Personal Branding is all about showcasing that unique value to your employers which enables them to differentiate you from your competitors. An effective personal branding can work wonders for you. Not only it can get you lucrative job, but it can also establish you as a thought leader. Wouldn’t it be great if you could showcase your personal brand profile in front of millions and millions of employers?
You have a pool of opportunities where you just need to bait an employer. This is what LinkedIn is for. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network with over 175 million professionals. It is the most popular business social media platform which interconnects almost every business related professional. From Fortune 500 company executives to the smallest business worker, you will find everyone in here.
Here comes the most interesting part. Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies now use LinkedIn as their recruitment strategy. Jaw dropping, isn’t it? Check out some more amazing LinkedIn facts in here.
LinkedIn is the best place to get a job easily. Industry experts may find that one thing in your brand message that they have been looking for. LinkedIn is mainly known for its word of mouth marketing by different professionals across various parts of the world. Even if the right person does not recruit you, he/she can recommend your name to his/her friend who may recruit you. For those who are still not convinced, here are some of the amazing points.
Recognition through Online Profile:
LinkedIn allows you to create a profile which you can easily customize according to your target employer prospects. This profile is extremely important as people searching for you or for your expertise area will view your profile. Hence, it should contain all the genuine necessary details. The company will themselves invite you to give a job if you have an attractive profile and a required field of expertise. Later, I will tell you how to fill up each of the required field to create an attractive personal brand.
Expand your Network:
Connect with other niche related members and industry experts. LinkedIn has a special feature called as groups which can be used to segment different parts of the market. Increase your chances of getting recognized by making more and more connections with millions and millions of business professionals.
Get Job Email Alerts:
Once you’ve created your professional profile, set email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs. Students are able to see the notifications as soon as they log into their LinkedIn accounts.
Conduct Company Research:
One of the biggest advantages that LinkedIn provides is that you are enabled to view the profile of your targeted employers. By visiting those profiles, you can extract important information about their hiring process. Know their requirements, their hiring location, pay scale etc. This kind of research certainly provides leverages you over your competitors.
LinkedIn offers a feature through which other people can recommend you. People with maximum number of recommendations quickly attract employers’ attention. Students can get recommendations from their friends, peers, niche networks etc.
Land on International jobs:
LinkedIn a global networking platform. Make connections with overseas employers. It is highly possible that you may get a call from an international company.
LinkedIn provides all the features that you need to establish a personal brand.
Now that you are convinced to use LinkedIn for personal branding, it’s time to create an excellent LinkedIn profile that showcases your personal brand in a unique manner. Create a LinkedIn account in a similar manner to any other networking site. Just enter your name, email address and password. That’s it.
LinkedIn now presents a list of fields which belongs to your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile is similar to an online resume. Take utmost care while filling it. This is the place where you have a chance to show your uniqueness. Your prospective employers will minutely analyze your LinkedIn profile to take that “decision”. Instead of writing your autobiography, give your employers a reason to select you. Below are some of the fields of a LinkedIn profile. We tell you how to fill them effectively to attract more and more job opportunities.
Before creating a LinkedIn profile, settle on for some keywords or key phrases for which you want to be found for. Recruiters use these keywords to search for job candidates on LinkedIn. Select those keywords that perfectly describe you and your work. Your task is to create a keyword including profile so that your name pops up for the required search.
A LinkedIn profile has several main components.
- Photo: This is the most important part of your profile. People recognize you with your face. Always remember this is a business social network. Therefore, use a professional image that lay in front of your profile. A high quality headshot image is recommended. Also note that the image should not be larger than 80×80 pixels.
- Title/Headline: This part of the profile comes directly under your name. A title is composed of a one or two sentence. It is a brief summary of who you are, what you do or who you would like to be. Include your keywords/phrases in here, but be sure that your title sounds natural. I would recommend you to brand yourself for the job you want instead of including the present job.
- Summary: There are two things that you need to fill here, Professional Experience and Goals. Your summary should include a succinct view of your work experience and your future objectives. Try to relate them with your desired job. Make sure this area is well-written, scannable, typo free and grammatically correct. Include your keywords wherever possible. Keep the entire summary interesting. Use asterisks, dashes or plus signs to increase scannability.
Spice up this section with unique abilities and qualities that differentiate you from the crowd. In here, write about your specialties.
- Experience: Write about each and every single job that you’ve ever done that is either related to your current position or the job you are searching for. Do not hesitate to state any of your work experience.
- Education: This area is important if formal education is needed for your desired job. Take time to fill in your educational details as this can make your profile stand out. It also helps you to gain connections with your classmates and alumni.
- Additional Information:Similar to an online resume, fill this area with important information that best describes your brand as a student. The Addition Information component has various sub components:
- Websites: LinkedIn gives you the facility to provide three website links. Provide the links to your blogs, web pages you own, company website, niche relate sites etc. Provide appropriate titles to each one of your links. I recommend you to use Other title each of the links. This enables you to create a custom title for each one of your link, such as Internet Marketer.
