As I sit here and determine the 5 steps to an ultimate profile it becomes a bit of a challenge because there are so many elements which help someone get found and generate referrals, but whether they are searching for a new job or new business, these steps do work. These are, in my opinion and experience, the 5 most important factors to creating a successful and connected profile.
Your Business Key Words – these key words identify who you are and how people will find you. Without these, many potential connections might be missed, and those you do make might only find you by chance. So to be more intentional about getting found, make sure you have a solid list of key words or key word phrases which represent you. Decide on the top ten key words that represent you best, and make sure to use them in your headline, your summary, your experience, even your skills, as well as any other areas that might pertain to your key words and phrases.
Modify your settings – like with any great social network there are key settings which help to either shut your profile down or open it up, and for most of us looking to get found we want to make sure our profile is wide open for business. While there are numerous settings in LinkedIn, there are two I am very fond of in the art of getting found. At the time of writing, one of these settings can be found under Email Preferences: “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive”. Here you can specify the types of contacts and connections you want to receive, as well as give automatic advice to potential contacts about what times you may be available, what positions you’re interested in, or other such things. The other is to make sure you fully activate your Public Profile settings and check all the boxes. This can be found under Account Settings, then Edit Your Public Profile, and ensures that you’re fully visible to anyone who wants to contact you. Perhaps most importantly though, make sure to pay close attention to all of your social media settings, so you can understand precisely how they affect your visibility to employers and customers.
Update your profile and be complete – Fill out your whole profile; you wouldn’t show up to a networking function half-dressed and expect success, so don’t show up online that way either! Your profile is the new website for who you are and who we are going to trust our referrals and our business with, so look good and be complete.
Skills – there are many new sections to pay attention to, so look over them all, however if you are short on time, take a look at the new Skills section. This basically replaced the old Specialties section. Don’t just fill it out with fifty skills; claim your level of expertise in each of them and build your credibility.
Recommendations – there is nothing like 3rd party referrals, so make sure your profile shows referrals that are relevant to your current success. Don’t just stuff them in one position or another; make sure people are willing to vouch for you all the way through your career.
These are my top 5 for now, and there are 5 more I would have you do directly after this, however I promised 5 to get you going and looking great so start on these and we will have another blog to help you continue down the road. Or take one of our amazing online classes to see an actual demo of these areas.