Are you a brand? Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand: the way others see you when they look you up online. When you're job hunting, you don't want your online brand to consist solely of your Facebook page and the funny posts you share with your friends. Building a professional brand on LinkedIn helps you stand out and impress recruiters and potential employers. Use these tips to turn your online profile into a brand that attracts attention.
1. Stand out from the start.
Your LinkedIn headline, like the headline in a newspaper article, needs to grab the reader's eye. It also needs to emphasize the main subject matter – easier to do for a news story than for your personal history. You've got limited space and characters to work with, so keep it tight. Provide your location, your title, and your primary skills or significant accomplishment.
2. Back up your headline claim.
Your headline makes a claim for how good you are; the rest of your profile needs to provide the details that prove it. Be sure to mention your awards, certifications, and other credentials that support your qualifications.
3. Get found.
For your profile to be found during searches, it needs to include the keywords that people search on. If there are multiple ways a key phrase might be worded, include all possibilities. Keywords can include things like titles, skills, or credentials, so include that information throughout the profile – in the headline, the summary, and other sections. Be sure to complete the “Skills” section completely. Adding additional custom sections for information like recent coursework is a great way to create more room for keywords.
4. Ask others to vouch for you.
Testimonials provide proof of the claims you make. Ask your former employers and colleagues for testimonials including the keywords you're emphasizing to add additional weight.
5. Participate in groups.
Post updates and contribute to group discussions to get your name and information "out there." The information you share online in LinkedIn should be professional; this isn't the forum for being outrageous. Present a professional image so that when others read your opinions, they can envision you working for their organization.