LinkedIn is a number one social networking service set up for searching and establishing business contacts. LinkedIn receives the biggest part of its income from selling to recruiters the access to the members’ contacts in its database. In 2015 the number of LinkedIn users exceeded 400 million and that is quite a lot. But many professionals tend to pay little attention to this powerful business-oriented tool.
The point is that LinkedIn is indispensable for your career management, as well as for your job search support, irrespective of your employment status. We would like you to understand this matter more deeply. For this purpose we have prepared 5 reasons why you need to take care of your LinkedIn profile and keep it alive:
1. Lack of regular profile updates will result in search ranking decline
If you don’t bring your LinkedIn profile up-to-date regularly, its rank will undoubtedly go down in search results. The LinkedIn database has an integral priority for freshly updated data. For example, when two profiles contain similar information on academic degree, work history and identical keywords, the one recently refreshed will be ranked higher. If you are in job search, update your profile and status at least one time a week to keep its ranking up, and once in a month for your career management. What’s more, fresh content can boost your position in Google. Why is it important? When someone conduct LinkedIn search through Google, the search engine will give out more results, as it has no limits, which means that being spotted by Google can strengthen your chances for future career opportunities.
2. Status updates can help with gaining interest to your candidacy
On the homepage of your profile there is a status update feature with which you can share career brand with your network, and there is no need to send them any formal message. This update will be also shared with the whole LinkedIn community. Use this function while commenting on posts or articles. In such way you can draw interest to your candidacy, which will give you much advantage, when you start looking for new occupation.
3. Remember that keyword trends don’t stay still
The world around us keeps changing every day. New technologies, methods and approaches to them, as well as new words and phrases, constantly appear and evolve. The only thing we can do about this is not to fall behind. It’s a good practice to keep track of keyword changes in your field, check what is on the front burner and time after time substitute outdated keywords in your LinkedIn profile. Keeping yourself informed is a worthwhile pastime.
4. Make your brand more noticeable by participating in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Group is a perfect environment for people who work in the same industry and share common interests. Here they can ask questions and find answers, make business contacts and demonstrate their skills as experts. It is a very effective LinkedIn feature. Being visible in front groups can help you to become noticeable in the sight of recruiters or prospective clients. Find groups which members are people of influence in your industry. Start actively participating in discussions, create articles and guides that focus on the subjects relevant to these groups. Thus you have a chance to promote your services in a natural way and establish your brand.
5. Get prospective career opportunities by farsighted managing of your network
By spending a couple of minutes a day on updating and managing your LinkedIn activity, you can build up prospective business contacts and keep in store career opportunities before you even need them. In your LinkedIn routine try to regularly review and update your profile’s keywords and status, not to linger over accepting relevant connection invitations, be active in group discussions, reciprocate endorsements when it is appropriate and follow new companies, hiring executives and influential people in your industry. When used wisely, LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool you can take much advantage of.
Now, when the reasons why you need an active LinkedIn routine are quite clear, let’s examine some tips on how to make your profile more powerful.
7 Tips for optimizing your LinkedIn Profile and improving your personal brand:
1. Work for being the first on LinkedIn and Google searches
Being at the forefront of search results page can mean lots of business opportunities for you. So, if you want to be easily found on LinkedIn, we advise you checking Google’s Keyword Tool to discover what keywords should be used in your profile, especially in profile title and summary. Add as well some top keywords in sections like Skills and Interests. Moreover, try using them in group discussions, because they’re also indexed by Google. You can also open Google. com (but don’t forget to sign out) and enter your keywords in order to see the top searches performed by other people. And always try to gain more 1st degree connections as they appear first in results page.
2. Put your Profile Name clearly
If you want to make the right first impression, don’t mess your LinkedIn name by adding any further information in the name section. What we mean is just keep it simply ‘Carol Habman’ and not ‘Carol Habman – call 400-311-2364’ or ‘Carol Habman – my email …’ . It’s better not to puzzle LinkedIn search.
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) March 9, 2016
3. Make your URL neat and concise
The same concerns your profile URL. The perfect variant is http://linkedin.com/in/first and last name. For example, http://linkedin.com/in/carolhabman. No line of extra numbers or letters. Later you can include this link in your business cards or email signatures.
4. Your profile photo is one of the keys to success
There must be a photo on your LinkedIn profile and no discussions will prove the contrary. Here are some high lights which may reassure you. First and the most unpleasant fact is that LinkedIn sends profiles with the default grey avatars down to the lowest position of search results. The second point is that people look at your photo the most on your profile. One of the reasons for it may be that people always tend to read other people’s faces. Actually, this habit lies in our nature. So, when there is no picture of you to examine, your profile visitors may completely lose interest.
