Networking: How to improve your LinkedIn profile
The power and importance of technology in making and keeping relationships is undeniable. I use LinkedIn all the time, run my life through Outlook and can check emails remotely. As I am sure you would all agree, this hardly marks me out as a techie!
With our sister business FreshNetworks, a top social media agency, going from strength to strength and everyone being aflutter with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I’ve started to think about the impact this has on recruitment from a candidate and client perspective.
The rules for Facebook are basic – set your privacy settings to maximum and sense check your profile picture (let’s face it, you should have removed those hen/stag-do pictures anyway!).
As a candidate, promotion rather than privacy rules apply for LinkedIn – the name of the game is attracting the right people to your profile. There are lots of simple changes you can make that can have a massive effect on how your profile is viewed and perceived. There are numerous guides available with a little help from Google but here are a couple of LinkedIn top tips:
Get a picture – it makes your profile much more personable
Your websites – Do you write a blog? Add links to your company website and personal sites or organisations you are involved with. When you go to add a site in the edit settings pages, click on “Other” and you will be allowed to type in something customary like “FreshMinds Talent Blog” rather than simply “My Blog”.
Personalise your LinkedIn URL – you can change it so do it! For example, mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/wrbdawson
Summary – the search engine uses the summary for searching keywords so it’s worth spending a bit of time giving a concise overview of your career (emphasis on concise).
Recommendations – a virtual seal of approval. Best if you can get a mix of colleagues and clients to give a more holistic view of you as a professional.
A word of warning though on confidentiality – the ‘what are you working on’ tab can be interesting and shows you are using your profile regularly, but many of you reading this will be working on confidential and sensitive projects so be careful, as this Times Online article illustrates!
Online networking is great but ultimately nothing will ever replace meeting people face to face. Social media is fantastic for facilitating relationships and staying in touch with your network, but I personally believe that nothing can replace meeting someone in person. You don’t hire someone without meeting them?! Get out there – meetings, coffees, conferences are crucial of making and strengthening your personal network. It takes work, but don’t forget that making connections can be fun!
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Will Dawson is an Account Manager and Consultant in the FreshMinds Select team.