9 Essential LinkedIn Tips for Personal Branding

If you’re a young professional, you’ve heard of LinkedIn. One of many essential business tools today, LinkedIn is a social network that helps you build your brand and cultivate your career. It offers services to help with sales, content marketing, and online learning. Use these LinkedIn tips to land connections or meet the recruiters that could lead to your next big job opportunity.

A lot of people don’t use LinkedIn to its full potential. Many upload a headshot, list their work history and education, and call it a day. That’s a start, but LinkedIn is so powerful and it can do so much more than act as an online resume.

9 Essential LinkedIn Tips for Job Searchers

By Sarah Landrum

Essential LinkedIn Tips:

Show Off Your Personality:

People pay attention to brands they relate to, brands that have a recognizable personality. When crafting your LinkedIn profile, you want to keep your personal brand in mind. What kind of voice do you want to have?

A good place to start is with your headline. It will default to your job title, but unless your job is incredibly unusual, you should come up with an original headline. Chances are, other professionals in your field will have the same or similar job titles, making it hard to stand out at first glance. Like a newspaper headline, your LinkedIn headline should be intriguing, eye-catching and leave the reader curious enough to click on your LinkedIn profile.

Similarly, your summary statement should tell a story that people want to read. Don’t just list your job history. Tell the reader who you are, what you’re passionate about, and why you’re good at what you do.

Make Strategic Connections:

One of the most important things you’ll do on LinkedIn is make connections. However, the goal is not to make as many connections as possible. On LinkedIn, you need to consider the quality of your connections, not the quantity.

Having a few deep connections with trusted colleagues is better than having hundreds of shallow ones. Connect with potential clients or partners. Connect with employees working at your dream companies. Connect with people who also have high-quality connections.

If you know a colleague on LinkedIn particularly well, ask them to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you. LinkedIn recommendations show up on your profile and offer readers another view of your credentials.

Publish and Share Content:

LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to publish blog posts. Having blog posts on your profile can help you establish thought leadership in your industry.

By publishing your posts, or posts about you, you’ll position yourself as an influencer or thought leader in your field, demonstrating that you pay careful attention to trends in your industry. Robert Mericle, for example, shares important news about the industry and his company to build his brand and share highlights about his company’s growth. You can see that Mericle launched a new website for its largest building, which drives awareness and engagement to the new site. The best part: It’s free PR.

In addition to sharing your own posts, regularly share other users’ well-written content to further establish yourself as an expert. In the example above, Robert does this by sharing posts about the decline in gas prices and the best locations for warehousing. In addition to being timely news, it’s also relevant to those he wants to engage with, which establishes him as the go-to person in the industry.

Choose the Perfect Photos:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and LinkedIn allows you not only to display a picture of yourself, but also a large banner cover photo at the top of your profile.

A professionally photographed headshot looks great, but it’s not your only option. Think about the setting and what you’ll wear – this can help convey your personality to other users. Most importantly, smile! Your pose and facial expressions can convey a sense of competency, likability, and professionalism.

Want to know what your photo says about you? Upload it to a site like PhotoFeeler that scores your photo on a variety of dimensions. While you’re there, take a look around at some others to see what works and what doesn’t so you can nail your next photo.

Your cover photo is another way to express who you are as a professional. It should relate to your industry or your brand. If you’re a geographer, use a photo of a map. If you’re an architect, use a photo of a blueprint. If you’re selling a product, show off that product.

Join Groups:

LinkedIn is home to a wide variety of interest groups and organizations. Joining groups is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and people in your industry. You can find out about local events and potentially win business or find job opportunities.

Groups have discussion forums where you can ask questions and engage in conversations. You’ll get noticed if you offer advice and answer questions, because this demonstrates your abilities and expertise.

Endorse and Be Endorsed:

LinkedIn not only allows you to list your skills – your connections can then endorse you to acknowledge for others that you do, in fact, possess those skills. This helps you further establish your credibility, and you should want as many endorsements as you can get.

The best way to get endorsements is to endorse others for their skills. Not only is this a great and easy way to compliment them, but it also encourages them to return the favor.

The first, and most important step is to include any relevant and noteworthy skills to your LinkedIn so that others may endorse you for them. Check out career expert Dan Schawbel’s LinkedIn profile for a good example. Dan focuses on his top skills, all of which have garnered over 99 endorsements. Notice how he doesn’t include basic skills like “Excel” and “Microsoft Office.”

Use the Messaging Service:

One old-fashioned way to network is to make cold calls or send cold emails to potential employers and colleagues. Generally this is a good approach, but LinkedIn makes it a little easier with its built-in messaging system.

