Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Linked To LinkedIn

In case you haven’t gotten out much lately, LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, has been taking on greater importance on how people conduct business, learn, and network.

Information you include, or exclude, in your profile could affect your overall identity on the Internet as well as future job opportunities. The downfall of a poorly constructed LinkedIn profile, or utilizing bad etiquette, can alienate your connections or even turn away potential employers or customers interested in hiring you. You can’t afford that these days, so listen up.

A couple of important pieces of information to look closely at are your LinkedIn Summary and Biography.

Many magazine and website articles don't get read without a good headline. This is where a good Summary comes in. You need to be very concise and engaging in your Summary. If the Summary doesn't draw people in, all the great accomplishments you've had over the years may be looked right over. Then you’re just wasting your time.

The Summary is where you want to express your personal brand. Show us who you are, what you do, and why you’re unique.

A problem a lot of people have is not being quite so honest on their resume - tsk, tsk, tsk. I mean, who do you know that’s going to see it, right? LinkedIn encourages honesty in your resume since your profile may be viewed by any of your colleagues and customers – and bosses. So keep your experiences on the up and up.

While you want to include your past accomplishments, emphasize your strengths and highlights while providing background on your job responsibilities. You’ll need to shorten it up in order to be suitable for a few different areas of your industry. This isn’t the place for full on resume. Keep that for the recruiters.

In addition to a good Summary and Bio, here a couple of other quick tips to help you stand out.
- Most LinkedIn profiles URLs (web address, for you non-techs) will have a slash and then your name (/andyuskavitch). Some names (other than mine) can be common. You can change your URL to whatever you want – just make sure it’s professional and recognizable – no /studmuffin.
- Remember that you don't matter on the Web if Google can’t see you. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is public and includes keywords that people might search for.

Don’t just set up a profile and let it go. Use LinkedIn. Search to see who else you know. Post something AT LEAST a few times a week and get involved with some groups. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn and who you can meet.

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