LinkedIn is one of the most powerful, yet mis-understood tools for building a professional network. Over the next few days, I am going to change that mis-understanding. A few small adjustments in your profile and how you use LinkedIn can make this your most powerful professional network.
What is LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an online network of more than 30 million experienced professionals from around the world. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.
Today, lets take a look at creating your profile.
Create Your Profile
- Join LinkedIn and complete the overview information http://www.linkedin.com/ Make sure you include all the emails you use (personal and professional) as this is how other LinkedIn users you know will find you.
- Complete your employment and education history. Be as complete and accurate as possible. This is how colleagues and friends will search and find you…and how potential business partners will evaluate you in their search for customers and vendors.
- Add a profile summary. This is a great way to profile what your company does and what you do in it. This can also include industry keywords. When people are searching for you, these keywords can be helpful. Make it interesting! Don’t make is sound like everyone else’s resume.
- Include your photo! No excuses. Your photo is how people recognize you and how you relate to your connections.
- Select an industry and add your specialties
- Add your website(s)
- Create a Public Profile URL. Consider using your company name or your full name in the LinkedIn public URL you set for your profile. For example: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stephengasser This is one of the most underutilized functions on LinkedIn.
- Set your Contact Settings. This is where you determine your contact settings (introduction only or introductions and emails), about what subjects you are most interested, and how you want to be contacted (some rules of engagement). Consider adding your contact information in your contact settings description.
Tomorrow we will take things a step further, and I will provide you with a checklist to get the most out of your LinedIn profile. For now – go to www.LinkedIn.com and build or enhance your profile with this information. Small steps lead to big rewards! Take this small step today.
Still need more information?
On the top right is a short video that will show you a few more tips and tricks to optimize your profile.
At the end of the 30 days, I will be publishing an action plan with additional details from the comments you provided. I will only be sending this action plan to the followers of this blog. If you want a copy, please subscribe in the “subscribe via email” box above. PS: This is only the beginning! Take a sneak peak at what is coming up!