Many professionals today regularly check their LinkedIn accounts, so sending private messages on the site does not lessen the chance that you’ll get noticed. In fact, it eliminates the risk that your emails will get lost in spam folders. It also allows you to keep all of your professional networking in one place.

Build a Multimedia Portfolio:

In addition to displaying your resume, you can upload and link to a variety of media. If you have writing samples, design projects, videos, photography, or any other pieces of work you’re proud of, make sure to include them on LinkedIn.

Log in Often:

In order to effectively network and take full advantage of the benefits of LinkedIn, be sure to log in often. Keep up with messages and notifications, and regularly publish content and keep your career history up-to-date.

LinkedIn is a powerful and essential tool in today’s professional landscape. With these LinkedIn tips in mind, you’ll be able to dominate that landscape and make the most of your career, your brand, or your business.

By Sarah Landrum: Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a site all about finding career happiness and success. For more from Sarah, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum.

Image via SS Life and Style.

22 Responses to 9 Essential LinkedIn Tips for Personal Branding

  1. Mikayla Christiansen says:

    I’ve never jumped onto LinkedIn! It sounds like a great platform!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I love this post for all the in-depth strategies and examples you provided. LinkedIn is such an important platform and you really captured that here. I’ll definitely be referring to this post when revamping my profile–thank you!

  3. Thanks for these very informative tips! I need to start publishing my blog posts on LinkedIn and checking the site more regularly. This post was so helpful!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  4. This is such a great post, and all so true! Asking previous employers or coworkers to write you a recommendation in LinkedIn is a great way to beef up your profile. Make sure to ask early on for a recommendation so the person writing it can remember specifics about the work you did together!

  5. marly says:

    These are such great tips. I need to use my Linked In account more often. This post has given me the motivation to revamp my profile. Thanks for sharing,
    Marly
    http://www.GirlyLove.org

  6. I LOVE this post! I keep pretty close tabs on my LinkedIn profile, so I really appreciate these tips on how to make it better.

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  7. Anna says:

    This is a wonderful post! I feel like a lot of college students (including myself sometimes) are a little clueless when it comes to LinkedIn! Thank you for sharing these tips, I’ll be sure to use them 🙂

  8. Lauren says:

    Oh boy this post is telling me that I really need to step up my game on LinkedIn! I don’t use it as well as I should but I’m going to follow these tips!!!
    xo
    Lauren
    The Fashionista’s Diary

  9. Michaela says:

    These are such awesome tips. I’m beginning to work on creating a Linked In since I graduate from college in less than a year.

    XOXO
    mQs
    http://www.shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

  10. Sara says:

    This is so helpful – definitely sharing with my readers on Pinterest. Honestly, it’s so hard to get a job, and having a professional LinkedIn profile can really help. I’ll probably be updating mine tonight, thanks to you!

  11. Jenn says:

    These are wonderful suggestions! I haven’t touched my LinkedIn profile in awhile so definitely need to go update it ASAP!

  12. Ashley says:

    I don’t have a LinkedIn but this post has really opened my eyes…I need one!! Thank you for your insightful tips and detailed info!!

    xo Ashley

  13. Caitlin says:

    Great post! I feel like I’ve been really inactive on LinkedIn lately and have been looking for ways to increase my presence there. Definitely going to give these tips a try!

    xx, Caitlin
    http://www.wandererandwolf.com

  14. Throughout my entire college career, the importance of LinkedIn has been consistently emphasized. I have yet to figure out the best way to share my own content – that’s my next LinkedIn goal.

  15. Kayla says:

    I’m so thankful for these tips! I’ve been struggling with how to use LinkedIn and how it differs from Facebook.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  16. Jordyn says:

    I rarely use LinkedIn and I know I need to step up my LinkedIn game! These tips are a great starting point for my most underutilized social media platform.

  17. Morgan says:

    My best friend is a recruiter and that is the first place she looks for candidates! It’s a great resource for job hunting!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  18. Shanes says:

    I’ve pondered wheteher it’s professional to include my blog on Linkedin/resume but do think blogging teaches you valuable skills!

  19. Groups and photos are my tip! Also, add everyone you meet in a professional setting! You never know who will be able to help you one day!
    Shaguna
    gold&hearts

  20. Sami Mast says:

    Great tips! I don’t have a Linkedin, but when I do I’ll be sure to come back to this post and make myself stand out. 🙂

    xo
    Sami
    http://www.theclassicbrunette.blogspot.com

  21. Tracy Schwartz says:

    There are so many great tips in this post. I have been struggling lately with my LinkedIn profile and activity. This post has re-inspired me to edit and work on it to make it better.

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    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon).

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