The definition of shame is being the keynote speaker at the LinkedIn FinanceConnect: 13 conference and telling the 350 attendees that my own LinkedIn profile was horrible. Of course I knew that it was rotten and they say admitting you have a problem is the first step. Thankfully, one of the conference attendees was branding expert Jason Seiden of Ajax Workforce Marketing and he vowed to give me a LinkedIn makeover. He started with three basic questions that every LinkeIn user should answer:
(1) What do you do?
(2) Who do you serve?
(3) What do you want to communicate to the people you want to attract?
Answering those questions is not easy, and for many, the answers can be difficult. The great news is that the process will force you to think through various aspects of your job and synthesize the information in smart way. This is the elevator speech you have been trying to create!
Jason notes that the beauty of LinkedIn is that it helps frame who you are as a whole person. “Think of LinkedIn as the answer to the frustration caused by résumés. Résumés are very standard, very limiting. LinkedIn is set of open fields where you can tell your professional story.”
Jason offers these additional tips to refresh your profile:
- Complete past experience: Focus on the things you did then that make you great at what you do now, then—this is important—ignore the rest.
- Highlight Projects/Organizations/Test scores: Use these sections to add color to your job history.
- Add a Photo: Pick one that professional colleagues and clients can relate to, but avoid off-color (read: shots of you by the keg!) or any photo with your favorite pet.
- Engage daily: Read status updates and send at least one note per day (can even be by email) in response. Saying "Congrats on the new job," or anything simple that let's people see that you're paying attention.
It’s tough staying on top of this stuff, but doing so may be the difference between landing that next job or keeping the one you have!