Tagged: Social media

11 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile an All-Star

[WARNING: With a mother like mine, I had a resume when I was eleven.  I may be a little bit of a know-it-all here]

So you want a job.  Great.  The question you are going to have to answer in every employer’s mind is “why should I hire you?”

Fortunately for you, LinkedIn is a great tool to answer just that.  If you don’t already know, LinkedIn is an electronic resume platform – the “professional Facebook”.  People create resumes, post job and internship openings, and make company profiles on the social media site.  For personal pages, LinkedIn rates your profile based on your updates and how beefy your profile is.

The badge of honor

The badge of honor

How do you beef up a profile page to make it “all-star” level?  See the steps below:

1.  Get started: if you haven’t made one before, for shame.  It is easy, however, to sign up for a free LinkedIn account.  In my experience, you really don’t need premium if you use the free version well.

2.  Make an interesting summary statement.  Here is where all of that “online branding” comes into play.  Notice how some of the strongest brand statements are also the shortest?  Just do it.  That’s the power of the Home Depot.  Is it in you?  Make a relatively short statement about who you are as a brand.

3.  Fill out contact information.  Make it superly-duperly easy for an employer to contact you.  Put full name, email, phone, address, website, Twitter, whatever.  Keep it to what you are comfortable with – I didn’t add an address, but added just about everything else.

4.  Fill out as many other sections as you can. LinkedIn gives you bragging sections for awards, publications, projects, experience, languages, volunteer experience, and more.  Use them.  Don’t be shy – LinkedIn doesn’t follow the “one page” rule that printed resumes do.

5.  Put things under the appropriate heading.  Are all of the things under “experience” really best under experience?  I had an unpaid social media internship for a few months, but didn’t clutter up my experience section with it; rather, I put it under Volunteering Experiences & Causes because it was for military appreciation at http://www.browardnavydaysinc.org/.  It also beefed up what could be considered a wimpy volunteering section, putting relevant professional details under this heading.

6.  That being said, don’t get too obscure with your additions.  Make sure you have relevant experience to the field you want to go into.  I was a babysitter from about eleven to seventeen, but you do not see that on my profile.  I still have an all-star profile without my years of “childcare”.  Avoid fluff to keep your profile interesting.

7.  Add multimedia to the sections.  I am currently working on this, too.  Does the company you work for or have worked for have a website?  Better yet, do they have a section detailing what you or your team did?  Add the URL!  Is there a video on YouTube somewhere about your work?  Add it!  Photos?  Presentations?  Do you have an, ehem, blog?  Add the link!  Do you have a professional Twitter?  Add the handle!  Google likes links, so use ‘em.

8.  Connect with people based on value, not on numbers.  Yes, it is impressive to see a profile of someone with 500+ connections.  But do not let the Facebook mentality muddy up your LinkedIn – quality over quantity any day.  Why?  A potential employer may reach out to a connection of yours to ask for a recommendation.  If they don’t know you they are not going to make you look so hot, right?  Make sure just about everyone in your connections can speak well of you.

9.  Ask for recommendations for specific positions.  If you had an internship at an awesome company, ask one of your colleagues or bosses to write a recommendation for you in that position.  If they fill it out for you correctly, the position in LinkedIn will read: title, company, dates, description, and (number) recommendation(s).  It looks pretty darn good to have multiple for one position.

10.  A great way to drive recommendations is to recommend others.  You may find it cold, but reciprocity is alive and well in LinkedIn.  If you want your past supervisor to recommend you, brag on them a bit.  They may do it without asking as a thank you for the great recommendation.  I have gotten two recommendations from this so far, and have given some from people who gave me one.

11.  Change the URL to something you can remember, and put it on your business card.  In “How to Become a Networking Ninja,” I mentioned how you should put your LinkedIn URL on your business card (see https://taylynbrown.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/ow-to-become-a-networking-ninja/).  You need to make sure it isn’t linkedin.com/in/taylor56748lynne889938brown4372, or else nobody is going to write it down in the URL box off your card.  I changed mine to linkedin.com/in/taylynbrown.  Same alias as my blog, Gmail, Twitter, aaaaaand LINKEDIN!  To change yours to something you can remember, go to “edit profile”, and under your picture and your contact info you should see your profile URL.  Next to it, click “edit” and get one that isn’t taken.

I wish you luck on your LinkedIn journey!

Have a tip not included above?  Comment it!  Lovin’ the sharing of information over the internet.

Food for thought.

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Super-Top-Secret Social Media Tool

(WARNING: tacky apology-for-absence-that-assumes-you’ve-noticed-my-lack-of-posting imminent.  Also, “super secret” probably isn’t all that secret, I may just be that slow.)

A few posts ago I preached about making an online presence and making a name for your digital brand (here: https://taylynbrown.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/why-i-decided-to-blog-and-you-students-and-entreps-should-too/).

And then I posted nothing for over a week.

Sorry for the absence, but I have read a few blogs complaining about other people complaining about having nothing to write about, so I chose to suffer the creative battle off the net and figure out what I wanted to write about in my head as opposed to on your screen.

Trouble is, I had no time to think about a new topic, let alone write.  Lifetime bloggers in the peanut gallery—shut it.  I know I can find time to sit down for 30 minutes a day and churn out something, but if you’re not in the habit of it, the task can be pretty difficult. (Check this guy’s blog for how to never run out of content: http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/how-to-never-run-out-of-interesting-content/ and about how to find time for blogging: http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/how-to-find-time-for-content-creation/)

So, with my feeble newbie blogging skills, I found a whimpering subject in the corner of my mind that I will throw unceremoniously into light: Buffer.

Image

If you are not using Buffer, or some social media management gadget like it, and you have a million followers—hats off. Also, get an IV, because you likely have no time to eat.

If you’re like me, however, you may have trouble saving content or articles for different posts and actually logging back in to post them later.  I would come across a great article and be like “but I posted 3 minutes ago…”

Now I press the Buffer button in the browser of my screen and POOF!  A magical internet fairy posts it for me at scheduled times during the day. (It actually enters a queue in your Buffer that will be posted after the last time you pressed the Buffer button…but “internet fairies” sounds better than “a ton of lines of code”)  It can post to just about any social media account, and it has the queue for every account accessible in one app (online or otherwise). 

I’ll tell you a secret my Twitter followers don’t know: that is definitely not me posting something at 9 o’clock at night.  But, hey, I get a new following everyday now because I am consistently in the feed.  And a good amount of them may know, and maybe 90% of Twitter users are using something like that or HootSuite too, and I am just late to the game. 

I’ll choose to think I am a mastermind, however.  Much more flattering.

Food for Thought.