In a previous post in my Digital Do’s & Don’ts series, I stated that: “LinkedIn is the professional opposite of Facebook.”
Without question, if you have or desire a professional career, you need to strategize about your personal brand identity (how you want others to see you), and LinkedIn is the go to social network to start.
Here are my:
Top 10 Digital Do’s and Don’ts When Using LinkedIn for PB&J.
10. Don’t let your Headline default.
After your name, the LinkedIn headline is the first thing seen by others. It serves many purposes.
First, your headline helps others to notice you. In a short 120 words or less, it tells them about brand you. The default headline is your most recent job title and employer, but you can do better.
A good headline should sell your personal brand to others and include: who you are, how you want others to see you, and your point of difference. Review and learn from how other like-minded professionals in your career focus use their headline to brand themselves.
Second, your headline helps others to find you. Include career focused keywords for internal search engine optimization (SEO).
As you develop and tweak your headline and other sections of your LinkedIn profile, be sure to adjust your privacy settings so that each edit is not broadcast to your connections.
9. Do tell your personal brand story in the Summary.
Assuming a visitor to your profile reads beyond your name and headline, the next best space for personal branding is the Summary.
Here you can expand on your headline and desired personal brand identity by showcasing your best experiences, skills, or qualifications (using bullet points), along with some personal brand storytelling. Write in the first person with short sentences, spacing, and an easy to scan format.
If you are a student with few career accomplishments, you can focus your personal brand story on your chosen career focus, the origin of your career focus, and the influences that led you to your career focus. Additionally, explain: (1) how your career focus connects with your passions, special interests, personality, or skills, (2) what more you want to learn, and (3) where you want to go with your career choices.
8. Do provide evidence and confirmation of your personal brand identity.
“LinkedIn supplements a traditional resume and job search by adding the show to the tell.”
At the end of the Summary sections (and in other sections), you can now add links or embeds to multimedia. Here you may: (1) provide links to your other professionally active social media, (2) a link to another more visual digital or life streaming profile (such as: About.Me, Flavors.Me, or Rebel Mouse), or (3) an embed or direct link to your best original content (such as: a popular blog post, YouTube video, Vine, or slideshow on SlideShare).
Best of all, you could embed a short video of your personal brand elevator pitch.
Additionally, students and creatives can add links and explanations to their best projects in the projects section, writers and bloggers can add links and explanations to their blog in the publications section, or anyone can now request access to use LinkedIn as a publishing/blogging platform.
Finally, shelve the selfie and use a current and professional quality headshot as your profile photo.
7. Don’t let LinkedIn endorsements go willy-nilly.
LinkedIn endorsements can easily run amuck.
Instead, you can strategically manage and control your LinkedIn endorsements by handpicking your best skills/qualifications for others to endorse, rejecting any non-career focused endorsements randomly proposed by others, and hiding any endorsements received from those you don’t really know or feel that they do not know your skills to authentically endorse them.
6. Do ask for guided recommendations.
If you are a remarkably indispensable employee, celebrated student, or superstar to your clients, then recommendations may come easily and without asking. But, don’t count on it.
Ideally, you should selectively and strategically ask important career stakeholders for a guided recommendation. By career stakeholders, I mean anyone that can vouch or confirm the primary selling points for your desired personal brand identity (such as: a professor in your major, an internship supervisor, a current or past boss or client). By guided recommendation, I mean you should guide or specify what qualities you would like them to consider focusing on in their short one or two paragraph LinkedIn recommendation.
5. Do use LinkedIn as a PLN to find great content to learn from and to social share elsewhere.
Besides the content social shared by your connections, LinkedIn can provide a planned personal learning network (PLN) to rival Twitter. By using Pulse, following…