LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 200 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe. Their mission is to connect the world’s professionals across different industries to help them be more productive and successful by expanding their networking power. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights.
So how do you optimize LinkedIn for your own professional career?
First, you need to decide what you want to achieve with your LinkedIn profile and network. Most individuals utilize LinkedIn for career management, professional networking, research, and seeking collaborators for current or future projects.
LinkedIn helps you achieve those goals by allowing you to showcase your expertise and skills, as well as search for jobs and/or consulting opportunities via its various search and survey tools. The first step in having LinkedIn work for you is to build an effective personal profile. Think of your profile as your professional brand and as a living resume that you continuously update and refresh.
LinkedIn considers a profile 100% profile when it contains the following information:
- Postal code
- Current position with a description
- A summary of your background
- Two past positions
- At least 5 skills
- At least 50 connections
- A current photo
However, just because LinkedIn considers your profile 100% complete doesn’t mean that it’s catching the attention of the individuals with which you want to connect.
When evaluating your current LinkedIn profile, ask yourself: Is my headline compelling?
Your headline is the tagline shown below your name.
Dr. John Smith
Lynchburg, Virginia Area
Your tagline could mean the difference between a viewer looking at your profile or moving on to another individual’s profile. It should contain a short description of the services you can provide utilizing key words for your specific profession. Be creative and yet specific.
A poor tag line: Research Professional
A better tag line: Molecular biologist with expertise in anti-viral drug delivery seeking full time position at a pharmaceutical company
Does your tagline effectively describe your current profession and skill set?
Coming up in Part 2: Creating an effective summary and ensuring your background accurately reflects your expertise and experience.