Does your LinkedIn profile make you look good?
LinkedIn received a ton of press in the last few months following their IPO. The website now boasts more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories with professionals signing up to join at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
These profiles are searchable by Google and other major search engines and often come up at the top of a search.
What does this mean for you? This means that any time someone ‘Googles’ your name, your company or your alma mater your profile ‘could’ come up in the search. This is FANTASTIC for people who have optimized their profiles and put the information in correctly! However, if you are one of the millions who have just ‘thrown’ up a profile that you will ‘get around to eventually’, you’re not lookin’ so good.
Here is the WIIFM…If you’re looking for a new job now OR may EVER want to get a new job in the future, or if you want say…a promotion…etc, this is a great way to get your name out there in a positive way. AND, it doesn’t take much time at all.
So let’s start with some basics and move on from there. I’ve seen some profiles that need some serious help, but for the most part a few simple changes can go a long way.
1. Add a profile photo! They say a picture is worth a thousand words and ‘they’ are right. Just be sure that when you add this photo it’s tasteful and looks professional. The photo from last new years eve may not be the best way to go, remember, this is a business networking site. Also, be sure to crop it correctly before you upload the photo. A small picture of you in the bottom right corner of the overall photo doesn’t look professional.
How to do it: Click on ‘profile’ then ‘edit profile’. In the new screen click on ‘choose file’ and then search for the file on your computer. Once you’ve located the file on your computer click on ‘upload photo’. Now here is the trick…when the new window opens LinkedIn gives you the ability to center the photo so that it doesn’t look like the one on the right below. Move the yellow square on the photo up and down and click on the solid yellow square to shrink and crop it and move it around. You’ll see a preview in the photo on the top of the screen. Then click ‘save photo’ and you’re done!
2. Tell them where you’ve been for the last 12 years? Be sure that you’ve at least added all of your prior positions, titles and and the dates you were with each company. Adding information about each company would be a great addition, but we can get to that in a later post. Also, be sure that none of these companies are in your profile twice. I see this on a regular basis and the truth is that it just looks like you couldn’t be bothered to remove the duplicate. (My pet peeve: If you are promoted within a company or merge with another, use your original start date and then add the relevant information in the notes section. Do not add a new listing for each promotion. Doesn’t it make more sense to show that you’ve been with the same company for 10 years and been promoted twice rather than make it look like you move around a lot?)
To do this: Click on ‘profile’ and then ‘edit profile’. Scroll down to ‘experience’ and click on ‘add a position’. Next fill in the information and click ‘save changes’. To edit a position that you’ve already added click ‘edit’ next to the listing in the same section, make the changes and click ‘update’. If you have a duplicate position that you want to delete click ‘edit’ next to the listing in the same section and click ‘remove this position’ under the ‘update’ button. It’s written in a very small font.
3. Ahh the college years: Add in each of your alma mater(s) and the years you attended each. This will make it easier for former classmates to find you, which is the point…
To do this: Use the same basic instructions as used to edit your company information above, but apply it to the education section.
4. Add a Twitter account if you have one, but only and I repeat ONLY if you use if for business networking. I wouldn’t suggest adding it if you’re using it to talk to friends about last weeks keg party. Again, this is a business networking site.
To do this: Click on ‘profile’ and then ‘edit’. In the new screen click on the ‘edit’ next to ‘Twitter’ under ‘additional information’ at the bottom of the profile.
5. Join a few groups, especially if your current company has one, that are of interest to you.
To do this: In the upper right hand corner of your profile page click on the ‘people’ pull down in the ‘search’ function. Click on ‘groups’ and then search by the term. Maybe your interested in groups from your alma mater. Type in the name of the school and alumni groups will come up. Click on the name of the group in the list and then if you want to join click ‘join group’ and then follow any instructions. Some groups want you to prove that you graduated from that particular school or state why you want to join. It only takes 2 minutes, but you will then receive updates from that group for events, questions by other members and again, you’ll be easier to find. That’s the point right?
I have a few more thoughts, but I think this is a good start. Check back to see the next post…
You know what they say, the sky’s the limit…