YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE – it’s only as valuable as you make it.

July 28, 2011

Let’s face it, no-one seems to talk to anyone these days in business. We’re all just way too busy. Deadlines, too many priorities to juggle, a work-life balance to maintain and the rest. We turn to our electronics crutches to help us through. Without our Laptops, Blackberries and IPods, texting, twittering and updating Facebook, how would we keep in touch and on top of what’s going on with friends and family, old business associates and those ultra important networking contacts.  

Still under-estimating the value of a robust and well thought out and really smart Linkedin profile, you are making a huge mistake.

Firstly, Linkedin is by far the very best tool in the market for getting the word out about yourself in business. Everyone is on it. Whether you are looking to build a business of your own, are a consultant, want to expand your network, Linkedin is invaluable.

Where is it of greatest value though, is for the job seeker and not just the active job seeker but especially the passive one. Let’s face it everyone is a passive job seeker – I don’t care who you are, what level you are at. You should always have an eye to the future. Where’s the next career move: next week, next month, next year. Who knows, that dream job, you never even thought would be possible could be out there if people could just find you…and that’s the problem! We just don’t know how to use Linkedin properly. So here are a couple of valuable pointers for people at all levels.

Incompleteness – It’s not enough to just throw a few words up on Linkedin and leave your profile to die. I’ve seen people do it a million times. Linkedin is a community, a living breathing thing and you get out of it what you put in. Step one, take the time NOW to complete your profile to 100%.  A complete and well thought out profile will attract alot of attention and potential opportunity and that’s good for business, you, your business and your company’s business.

Keywords. The right keywords are critical. Think about what your tool box of skills are and what ROI you bring to the table and work your profile in such a way as to populate it with industry/role specific keywords which will bring your profile to the forefront of other peoples searches on Linkedin.

Here’s an example. You are a Retail Merchandiser/Buyer. Your skills are in terrific demand right now but not everyone is going to be able to find you because you’re profile isn’t specific enough. Here’s a better way. Go with a keyword or phrase that has a broader appeal. A Category Manager or Buyer or Purchasing Professional will get you noticed. But go one step further. Retail buying is so broad make sure to narrow the focus. What do you buy, be very specific. Health & Beauty, Cosmetics, Books/Magazines.

Another example, you are a buyer in manufacturing. What do you buy? Are you direct or indirect? Do you buy Electrical or Mechanical components, raw materials or finished goods? Well, you get the drift. Detail, detail, detail…..

One last thing before I sign off for now. Linkedin offers a personalised hyperlink which is really terrific. If you have a resume ready to go (and everyone should have a resume ready all the time because you never know), it’s such a fabulous idea to include the personal Linkedin hyperlink with your name and address – right upfront and centre. Make it real easy for people to find you.

Linkedin, use it and use it well. Stay tuned for my next tips.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bronwenhannargentussearch  

Bronwen

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