amazing infographic from our partners at HubSpot (see below) with a few tips and it will walk you through the process of creating the best LinkedIn profile for you. One of my favorite features is the customized URL. Like I mentioned earlier, this is your virtual résumé, so put this link on your email signature, your Facebook page, Twitter, Google+ accounts and any websites you maintain to create inbound links to your profile. I also love the idea of using LinkedIn to showcase your work. This gives anyone that is looking to connect with you a glimpse into your professional experience. Once you have completed your profile, it’s time to start making connections. I will discuss the value of connections and networking in a future article.
Have your profile ready? I’m happy to offer advice. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for a second set of eyes.
Also, check out our visual guide on how to Create the Perfect Company LinkedIn Page.