As professional communicators, we understand that the right message on the right platform can have a significant impact. However, sometimes we are our own worst enemies and fail to market ourselves appropriately. To attract the attentions of staffing agencies in Baltimore, MD, it’s important to highlight your skills and optimize a LinkedIn profile.
Most professionals agree that LinkedIn provides a return on investment. The site provides you with access to plenty of job opportunities and allows recruiters and potential employers to check out your profile even when you’re not constantly updating the page. All you have to do is set up a LinkedIn profile and you can wait and watch as new opportunities roll in. If you’re actively looking for a new opportunity or wish to stay connected with other industry professionals, the social networking site allows for a more active presence as well. This allowance is one of the key characteristics of the professionals website that makes it easy to use for anyone in any industry. For those in the marketing, advertising or other creative fields, the site is a gold mine of opportunity if used correctly. Consider following one or more of these tips when setting up and optimizing your profile:
1) Use a professional-looking headshot. “An image says 1,000 words” isn’t a cliche for no reason. By having a professional-looking headshot, you are much more likely to attract the right kind of attention. Studies have shown that profiles without pictures receive less positive attention from potential employers, recruiters and other industry workers. A photo is the first impression you are making to another person.
“The reality is people make assessments about us, including our competence, confidence and even experience, in about 2.2 seconds. That’s not nearly enough time to really get to know us, see what we can deliver or even read our whole profile, for that matter,” said LinkedIn’s Connection Director Nicole Williams, according to CBS News.
So what makes a great, professional profile picture? Williams recommends sitting up straight, setting your shoulders back, smiling and opening your eyes to convey confidence and competence in a profile picture. She also claims that most people respond better to color photos in comparison to black and white portraits.
2) Customize your profile URL. Demonstrate your ability to pay attention to the smallest of details by customizing the URL of your profile. By default, your LinkedIn profile URL will consist of random alphanumerical characters, according to Hong Kait. However, you can easily change and create a customized URL with your name and perhaps an adjective by going into the Settings options. Head to Settings, Edit Public Profile and Customize Your Public Profile URL to enhance your personal brand. Like a vanity plate on a car, this extra detail can set you apart from other people with similar backgrounds and experiences.
3) Include keywords. What phrases and words indicate that you are an active member of an industry? By search engine optimizing your profile with key phrases and words, you will be better able to attract the attention of employers or recruiters who are searching for professionals with those skills. For example, many professionals leave their title on LinkedIn as their last job title. However, this detracts from the power of this tool because companies so often have individual job titles that may not necessarily translate well in a search. Instead, use the title space and the rest of the key description boxes included in a profile to demonstrate your skills with targeted keywords. The phrases you select should be reflective of the career path you have had so far and the one you want to work toward. Brainstorm the phrases, skills and words that are most valued in your industry and pick four or five to focus your efforts on by including them in a number of different places on the profile.
4) Add quality content. A LinkedIn profile does not have to be entirely made up of plain text. The professional social networking platform allows users to attach videos, images and links to the site. This multi-media feature to the profile section allows you to create slideshows using Slideshare that can better demonstrate your skills. While this is a relatively new feature to the social media site, introduced in early 2013, those in the marketing and creative industries are especially happy with its addition. You’re better able to demonstrate your talents right on the LinkedIn profile, without having to try and direct someone to click on an outgoing link.
Check out these tips for managing your online reputation.