Hi folk, been enjoying my career tips so far?
Excellent! Now, let’s talk about one of the most critical elements of your personal branding – your online presence.
As the world’s premier networking site, LinkedIn is where people go to check you out. To determine whether you’re worth interviewing for that job opportunity or consider whether they’d like to do business with you. To identify whether you’re worth working/networking with or that you are deserving of that business proposition. Well then, you’ll be wanting to make a fabulous first impression then won’t you? Still doubtful? Here’s food for thought: LinkedIn - the modern-day Rolodex
With 610 million members worldwide, 10 million of them Australian, not only will you want a profile to be in the running, you’ll be wanting to stand out yes? A starting point is to ensure your primary pieces of LinkedIn real estate are on point. Let’s go!
1. Your photo
Ever googled yourself? I did, and I was surprised to find I share my name with 17+ people, including a famous UK author and a popular Australian interior designer. My photo helps my audience find me quickly, and yours will too. Bet you’re Googling yourself right now!
Make yours clear, bright and smiling – your business face. No kids, no proudly holding the fish that didn’t get away, no standing in mining truck buckets. Kill the motorbike, the crash helmet, the race. Just bring your face.
2. Your Headline Banner (under your photo)
LinkedIn, by default, will pop your job title and company here, but why waste this valuable banner with wording that will be found in your Experience section?
Find your unique selling proposition, what it is you offer that makes you stand out, and use your banner to promote it. Here’s mine as an example: Jane Telford
3. Your ‘About’
Here’s where you’ll articulate who you are, what you do or offer in more detail, and what that means for your audience. The first two lines are critical for that’s all that’s visible, so make ’em count! Take the time to compose a fabulous statement. One that substantiates your banner statement and is compelling enough to ‘hook’ your readers into clicking ‘more’ to read on.
Although you have 2,000 characters to play with, you’ll want to make your story sharp and focused given your audience spends less than 30 seconds viewing your profile. Think carefully about the audience you want to attract and what you want them to do when they read your information. Make it distinctive and memorable, use words that are known and picture it up so that people can ‘feel’ your story. Oh! And ensure primary keywords related to your target audience are included for easy keyword search by others.
Of course, you’ll triple check spelling and grammar (Grammarly is a great little piece of software for doing this) and have someone double-check. Throw some bullet points in for easy readability and don’t forget, numbers less than 10 should be written as a word, e.g. ‘three’ not ‘3’. ‘
4. Your Experience
Your work history helps your audience understand your career progression and where those fabulous strengths depicted in your summary were developed. Keep the job scope to one single overarching sentence and follow with a couple of quantifiable achievements, again reinforcing your banner and summary. Oh! And unless you’re planning to flip burgers at Maccas again, your ancient history isn’t necessary. Just the most recent roles and relevant to your future strategy. My background lies in retail yet that history is absent from my profile. Why? Well, for one, it was back when wheels were square and thus dates me, and it’s also irrelevant to my current personal brand.
5. Your Activity
Huh? I hear you say. Yes, your activity. The kind of articles and content you share. Let’s take a step back for context. One of the most marvelous things about LinkedIn (in my eyes) is the home page feed. In contrast to Facebook’s feed full of holidays, breakfasts, kids first day at school snaps and rehashed ‘remember when’ memories, LinkedIn’s feed usually comprises of business-related articles.
The LinkedIn home page feed is a great place to learn, for the best of the best business leaders are sharing best practice daily. (Branson has 16M+ followers, Gates close to 20M). Find articles aligned to your areas of expertise and share at least twice a week. An almost effortless way to market you and your brand expertise.
I follow thought leaders (influencers), channels, # tags and companies I’m interested in to ensure I’m across global best practice. I also share articles that reinforce my expertise, adding a brief comment about the article and a nod to the author. Where to find juicy things to follow and ultimately share? Pop into Settings & Privacy – Accounts – Site Preferences – ‘make your feed your own’ and simply hit ‘follow’ for all that appeal.
Stay tuned for hints on how to adjust your summary as a job seeker, passive job seeker, consultant, senior executive or retiree. And of course, comments always welcome!