- Twitter: Add a link to your Twitter Profile. Be sure that a professional continuity is maintained between your Twitter and LinkedIn profile. You cannot use a vacation photo in your Twitter profile if you are using a headshot professional image in LinkedIn.
- Interests: Write in your passion, hobbies etc.
- Groups and Associations: Include all the professional and recognized groups which you were a part of. Join professional groups which belong to your desired job market.
- Honours and Awards: Similar to an offline resume, list in your achievements and awards.
- Recommendations: Recommendations can be a very detrimental factor to aid your employers’ decision. A recommendation is similar to thumbs up from your connection. When a potential employer comes and sees your profile, wouldn’t he be attracted if 100 people recommend you? Obviously, he will. But the employer will also see the profile of the persons who have recommended you. A recommendation from a single industry expert is far more effective than 10 recommendations from your family members. Hence, it’s not only important to get more and more recommendation, but it’s also important that you get recommendations from a qualified group of connections.
- Personal Information: You can either fill this slot or can leave it blank.
LinkedIn also provides you the facility to customize your profile. You can integrate LinkedIn applications in your profile to enhance your brand. A blogger should definitely use either “WordPress” or “Blog Link” application. You can also add video to your LinkedIn profile.
Sprinkle your keywords/key phrases all over your profile, so that your name pops up when an employer does the required “People Search”.
Make your profile public so that your prospective employers can easily find you. This can be easily done by changing the settings of your profile. LinkedIn provides you a great opportunity to intermingle with business professionals and industry experts. Make sure your profile shines.
Now that you have created your LinkedIn profile that best describes your personal brand, it’s time to take one more step to establish your personal brand over the entire LinkedIn network. Here are some of the most exclusive LinkedIn personal branding tips:
Create a complete and a distinctive profile:
Many students/entrepreneurs/businessmen commit a silly mistake of not completing their profile. Complete your profile and provide all the business related information that can help build your personal brand and hence can attract more employers.
There are millions and millions of profiles that are more or less similar to yours. Why should an employer choose you over your competitors? Create a distinct, unique, attractive and an engaging profile which makes the employer remember your name.
Create a custom URL:
After creating a LinkedIn profile, you get a URL that links back to your profile. This URL will look like: in.linkedin.com/pub/guru-sanket-biswal/5a/bb0/800. Customize your URL to create an easy to remember URL, similar to in.linkedin.com/in/guru-sanket-biswal. This will directly help your prospective connections to make contacts with you. An employer can quickly recall your URL to convince his/her superior to give you the job.
Develop and expand your Network:
LinkedIn is all about networking and connecting. Make more and more connections. The more contacts you have, the better chances you gain to showcase your brand. I would recommend you to accept everyone’s contact. There are different kinds of LinkedIn connection strategies. Apply the strategy that suits you the most. Here are some of the ways on how you can increase the contacts:
- Import Contacts: LinkedIn allows you the facility to import your contacts from Windows Live, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and AOL. Comb through your school and college. Add people with whom you’ve worked with before.
- Be Open: Always be available to contact requests and messaging conversations. It helps you to build relationships. Make your profile public. Let people add you.
- Leave Email Address: People cannot add you to their network unless they have your email address. Hence, provide your email address at the end of summary or contact field. Just mention it somewhere in your link and label it public.
- Promote your URL: Use your URL in your email signature. Put it on your traditional resume. You can also place it on your blogs, presentations, websites, business cards etc.
- Blogs: Implement LinkedIn buttons on your blog/website. Your website traffic may wish to enter in your network.
Search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile with some simple, easy to use tactics. Here are some tips on how to optimize your profile.
Become a thought leader:
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to get established as an industry expert. Although the process will definitely take time, but the benefits will surely be worth of waiting. You will be swamped by prospective employers. People will look up to you.
- LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn groups are the most effective feature in LinkedIn. It allows you to create and control personal business groups. You can even join your niche related groups. Pitch in your valuable thoughts, ideas, opinions and get establish as an expert. Know how to promote and manage a group.
- Start an event: LinkedIn events are similar to offline conferences that strictly tailor professional interests. Create and promote a business related event. People including your employers will identify your deep interest is the subject of matter. Make use of LinkedIn Events app for this purpose.
- Questions and Answers: Answer questions to the business related queries thrown out by people. Get into important discussions with business leaders or experts. Tell the world about your point of view. Become a valuable contributor to your network.
Consistent across all networks:
Use the same branding strategy across all the social networks. You do not want to create confliction in your employers’ mind.
LinkedIn is such a usable platform for brand creation. If you are not using it for your personal brand, then you are surely missing a great opportunity. Create your profile now and stand out from the rest.