3 November 2009
3 November 2009,
Build Strong Business Connections with LinkedIn

80% of companies use social media to recruit new employees. Are you making sure that they can find you there?

In May, a company called Jobvite released the results of a survey of 440 human resource and recruitment professionals in companies with as few as 101 and as many as 5,000 employees. The survey found that among the 80% using social media in their recruitment efforts, by far the most popular social media site used is LinkedIn. Of those using social media, 95% reported using that site to identify both active job-seekers and candidates who are not currently seeking employment.

What does your LinkedIn profile look like? Are you taking advantage of this tool to actively or passively find a better job? What if you are a self-employed business owner? What do you need to do to optimize the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile to help you get the best possible job or land the best clients?

Remember, LinkedIn is now considered authoritative enough that many in business, as well as the Google search engine, refer to it for information about an individual. So, it’s worthwhile to put both thought and effort into the content you present there.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an expanded business card or professional resume.

Here are five steps to optimizing the value of your LinkedIn profile:
1. Your LinkedIn profile should help people find you on-line. So, as much as possible, your profile should use your full name. That starts with the page URL where your profile resides. For example, mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/janetmacdaniel. If you have a common name, someone else may already have taken the optimal page URL. But, by experimenting with different variations including your middle name or initials, you should be able to find a profile name that works for you.
2. Your profile needs to be complete. Include a photo. Make sure it looks professional. Include a complete description of previous positions you have held. Include contact information—or people won’t be able to contact you!
3. Include links to your website and/or blog. Because search engines consider LinkedIn to be an authoritative site, LinkedIn is powerful “link juice,” and can be used to propel your website to a higher search engine ranking. But, to do that, it is important that the link is not just titled “My Website,” or “My Blog,” which is the default setting. When you type in your website’s URL, also select “other” for the link title. That will allow you to type in a title for the link like “1st Click Consulting Website.”
4. Ask clients, colleagues, and associates for a recommendation. Everyone knows how powerful testimonials are in selling a product. Recommendations are just as important for selling yourself.
5. Join some LinkedIn groups, and post to them every once in a while. Or comment on other people’s posts. It doesn’t need to take a lot of your time. Within the LinkedIn community, there is no better way to encourage visits to your profile.

LinkedIn is an important social media site for professionals and business owners. It is definitely worthwhile to spend time developing a complete picture of your skills and expertise on this site.

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