All too many executives adhere to the “build it and forget it” strategy when building their personal brand online.
They put up a perfunctory LinkedIn profile years ago – perhaps the last time they were job-hunting – and promptly forgot about it, once they landed a job.
They’re forgetting that their LinkedIn profile needs to differentiate and position them as a good-fit candidate for their current target employers (in job search), or target audience.
They didn’t feel they needed to use LinkedIn any more, essentially ignoring the importance of LinkedIn for healthy career management and ongoing networking, when they aren’t job-hunting.
Some don’t even remember they HAD created a profile. I hear it all the time, when I first speak with new clients. I’ve Googled their names and found their minimal LinkedIn profiles, but they don’t remember putting it up.
Forgetting you have a profile probably happens less often now that LinkedIn has been enticing members to log in frequently, by bombarding us with email updates on our connections – birthdays, new jobs, work anniversaries, etc.
Unless you have very few LinkedIn connections, you can’t help but be reminded that you have a LinkedIn presence.
But have you actually gone to your profile page lately to see what’s there?
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is working for you:
→ If you’re in a job search, is all the content aligned with what makes you a good-fit candidate for your target employers?
→ Does the content reinforce your personal brand and differentiate your unique value to your target employers, above your competitors?
→ Have you placed the right relevant keywords in the most important SEO (search engine optimization) places?
→ Does your professional headline, in particular, contain the most important relevant keywords that recruiters and hiring decision makers will be searching to find candidates like you?
→ Did you populate every applicable section, with the maximum number of characters allowed for each one (or as close as you can come)? The more content in your profile, the more relevant keywords it will contain, and the more likely your profile will rank high in search results.
→ Is your professional headshot good enough? It should be a picture of only you – a close-up of your head only – and your head should be facing forward or to the right, “looking” at your content, indicating that you approve of it.
→ Did you fill in the Contact Info, at the bottom of the name block, so people can easily find that information?
→ Did you also fill in the Advice for Contacting [you] section with more specifics?
→ Did you break up big chunks of content in the Summary, Experience and other large blocks, adding white space for better readability?
→ Did you highlight achievements and contributions with bullet points, or better yet, with special bullet point pizzazz?
→ Have you joined relevant LinkedIn Groups and displayed their logos on your profile?
→ Do you regularly post updates to your Activity feed, to keep your personal brand top-of-mind with your network?
→ How old is your most recent recommendation – 3 or more years? Time to work on getting some fresh ones.
→ Are your Skills & Endorsements piling up the way you’d like, or are your top 10, in particular, ones that don’t really apply or matter to your target employers?
→ Do you need to make any adjustments to your Privacy & Settings?
→ Are you using the latest profile features (new ones may have been added since the last time you looked)?
→ Can you use any of the additional sections stacked in the righthand sidebar – Projects, Languages, Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Courses, Patents, Volunteering and Causes?
→ Each content section can be moved up or down, by clicking and dragging.
→ Did you upload videos and/or images to appropriate profile sections?
→ Do your jobs in the Experience section include logos for the companies? Check to see if the company appears in the drop-down as you type in the name. If the company has a LinkedIn company profile, it should appear so you can add the logo there – a good visual. Do the same with schools in the Education section.
More Information about LinkedIn and Personal Branding