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10 Tips to Master LinkedIn in a Way You Never Imagined.

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10 Tips to Master LinkedIn in a Way You Never Imagined.

LinkedIn is quickly becoming the new resume.

In fact, I believe that in the next 5 years, the humble resume will fade away into the dustbin of history, to join the iPod, Internet chat rooms and (hopefully) the Kardashians.

This means that LinkedIn will become your primary job search tool and mastering the platform should become one of your top priorities. Here are 10 ways you can get a head start on your competition.

1. Fill out your profile completely.

Sounds very basic, doesn’t it? Yet, you’d be surprised how many profiles I see which are missing critical sections.

Pay particular attention to your summary, title and employment history—they’re the first items which a potential employer will look at.

2. Highlight your expertise.

What differentiates you from everybody else on the job market? Who are your ideal customers / employees? Your summary is the perfect place for this information. Back up your claim with examples of concrete achievements.

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For example, “I’m a digital marketing manager for startups. I specialize in scaling $100K businesses into $1M territory” is an excellent, succinct way to define what you do and what you don’t.

3. Create a call to action.

Most people will contact you by either sending you an InMail or a connection request.

However, you can guide the right people to find out more about you by providing a link to your website, other social media assets and content you’ve created on 3rd party websites.

4. Include a photo.

It’s no longer the 1990s, when having a photo of yourself online was a reason to be worried about privacy.

As far as today’s employers are concerned, a photo on your LinkedIn profile is not a “nice to have” option—it’s a must. Don’t give recruiters and hiring managers the reason to think “Why is there no photo—does she have something to hide?”

5. Optimize your profile for search.

To improve your profile’s visibility in LinkedIn search results, ensure that your LinkedIn profile contains relevant keywords throughout.

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For example, if you’re interested in job opportunities as a corporate lawyer, then your job title is the obvious keyword to include in your main job description, summary, job titles and descriptions of your job history.

However, recruiters won’t always search for you purely by your role. That’s why you need to think outside the box when constructing your LinkedIn profile. For example, if you were the project manager above, you could include keywords such as:

  • litigation
  • financial services law
  • mergers & acquisitions
  • IPO
  • oil & gas industry

6. Post consistently.

LinkedIn is not Facebook, so your updates can’t be photos of your breakfast.

Think carefully before you post and make sure that everything you say is consistent with your personal brand.

I suggest you get into the habit of setting aside some time a few times per week to curate and read interesting content from the Internet. This will allow you to post interesting content as status updates.

Don’t forget to put your own spin on the topic. For example, if you post “check out the latest article about the financial sector New York Times,” you’ll sound just like everybody else.

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However, an update such as “The New York Times just predicted that finance industry is dying. What do you believe?” is likely to spark debate and create more exposure for your profile.

7. Create and participate in LinkedIn groups.

Which aspect of your career are you most passionate about? Chances are, there’s a lively discussion happening right now in one of LinkedIn’s groups on that topic.

The best thing is, being part of a group allows you to bypass LinkedIn’s standard requirement to be connected to someone in order to reach out to them. If you and another professional are part of the same group, you can communicate without limitations.

8. Be savvy about who you connect with.

It’s great to have 500+ connections; however, not all connections are created equal.

Engagement with your network is far more important than its size.

Requesting connections with people you don’t know and can’t find common ground with has little benefit—it only robs you of your most precious asset: time.

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9. Make your messages personal.

How many times a week do you receive the stock standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message?

Most influencers, heads of departments and business owners receive hundreds of such requests.

To rise above the noise you must personalize your connection requests.

Remember that LinkedIn is primarily a relationship-building platform. Not many great relationships start with sending a cold, pre-formatted template.

10. Dive deep with content trending tools.

It’s no secret that producing original content is one of the best ways to build your personal brand.

However, creating blog posts and videos is just half of the story. The trick to getting the most out of your content is to make it shareable.

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How do you know which topics are shared often and which aren’t? LinkedIn’s new Content Marketing & Trending Tools allow you to do just that. There’s no more need to fly blind.

Simply research what content is popular amongst your audience right now, create it, then monitor its performance in real time.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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