That was one of the many great questions asked during one of my recent Netshare Ask-a-Coach calls. My response … so critical that it is part of every package I sell and we spend at least one coaching session around how to leverage the power of that Web 2.0 technology. While you are launching a proactive effort, Linked In is an ongoing, powerful, portable, 24/7 strategy.
In order to understand how important Linked In is to my clients’ career management strategy, I talk with recruiters. I have yet to talk with one who does not use Linked In as one of his or her primary tool to source passive candidates. In fact, “A Recruiters Guide to the Universe” ranks Linked In and Linked In Groups as the two primary ways to connect job seekers and recruiters. Networking accounts for 40-70% of all opportunities. Being active on Linked In is networking.
So what’s “most important” about your Linked In profile. I’ve come up with 5 things:
Create a Powerful Branded Summary
This is not your daddy’s boring bio either. This summary, limited by 2,000 characters, is your opportunity to showcase how you do what you do (your brand) that is different and unique from others who do the same or similar things.
More is Better
It is great to have your employers and job titles, past and present, listed as part of your profile. But that is not enough. In the world of key searches, more is better. The amount of information online acts as a pre–qualifier and gives both you and a prospect a framework to begin establishing a relationship.
Create your Vanity URL
Linked In allows you to create vanity URLs, and it is a great way to increase your Google rankings … if you have also made your stellar profile available for public viewing … which I highly recommend.
The big fish, small pond analogy definitely applies here. Joining groups allows you to mingle with like–minded folks and gain access to their contact information … even if the person is not a 1st degree contact in your network. Be sure to set your contact information option to open, so others can contact you as well.
And finally …
Third party recommendations are extremely important on Linked In. These are very powerful endorsements that add credibility to the statements in your profile and employment history, and are critical to your positioning.