Contrary to what many believe, Linkedin is not a resume database. It is a place where executives from various industries and geographies meet virtually to share knowledge and insights and to network. We all know the importance of first impressions, and your first chance to impress is via your Linkedin profile. So, it’s a good idea to approach creating or updating your profile tactfully.
1. Photo – I encourage you to upload your best professional photo. Some fear that including their photo allows others to judge them inappropriately. Hey, if there is no photo at all, you will also be judged (hmmm…what is this person hiding?)
2. Provide an Executive Summary – A short bio written in narrative form is a great way to summarize your areas of expertise. This may give the reader a specific reason to reach out to you or accept your request to connect.
3. Career History – Be sure to capture your full executive career history. This gives readers a sense of whether or not connecting might be of mutual benefit. You take the time to vet contacts before adding them to your current network, do you not? Here’s an opportunity to manage what others can evaluate about you.
4. Additional Information – Education, association memberships, hobbies and interests are worth including. A well-rounded executive has interests outside of work – let others know that you do as well by including them on your profile.
5. Contact Settings –In the spirit of sharing and networking, choose at least one reason why someone may contact you. Leaving this blank sends the message that you may not be interested in being contacted at all.
6. Connections – Try to make at least 50 connections. In any case, quality is better than quantity. If people see you are connected to everyone and their dog, they may not take you seriously (or think you have fleas).
7. Groups – Groups are a great way to expand your network and receive industry insights and information. For example, consider joining LinkedHR to gain access to discussions by fellow HR executives on leadership, assessment or recruitment practices.
There are many ways to use Linkedin, but making the effort to get your profile up and running is a great way to gain access to industry information and insights that are so valuable to you.
I would be happy to answer your LinkedIn questions or comments – feel free to share them below.