1. Display your Personal Photo

You could write an entire blog post about why you should include your photo in your Linkedin profile, but it all comes down to having social media credibility or not.  There are too many fake profiles on LinkedIn, so you want to show that you are real.  If you have taken the time to complete your online presence on the social networking platform, why wouldn’t you display your photo?  It just raises too many potential questions.  And company logos or photos of pets obviously have no value here.

2. Be A Brand

See that space underneath your name?  That is your “Professional” or Profile Headline.  It will appear in search results next to your name, as well as next to any questions you ask or answer.  It is, in essence, your elevator speech in a few words.  Are you just putting your title and company name here?  Don’t!  This is the place where you need to appeal to anyone who finds you in a search result to reach out and look at who you are.  Your Profile Headline is the single most important piece of real estate you have, and you need to be a brand it as such.

3. It’s up to you

This is that “What are you working on?” box that I refer to as a “Status Update.”  Assuming someone finds you and looks at your profile, chances are they are going to be looking at what you write here simply because that it appears just underneath your Headline.  What do you write here?  Many people in transition note that they are looking for a job here, and here is my LinkedIn Status Update Advice for the Unemployed.  What do you use your LinkedIn Status Update for?  It is part of your branding exercise, and it should be something appealing that will both inform the reader of your latest activities as well as hopefully add to, not subtract from, your Brand.

4. Make Connections

One of the ways you are found is through searches on company names or schools.  If you are only listing your current company and/or not even displaying your college, you are missing out on potentially being found. Companies are even more important in that there are potentially more colleagues that may be trying to find you or recruiters trying to network with you!  You may be missing out!

5. Get Recommended

This is the same as not displaying your personal photo.  Why?  When you sign up for LinkedIn and first fill out your profile, LinkedIn recommends that you write three LinkedIn Recommendations.  You need to do this in order to get your Profile to 100% Completion.  Job postings on LinkedIn similarly require three recommendations.  These recommendations can only work in your favor, so why don’t you have at least three of them?

6. It’s A Network

This is a topic for debate, but too many people have too few connections on their profile, and thus are not getting found.  The idea is simple: when you do a search you will see results from your network.  And vice-versa.  So the more connections you have the more search results you will appear in pure and simple.  Combining this is the fact that Windmill Networking is about finding value in online networking with people that you don’t know.  So what are you waiting for?  If you don’t know who to invite, here are 15 Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Network

7. List three Websites

LinkedIn gives you the ability to list three websites on your profile.  Are you taking advantage of it?  Do you have a Twitter profile or other social networking profile that you want to advertise?  Company website?  A blog that you enjoy reading?  Anything that you would want associated with yourself should be listed here.  You will be adding to the search engine optimization of your own websites just by the fact that you list them here!

8. Claim Your Personal URL

When you sign up to LinkedIn you are provided a public URL which you can then include on your email signature or wherever else you want to lead people to your profile from.  You can customize this when you edit your profile.  Claiming your name here is one of the first things you should have done on LinkedIn.  For instance,  If you have a common name, make sure you claim your URL before others do!

9. Brand your summary with Buzz words which relate to your industry or sector

Assuming that someone finds you in a search result, likes your Profile Headline, and isn’t scared away by your Status Update, the next most important part of your profile will be your Summary.  This is the chance to fully brand yourself and ensure that any keywords that you want associated with yourself are found here.  You also want to write something compelling, just as you would in the Executive Summary of your resume.  This is your stage to tell the world who you are and what you can do!  Utilize it to your fullest advantage!

10. Job Descriptions

Even if you’ve listed positions at companies that you previously held, it means nothing if you don’t have any job descriptions.  Job descriptions provide you the perfect opportunity to pepper your profile with keywords that will help you get found.  Why aren’t you taking advantage of this?

Business LinkedIn

1. All of your job listings will automatically show up on the company profile, along with links to the profiles of all current employees, former employees, new hires, and recent promotions.

2. LinkedIn a company analysis of the company and the connections that your employees have on the network. E.G it will automatically calculate your company’s median age, top schools, and other companies that they are well-connected to. This will give potential staff/clients a valuable insight into the business, so don’t over exaggerate your business. E.G I have seen a lot of SME’s claiming to be ‘Global Leaders’ with five staff and no recommendations (hardly plausible)

3. LinkedIn recently also added a premium product – Custom Company Profiles – that lets you add more features, like videos about your company and positions, interactive polls, and several customization options for recruiting. These are worth considering for larger companies (they come at a price), but for small businesses, a basic LinkedIn company profile should be enough to add lots of efficiency to the recruiting process

4. As an authorized administrator of your Company Page, you can use this how to guide to build out your Products and Services Tab off of your Company Page on LinkedIn, add or edit content at any time.

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