THE Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH Touch philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves. While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge. Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…
Where to begin? THE Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions. A terrific launching site for such an effort is LinkedIn.
THIS Week’s session, Thursday, January 24th… A LinkedIn Primer: Task #1 Your Profile, a discussion to help you make the push-pull decision in creating your digital footprint
Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of savvy. Here’s a start at how to set up a profile and put it to work — without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.
Plan to spend a few hours simply exploring the site and its many applications… Your first goal is to establish your profile and begin developing your network. Then make time to check in at least once a week to see what everyone is up to.
TASK #1… The Evolution of a Compelling Profile
Before you connect to others, you must first set up a profile page at http://www.linkedin.com. While your page will detail your work history, don’t assume you can copy and paste your resume and be done with it. Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions at this point in your career. It becomes the core of this high tech, written collateral.
As you proceed, keep your goal in mind…
· Do you want to have that fully optimized, SEO-centric magnet that attracts interested parties TO you? -OR-
· Do you want that terrific, user-friendly home page and profile that is easy for a reader to navigate? -OR-
· Do you want your profile and homepage to be appealing to both?
A checklist of things to include:
- A picture. It’s been said that, “People do business with people.”
- A specific and high impact “headline” with keywords relevant to your industry… your headline follows you around through several of the interactive applications.
- Preferred contact method and data… At the bottom of your profile, you can let people know how you want to be contacted — through LinkedIn, by e-mail, or over the phone.
- Desired information, networking “targets… What you want to be contacted about… At the bottom of your profile, you can select interests like reference requests, consulting offers, or career opportunities. Be sure to update your profile to stay in synch with your career.
…and don’t overlook the “power” of recommendations… start thinking of who you might want to encourage to endorse you and your services. Job seekers: your references are a great start!
The LinkedIn site will walk you through filling in the blanks, but you’ll want to think ahead about two areas:
Just like on a GREAT RESUME, directly underneath your name will be a short headline of four or five words. More than anything else in your profile, these words are how people find and define you.
Are you seeking to connect mainly with others in your field and industry? Then a simple, title-oriented headline like “Senior Product Development Director at The XYX Corporation” is best. Are you seeking to branch out into other areas? “Leader of High-Performing Engineering Projects” alerts others quickly to the value you would bring to an organization. Regardless of how you phrase your headline, make sure to use keywords that will help others find you.
Be Clear on What You’ve Done, and What You Want to Do…
Whether you are an active job seeker, or simply using LinkedIn to extend the reach of your personal marketing plan, POSITIONING yourself clearly is the epicenter of efficient networking… just as if you were beginning to launch an active JOB search to implement your Personal Marketing Plan!
When listing your past job experiences, use verbs as much as possible. Show what you’re passionate about, and what you’ve learned from each job. Consider listing “non-jobs” you’ve done, like chairing a conference or leading a panel.