The world is all about social media these days and it doesn’t matter if you are looking for a job, showing your expertise, or marketing your business, you need to be on social media. What you think about social media is up to you, but I think we all realize we have to be on it. One of the more popular platforms is LinkedIn. Their numbers are impressive with 380 million people using their platform, two new connections being made every second, 97 million unique visitors each month, and available in over two hundred countries around the world it is a major player in the world. These stats are gold mines for recruiters, managers, and others that want to have a professional presence in their industry. With such a powerful community, not completing your profile could be causing you to miss out on opportunities that you may be suitable for such as a job opportunity or special event. Having a profile that reads well is the first step to getting noticed.
Below are five things you can do today to improve your LinkedIn profile.
First thing is to start by adding a picture that reflects you today. Make the picture professional in nature and replace it every two years if required. Many connections have pictures from the last barbecue twenty years ago. This is especially important if you are in a recruiting role as this may help people recognize you at events.
The second thing to work on is your summary area. I often see people that just have one line or bullet points in the summary area. The summary area should be where you have an overview of who you are and where your expertise lies. This summary should be written in the first person (your point of view) and should be used to attract attention as to why someone would want to connect with you. It can be funny or entertaining but should give people a sense of your personality. Note that adding links to your websites work well in this area and can be very important to having someone contact you.
The third piece of the puzzle is the experience section. Again I see many profiles that have one or two lines about a company like a mission statement. Use this area to highlight your company or expertise. If you do many things such I do break them down into areas that make sense such as into divisions, time frames, or any other criteria. This area you can also add photos and videos to the area although those only show up when on a computer, but still are important to help highlight your business. In this area you also add website links for your business so people can click and go right to your website.
Listing your associations would be the fourth area that needs attention. People like to connect with people that are in their association or like minded associations. This also shows potential connections your involvement in the industry and reinforces the fact that you are active in keeping up your knowledge of issues in your niche.
Your contact information is the fifth area to focus on. List all the ways you wish people to contact you and keep it professional. Save that “firstname.lastname@example.org” email for your friends and not your professional LinkedIn profile. Update your profile on a regular basis as needed and organize it to show your strengths.
The way social media is ranked is by the content on the page. Having a profile that is filled out completely will rank better than one with one line and old information. Adding keywords in your profile that pertain to your position will help you show up faster and searches therefore offering you more opportunities. To show you the benefits I was contacted a few years ago to speak at a conference in Manila on transportation by an event planner that found me through my LinkedIn profile. Since the platform is free for the most part even achieving one opportunity or strong industry connection is worth the time to update your profile periodically. Update your profile and see what it can do for you!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant and author of the books Driven to Drive and Running by the Mile. He is the host of The Lead Pedal Podcast which offers business and career advice for those in the transportation industry. To learn more about Bruce and his show visit his websites at www.outridgeenterprises.ca or www.theleadpedalpodcast.com