5 Steps to Making the Most of LinkedIn

by Schneiderman, Kimberly Monday, November 22, 2010
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After attending the Resume Writing Academy's E-Summit on Writing LinkedIn Profiles http://www.resumewritingacademy.com/esummit-writing-profiles.php, I am sharing a few key ideas that will help you make your LinkedIn profile and overall presence more appealing to recruiters, potential business partners, and customers.

Most people filled out their LinkedIn profile several months or years ago and haven't touched it since. So often, the information originally put up isn't grabbing the attention of anyone. Use these ideas to convey a professional, up-to-date image that attracts visitors to you!

1. Headline: The Professional Headline is a great tool to really tell someone "who" you are beyond just your most recent job title. Mine is Career Strategist, Job Search Expert, & Resume Writer http://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlyschneiderman. This differs slightly from my title under City Career Services. For one my clients, we used the title Marketing & Brand Strategist for 5-star Luxury Resorts - which is much more exciting than just "Director, Client Programs."

2. Summary: Think about the overall image you want to convey to readers. Talk about your skills, specialties, accomplishments, talents, and goals. This is your chance to portray yourself exactly as you want without being held back by job duties, titles, or projects. The possibilities in this section are limitless and there are no strict "rules" about the information that must be included or excluded. Keep your audience in mind and be sure what you write is positioning you for the job you want - not just the job you currently have!

3. Get Involved: Seek out and join active groups that you can participate in. Answer questions, post questions, respond to others' postings. The groups you join should have professional interest to you and represent your goals. If you are no longer interested in finance, don't join the finance groups; rather, join the groups that will help you in your transition to marketing!

4. Post Articles & Link Up: Write articles and post them to your groups, share them in the network activity section, and send them to your contacts. Did someone feature you in an article? Post it! And, link all your professional media outlets together. Post your articles to LinkedIn as well as your blog, website, Business Week Exchange, and Twitter…and even Facebook if you use it for professional presence. You can also push your professional videos on YouTube through LinkedIn. Showcasing your expertise on a topic is one of the best ways to establish credibility online and offline.

5. Experience: Use the experience section to talk about the exciting projects you've worked on. Mention the professional awards you've received and be sure to list your accomplishments. So much of the information for this section can come from your resume - just don't limit yourself to that! Take extra room to describe your impact to the business!

Following these 5 ideas will help your goals gain traction - whether you want to attract new job opportunities, business deals, or clients. The key is to visit and update your profiles often; don't let things get stale! OK, I'm off to update my profile…