Getting LinkedIn Up to Par for Your Personal Brand

Getting LinkedIn Up to Par for Your Personal Brand

How much time do you spend online? Have you ever thought about the amount of information about you  that can be found online between your profiles?  From Facebook to LinkedIn, Twitter to Pinterest, how much information about you is out in cyberspace working as your first impression for prospective clients, employers and co-workers? I want to offer some do's and don'ts for LinkedIn, and share how you can develop your personal brand

LinkedIn and Facebook: How I Developed My Online Self

When I got my first taste of LinkedIn I was working at IBM. I started my profile with the basics: Name, Company, Job Title and little else. At the time I didn't really know how this particular online social network would fit into my day-to-day professional life. I figured that I was already on Facebook, so why did I need this too?

But today, in 2013, I use LinkedIn as a tool in a much different way than I did when I first joined. I want to share with you what I've learned, some things I've discovered, and offer my advice for getting LinkedIn up to par to be on the front lines of your online personal brand. For additional tips about your online persona, check out this article.


LinkedIn is a professional network. It's a place for businesses and professionals to connect, share ideas, develop contacts and progress their careers. LinkedIn is not a place to share that you're enjoying lunch of fish tacos down on the water front.

I want LinkedIn to function as my online resume. Whenever someone looks up my profile, I want them to find the best example of me out there. In fact, whenever I meet a new business contact, LinkedIn is where I go to research them. I want to know what they do, what they used to do and a little about their background. And people are searching for you too. If your profile is outdated or incorrect, what does that say about you and your professional self?

LinkedIn has a profile builder that makes developing your online personal brand easy, but here are 

quick and easy tips to boost your LinkedIn profile and make it more effective:

1: Do have a professional picture. People remember faces better than names and if a contact is searching for you, the blank icon next to your name is of no help. And no, a 1995 Glamour Shots photo doesn't work either. If a connection sees your picture online, they'll also know who to look for whenever you're meeting for the first time. Make sure your picture is recent and clearly shows your face so people can recognize you in a room after seeing it on your profile.

2: Do keep your profile updated. You don't have to check it every day, but at least once a month you should log in and review your invitations to connect. Keep your job status and your picture current. Your picture and your profile should give an accurate representation of who you are today, not who you were two years ago. An updated profile shows that you're aware of your personal brand and that you care about how you're marketing yourself to the world.

3: Do make your profile easy to understand. While coaching a colleague I printed off his profile. LinkedIn's website makes printing a profile easy and provides a quick way to learn about who you're about to connect with or interview. Print your profile and see if it lines up with your paper resume. They don't have to be exact, but they need to be fairly similar. At the very least both your LinkedIn profile and your paper resume need to tell the same story about who you are as a person. Make your profile easy to read, easy to understand, and, more importantly, design it to tell a story about who you are and what you're looking for.

4: Do add in the extras. LinkedIn has partnered with other online businesses to give you the ability to add a little personal flare to your profile. You can add your Amazon reading list or a section for your blog to your profile. I've done both of these things. You can also share presentations you've given and other things to add some “personal” to your “professional”. After all, we are more than just what we do to pay the bills.

LinkedIn can be a great recruiting tool and an excellent way to meet other professionals. When you're done with your profile, if you've implemented these four tips, you will have something that outlines where you've been, where you are today and what you can bring to the table. Just remember to keep it updated!

In closing, I try to use LinkedIn as one of many tools to spread my message about leadership, personal development and community. I want LinkedIn, and the information I put on it, to project the image that I want out in the world. While I don't share everything about my life to the online world, who I am offline isn't completely different. The online world may be the first impression that we may not get otherwise. Make it a good one!

Question: How do you use social media? What sites do you use? Please leave a message for me in the comments section below by clicking here!


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