TAO Self-help

Title:Create the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile in 6 Steps

Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA-T

Date:September 2013

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

With 161 million and counting members, LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals to network online — it's one of the most popular social networks. I find that for professional social networking, LinkedIn does much more than Facebook and Twitter, but to maximize your networks, I recommend utilizing all three platforms.

If you're already a LinkedIn member, are you using it to its fullest potential? Here are 6 great tips to maximize your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Use a professional picture

    Use a professional picture that is appropriate to send to potential employers.

    Despite what some people say, first impressions do count. You don't necessarily need to have a photo of yourself in a suit, but make sure you consider your audience, branding, and what kind of message you'd like to portray when selecting a photo. Your profile picture must be square, no larger than 4MB, and formatted as a JPG, GIF, or PNG file.

  2. Create a keyword-rich, customer-focused headline.

    Search engines crawl your LinkedIn profile. Utilize keywords that relate to your job position and/or the services your clients might search for. For example, if you're an attorney, don't just write "lawyer." Write something a bit more interesting and descriptive that's focused on your practice area and specialization. For example, you could list general law, bankruptcy, business law, and trademark and patents.

  3. Update your status.

    Consistently update your status on LinkedIn. These updates will appear on the homepages of all your connections. Post information related to your business, industry, and any other information your network will find useful. But don't over-promote yourself. I recommend using the 80/20 rule: 80% educate and 20% promote.

    Comment on other status updates, too. I always notice when one of my connections comments on my status updates because it doesn't happen too often. This will get yourself noticed.

  4. Claim your vanity URL.

    Make your profile easier to find and more professional with a vanity URL. Mine reads http://ca.linkedin.com/in/samanthatcollier. If I didn't change the last part to my name, it would be a bunch of letters and numbers.

    Make sure you go to your profile and set up your vanity URL as soon as possible. It's easy to do and makes you look like a LinkedIn ninja. I also recommend you place your LinkedIn URL on business cards and in emails when networking.

  5. Customize your website URLs.

    LinkedIn gives you three website slots. Instead of using the predetermined standard text, "My Website" change the text to make the links more descriptive. If you have a blog, change the URL to the title of your blog. If you have a website, change the name to your domain.

    To customize your links, click "Edit" on your website links and select "Other in the dropdown menu. This will inspire potential visits if the reader is prompted with a subject.

  6. Add your Twitter account information.

    LinkedIn allows users to share their Twitter account information on their profile. Visitors to your profile can follow you on Twitter without leaving LinkedIn. This is a definite must for the Twitter rockstars out there. I've followed many people on Twitter directly from their LinkedIn profiles.

    You can also share your LinkedIn status on Twitter, and vice versa. I don't recommend you synchronize all your status updates, but a couple here and there should be fine. Besides, most do not want the same message coming from you on numerous accounts.

Many employers search for job candidates on LinkedIn rather than Monster, CareerBuilder or other specialty websites. When CareerPro Global, Inc. is seeking to hire veterans, I always check out different military groups and then search on career field and experience. You can also ask a group member or other connection to introduce you to a particular employee.

Right now, for a limited time, LinkedIn offers veterans a free one-year upgrade subscription. Click on FREE Upgrade for more information, and how to take advantage of this offer.

If you do not have a LinkedIn profile developed, I highly recommend you do so. LinkedIn is a great way to network, whether you are seeking employment or marketing yourself or your company.

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

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