If you are looking for a career change or better business recognition it pays to make your LinkedIn profile as professionally interesting and provoking as possible.
Here are six strategies that will help:
Blog: An interesting article is a great way to let your circle know what you’ve been doing and what you are thinking. If the subjects you write about are in your area of expertise, they will enhance your reputation. For example if you are in advertising, you could offer your opinion on new ads that are being produced overseas or, what you think will be the impact of the latest legislation on TV commercials.
Update your profile with LinkedIn’s new features: Add one or two interesting related photos or documents to your career summary and background. Make sure these are the kind that will complement your career and show you in a positive light.
Create a strong headline: The first thing people read are the headlines. You’re allowed only 120 characters to craft a great headline. So … drop those motherhood statements (i.e. “I’m an advertising executive in search of new opportunities”) and work on something that will show who and what you’d want to be in the next 2 or 3 years.
Get a great looking head shot: None of those ugly passport photos or leisure shots please. Put on your best suit and tie and smile directly at the camera. Not happy with the first shots? Take a few more until your photos show you exuding confidence.
Create a brief but awesome summary: Although you can use up to two thousand characters or something like 350-400 words, just highlight your background, key accomplishments and career goals. Make it personal. Do it in a first person perspective. Make it interesting enough for people to want to meet you. If you include a personal career story, you will stand out.
Get recommendations: For a stronger and a more solid LinkedIn profile, it pays to include recommendations from reputable people. Get these from a former business associate, a client or a former employer. Aim to have at least two or three good recommendations in your profile.
Remember, LinkedIn allows you to create a personal brand. Don’t waste the opportunity.