In today’s job market, networking is a large part of how an individual can be successful and stay successful in any industry. As we all know, social media sites can be an important tool for use in professional networking. Although there are many social media tools available, with over 19 million users, experts say that LinkedIn is the preferred social media networking tool for professionals. However, LinkedIn is not alone, there are many others. As LinkedIn and the other professional networking sites are more than just social sites, they can be used as a great marketing tools to promote your professional skills and assets.
So, how can you get the most out of your LinkedIn or any professional social media profile? With a few simple steps, you can update your profile and it will do exactly what you want it to do. Found below are our simple “Dos” which will help you get on your way!! Good luck updating!
Do have a Profile Picture?
First, you should have a profile picture. Have you ever rented a hotel room online without looking at the available pictures? Or, would you ever purchase a car that you have never seen? Most people would not make these decisions without visual confirmation of some sort either. We are very visual as a culture and people want to see a friendly, inviting face. Forbes.com reports that users with a profile picture are “seven times more likely to be viewed” than users without one. Accordingly, to develop more professional contacts, add your picture to your profile.
What Kind of Picture Should you Post?
You should also consider what kind of profile picture you post. Again, you are posting your picture to a professional, business networking site. What is acceptable for other social sites may not be acceptable for professional business networking. You want your picture to represent your business persona. So, what should you do? Smiling in a business suit is perfect, smiling in a t-shirt, not so much.
Do Consider Your Profile as Your Online Resume
Because your profile can be considered an online resume, there is also one fundamental precaution that should be taken. No Lying! Now and again, we all may be guilty of a little puffery, but lying is a no-no. Professional accomplishments should not be stretched at all. An accurate description of what you have is best. Further, the world can seem like a huge place, but you would be surprised at how small it really is. Stick to the truth about where you went to school, where you have previously worked, and what skills you actually possess. Misrepresenting yourself is the quickest and easiest way to be terminated from a position.
Do Update Your Written Profile
If you are actively looking for employment, professional social media sites are great marketing tools that can help you succeed. Your profile should help you be an attractive candidate with your first impression as a professional. Let’s look at what should be included.
Start off with a strong summary. Your summary should be tailored as your “elevator pitch.” This statement should draw people in by explaining what you can bring to prospective employers. Discuss your achievements, but try to avoid coming off as conceited. After reading your summary someone should be fully aware of what you can bring to their organization, and what path you would like your career to follow.
Having a unique profile is important when trying to attract new employers. Equally as important are the achievements you had in the past. Explaining what you have accomplished is expected but recommendations from previous supervisors, clients, or professors help solidify your statements. Moreover, having a peer or a colleague recommend you and take the time to explain how good of an employee you are is great, but having them list the specific results is even better. Your profile should briefly discuss the money you generated, your team projects, and the financial goals that you helped the company reach – these specifics can help your profile stand out.
Do Exhibit Your Professional Writing Skills
One of the more essential skills needed in today’s market is the ability to write. Your profile should include any publications or blogs that showcase your capabilities. Good writing skills translate to good communication skills. Most employers require some sort of writing. Indeed, emails, presentations, and business reports need to be constructed clearly and concisely. If you have examples of such talents, they should be put on display.
Do Update Your Profile Regularly
As a last point, you should stay active with your account. Continually updating your profile with your new successes will assist you in staying fresh in the eyes of searching employers. When you update your profile, consider joining a group that appeals to your field of interest. Many social medial sites allow people to join more than one group. For example, LinkedIn allows users to join up to 50 groups. Now, keeping up with 50 different groups is virtually impossible, but participating in the membership of 5-10 groups on a regular basis would be sufficient. When you join these professional groups, you can make valuable connections in that field, which is a central goal. You can also learn from professionals already in the industry and stay current on new topics and innovations.
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When putting together a profile for any online site, originality, creativity, and honesty should be your guiding points. LinkedIn or any professional social media site can help you broaden your professional network if these key guidelines are followed. These guidelines will, not only help you enhance your personal profile, but, also will help you separate yourself from a cluttered pool of candidates.
Kane, Libby. “8 Mistakes You Should Never Make On LinkedIn”. Forbes.com. 4 March 2013. Web. 12 April 2013 from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/03/04/8-mistakes-you-should-never-make-on-linkedin/
Townsend, Heather. “What should I put in my LinkedIn profile? – Part 1”. Joined up Networking.com. 1 October 2012. Web. 12 April 2013 from: http://joinedupnetworking.com/what-should-i-put-in-my-linkedin-profile-part-1/
Townsend, Heather. “5 ways to pimp up your LinkedIn profile”. Joined up Networking.com. 15 August 2012. Web. 15 April 2013 from: http://joinedupnetworking.com/8-ways-to-pimp-up-your-linkedin-profile/
Leibman, Pete. “LinkedIn Profile Secrets: 9 Ways Your LinkedIn Profile Can KILL Your Career”. Pete Leibman.com. 3 March 2012. Web. 15 April 2013 from: http://peteleibman.com/careerblog/linkedin-profile/
Lexacount Search is particularly grateful for As-Samad Dawson’s hard work and research assistance. This posting would not have been possible without his exploration of this topic area.