By Kris McGuigan
Given the demographics of LinkedIn’s 467 million registered users, there is no denying the impact that reaching this audience can have on your work. Not only are people you know already on the site but so are people you should get to know — potential clients, vendors, and brand ambassadors.
The question worth asking, then, is how can you increase your visibility and stand out among the competition? Here are five things you can do to get noticed on LinkedIn:
Upload a profile picture. Profiles with pictures attract 50 to 70 percent more inquiries than profiles without. Be sure to select a high-resolution photo that is in alignment with your career brand. Your face needs to be clearly recognizable — in focus, close up, and looking at the camera. Any props used need to be relevant to your personal brand (i.e., a book for an author, lab coat for a research scientist). And don’t forget to flash those pearly whites.
Solicit recommendations. Enhance your brand with first-hand accounts of the amazing work that you did, and the results you were able to bring to your clients. Recommendations can go a long way in establishing credibility in your field and improving profile views. Aim for a minimum of three recs per experience entry.
Obtain endorsements. This relatively new tool makes it easy for your connections to quickly affirm your skills and expertise — and for potential clients to quickly see what you have to offer. Ensure the proficiencies you would most like to highlight are listed at the top of your skills bank, as the first 10 items will be suggested to your network for endorsements.
Increase activity. One of the best ways to be seen as a thought leader in your industry is to increase your activity level. LinkedIn Groups present a great forum to participate in field-specific conversations. You may also wish to write articles for LinkedIn’s Publishing platform. Any time you post in Groups or share articles, these updates will be available in your profile, so people looking for you can see that you are actively engaged in the online community. Set a goal to post or comment at least once a week.
Review settings. LinkedIn recently deployed a feature that makes suggestions to viewers of your profile of other candidates in your industry/field of work that they may wish to see. Take charge and block this feature on your account, as it eliminates the chance for your audience to be lured into looking at someone else while reviewing your profile. You also may want to consider who can see your connections and whether notifications are sent to your network whenever updates are made to your profile.
With focus and intention, you can begin to leverage the LinkedIn platform as a quick and effective means for enhancing your online visibility and building your brand.
Kris McGuigan is Cleveland’s only Academy Certified Resume Writer and a trusted career advisor. She is the chief brand officer at Professional Courage, LLC and would love to connect with readers at www.linkedin.com/in/professionalcourage. She can be also reached at (216) 403-5243.