Embrace the Five “Bs” of Writing LinkedIn Headlines

Would you pick up a book if its cover didn’t appeal to you? Of course not. The cover —by the pictures, the title or both — attracts you to the book, beckoning you to open it and explore more. With a LinkedIn profile, your “book cover” is your LinkedIn headline, the line at the top immediately below your name.  If the headline doesn’t attract a hiring manager or recruiter, s/he likely won’t read any more. Since the LinkedIn headline automatically defaults to your current position and organization unless you change it, (see the LinkedIn headline for Randi Grohe Lathrop in the picture below) ,professionals simply leave it alone. But you’re not most professionals, right? Read on for the five “B”s of creating a compelling LinkedIn headline. 1. Be Honest. You want to emphasize your strengths, while avoiding exaggeration.   Try to authentically describe the value you bring to a prospective employer. The word “authenticity” is key. It won’t pay to lie on your LinkedIn … [Read more...]

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and Build Your Personal Brand

Image courtesy of Shella Scarborough/Flickr Did you know that your LinkedIn profile will most likely be the first or second link that shows up when someone googles your name? Yup, that means recruiters, colleagues, and potential business connections have probably checked out your profile at some point to get the scoop on you. Now the opinion of everyone who looks at your profile may not matter. But how you come across to others for potential career opportunities certainly should. Here’s the thing: You must have an impressive LinkedIn profile if you’re interested in accessing new career opportunities and making more money. A good profile is not a nice to have if you want to build your personal brand; it’s a requirement. As a personal brand strategist, I‘ve helped many professionals qualify for high-caliber positions by creating powerful LinkedIn profiles that gets them noticed. Here’s a peak into my process that you can apply to your own profile. 1. Pick a Good … [Read more...]

4 Ways To Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Reflects Your Personal Brand

If a picture says a thousand words, does your LinkedIn profile picture speak volumes or is it whispering "help me!"? You know by now that it's important to be on LinkedIn. You may have even added a picture after reluctantly not wanting to be identified. But is your picture an accurate reflection of your personal brand? If you're a creator, do you look like you have your own personal style, or do you appear as a stick in the mud? If you're a motivator, do you look like someone others would listen to or do you appear unapproachable? If you're a leader, do you look like someone in a leadership role or do you appear to be just like everyone else? Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a reflection of your personal brand. Would you ever show up to a job interview not looking your best? Well, that’s kind of what happens when you have a blah LinkedIn profile picture. Keep in mind that your profile will often be the first impression you make with a recruiter, hiring manager, … [Read more...]

Who’s LinkedIn is it anyway?

I have had two interesting conversations recently with respect to the right balance between personal and organizational content in a LinkedIn profile.  The first conversation was with a client who was under pressure from his employer to add corporate content into his profile summary.  The employer wanted to convince my client that this would be good to show his alignment to the organizational brand and values.  My client was uncomfortable with this idea and, while not anti-company, was protective of his personal brand. My second conversation was with a person considering a Personal Branding Program.  In preparation for meeting this person I checked his LinkedIn site.  To my surprise I found that his LinkedIn profile contained only one line about him!  The rest of the profile was about the organisation he worked for and included a number of corporate blogs and presentations.  This person had lost almost all of his own professional identity.  When I told him what I had observed about … [Read more...]

Ten Days to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is perhaps the most important social network for career-minded professionals. Take one action each day for the next ten – and you’ll be well on your way to building an enviable LinkedIN profile! Day 1:  Get Clear Know what you want your profile to say. Answer this question: What do you want people to know about you after having visited your LinkedIN profile? Document the words and feelings you want your profile to evoke. Day 2:  Update Your Summary Your Summary is one of the most important elements of your LinkedIN Profile. You want it to truly describe who you are and what makes you exceptional. If you haven’t already, update your bio – infusing it with your personal brand. Then use your updated bio as the source content for your LinkedIn summary. Make it compelling and relevant to those who are making decisions about you and replete with words and a style that expresses your personality. Day 3:  Post Your Photo Web searchers are more likely to believe content if … [Read more...]