Making a good picture won’t take you much time. You may even use the nearest photo booth. But remember about the dress code. It’s better not to load a picture in swimsuit if you are not a swimming coach.
5. Recommendations – excellent way to enhance your LinkedIn presence
The more good recommendations the better. And when you ask for a recommendation, supply your recommenders with a list of your services and skills, so they will make a more precise report on how well you carried out your job. You might also provide an already written recommendation which can serve as a base for recommender.
6. Strive for qualitative connections, not for their quantity
Don’t focus on the number of connections you accumulate on LinkedIn, better think about their quality. Try to build up quality network of people who are professionals and can vouch for you. When you need to connect with someone you have never worked before, see if you have something in common, interests or background, and then make a personal invitation with the proper context to help you draw interest. Just keep in mind that some people may consider an invitation from a total stranger as something off-putting.
7. Trace people who have visited your page in order to find new valuable connections
Keep track of people who have visited your page with a LinkedIn feature – Who’s Viewed Your Profile. Why do you need it? Imagine if someone who has been checking out your profile is a person you’ve been waiting for to connect? When you think about it, this LinkedIn feature seems to be quite useful. But remember, you won’t have access to it if you don’t make yourself identifiable. You can allow other users to see who you are if you view their profiles in Privacy Controls, by clicking Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.
Your profile is a starting point, some kind of online personality, which gives you the chance to attract relevant opportunities. That’s why you should build up a system in which all of your online content will lead to your profile, which in its turn will motivate readers to get in touch with you.
When you consider your LinkedIn profile from this point of view, you’ll understand why it’s so important to anchor a custom URL of yours. You can make it free of cost in LinkedIn settings by clicking Edit Public Profile. There you’ll see the necessary icon under Your public profile URL. Once you have your custom URL, the question is how can you share it with other users for drawing traffic to your profile and interest to your candidacy? Email signature Email signature file is apparently the first place where you should include your LinkedIn URL. For job search or career management aims your email signature should also contain such information as:
- A title or slogan
- A tagline
- Personal contact information (phone or/ and mobile)
- Working email address
- LinkedIn profile URL
- Links to other main social media sites
- A photo (if you wish)
For creating an eye-catching email signature you can use a great tool Wisestamp.
If you plan to do face-to-face networking for your job search, it’s good to have in store some business cards not connected with your present-day employer. What should you include to make a good-looking business card?
First of all, present your brand and create a positioning slogan, it may reflect the one in your LinkedIn profile heading. After that you can write about your main competencies. Then write your contact information and, of course, include your LinkedIn URL. And don’t forget about design, make your card noticeable.
Blog post and article comments
When you read blog posts and articles relevant to the sphere you’re working in, don’t be shy to interact with the information by commenting on what you’ve read. When used wisely, these comments can help to spread your brand through the width of the Internet. Share your opinion and view on the content of the blog post or article and don’t forget to include your LinkedIn URL in the comment. Bear in view that your comments can be shown in Google search performed on your name. Make sure that you have a strategy on how you want to present your brand through such participation. We also advise you to comment primarily on articles or blog posts related to your industry and skills.
Marketing briefs and Cover Letters
Marketing briefs are becoming more popular as networking documents. They provide an array of information about the background, objectives and impacts of your brand or company. Since this type of document aims to give the reader more information about you, it’s rational to include the link to your LinkedIn profile in it. You can as well embed your link in cover letters either for companies or recruiters.
Google+ and Twitter
Google+ is picking up steam in becoming one of the core social networking sites for job hunters. If your LinkedIn profile is written professionally, use its content to set up your Google+ page. Than include your LinkedIn URL in your Google+ profile, or add it as a shortened link in any post you share. And at the last, include your Google+ profile link to your LinkedIn page.
Almost the same is about Twitter. Here just try to include, along with hashtag and Twitter handle, the short link to your LinkedIn profile in every possible tweet.
Starting a blog is a perfect way to demonstrate your expert knowledge. First thing you can do is to include the link to your LinkedIn profile in your blog section where you give short information about yourself. It’s also a good idea to showcase your blog by links to your posts on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. And remember to put a link to your blog in your LinkedIn profile.
We can see that there are plenty of opportunities where you can promote your LinkedIn profile. Choose which are the best for you. But to be completely sure that your strategy will work out, use your LinkedIn profile only if you are sure that it is written professionally.