First impressions are often made online. What you look like and say in your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles creates an online persona of who you are and what you can deliver. This will often influence the hiring process of potential employers.
Your online profile is the new handshake. It represents who you are as a brand and can reflect positively or negatively on you and the organisation you work for. You need to consider your online presence carefully, whether you are a potential employee or part of a hiring leadership team. What you look like, say and comment on matters. Having no profile and no comments matters even more, as it speaks to a lack of transparency, authenticity, or fear of online technology that can negatively impact your prospects.
10 Tips for LinkedIn:
- Get the basics right. