LinkedIn has become the number one, go-to place for networking in the work force. The idea for the website was conceived in 2002 and it was up and running by 2003. Since its creation, LinkedIn has taken the world by storm. In its last fiscal quarter it was reported that LinkedIn has reached a whopping 433 million active users. So if you don’t have a profile yet…now is a good time to start making one!
Creating a LinkedIn profile has become an essential part of the networking and job hunting process. In a world that revolves around who you know, it is the perfect platform. Simply having a profile, however, is not nearly enough. Your LinkedIn needs to draw in connections and make them see just how unique and desirable you are.
So, in a sea of qualified candidates and wordsmiths, how do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
1. Focus on Your Personal Summary.
Your summary should give the viewer a comprehensive understanding of who you are and what you have to offer as a PR professional. This statement is the first thing someone sees when they visit your LinkedIn profile. It acts as an abstract for the rest of your profile. If your summary doesn’t draw the viewer in they are likely to skip to the next person before even scrolling to your experience. Think of your summary as the back cover of a book. If the excerpt and look doesn’t draw the viewer in, they aren’t going to buy it and read more. Your summary should be professional, personal, original and on brand. For more tips on writing an effective summary check out The Muse.
2. Define Your Brand. And Stick To It.
I’ve said it one million times, and I’ll say it one million more…defining your personal brand is CRITICAL to success. Any qualified PR practitioner can write a news release or pitch a story, it is your brand that sets you apart. Define your brand through your actions and language. Do not explicitly say “My brand is…” rather, let the viewer determine your brand on their own based on the contents of your profile. If you want to define yourself as a foodie, weave your passion for food into your personal summary and work experience. Once you have to determined your brand make sure you stay consistent with it. Take your personal brand and own it like Lady Gaga in her meat dress. Your brand is who you are, live it.
3. Quantify Your Experience.
This rule also applies to resume building. It is not enough to simply list the responsibilities of your past work experiences. As I said, every qualified PR practitioner has had past experience with AP style and press kits. Quantify what you achieved in your previous positions through solid facts and numbers. For example, if you planned a carnival rather than saying “Responsible for planning carnival, overseeing operations and managing clean up” say “Increased carnival attendance by 60% since previous year and grew social media following by 200 people.” Using numbers and percents shows just how much you did and solidifies the importance. Employers would much rather see that you increased revenue by 120% than that you were in charge of collecting revenue. For more tips on how to quantify your experience check out this article.
Now that you know more about owning the LinkedIn sphere, it’s time to get cracking on your profile and dominating the work field!