How many hands are left? Probably not too many because to keep your hand up for the final question would mean that you know what constitutes an effective profile and that is where the problem lies.
Many people know they should be on LinkedIn so they sit down one afternoon, answer a few questions, copy parts of their resume and *boom* they are on LinkedIn! Tada!
Not so fast.
Let’s back up a minute and go through a few basics.
In the most simplistic terms LinkedIn is the business world’s Facebook. Without the horrible rants, embarrassing pictures and a lot less comments about what people had for lunch.
As of June 2012 LinkedIn reported that there were 175 million registered users – let that soak in for a moment. 175 million! There is a reason so many people are on LinkedIn and it pretty much boils down to two words: building business.
Recruiters utilize LinkedIn to search for candidates, business owners use LinkedIn to connect with clients and individuals utilize LinkedIn to expand their networks. It can be an incredibly powerful tool.
As with any tool it is powerful if used correctly.
Simply throwing together a few sentences or pasting your resume up there is not effective. The three key elements to a strong LinkedIn profile and presence are the three V’s:
Let’s take a quick look at each one. I’m all about simplicity so I’ll make this easy:
It has to sound like you. This is your presentation, your digital imprint and your business persona. Make it count. People are naturally a little suspicious and want proof.
When a person speaks to you after reading your profile and the two images match then they have greater confidence in what you said. Tone matters. Your virtual you and one-on-one you should sound the same.
The most important aspect of the profile is to communicate your value. Why does this person want to connect with you? What do you have to offer them? What are you brining to the table or what problem of theirs can you solve?
Answer these questions without beating them over the head with the obvious and your message will be delivered successfully.
Remember – 175 million registered users. How on earth are you going to stand out among all those people? You want visibility, you want to come up on the searches and be noticed. You want people to connect to you.
They can’t connect if they can’t find you.
The key to visibility is using the right words. This means using key words that mean something to your audience. Utilize them throughout your profile to earn greater searchability.
Key words are also in the groups that you join and the discussions in which you participate so be sure to take full advantage of those two areas as well.
Communicate your value in your voice with the right words and you will have a successful LinkedIn profile.
Of course it is not always as easy as it seems so this is my gentle reminder that I am here to help. Let’s not forget, this is what I do – help people determine their value and communicate their message to the right audience.
If you are feeling lost or helpless with your LinkedIn profile send me and email, let’s get that turned around you so you start reaping the rewards of LinkedIn!
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.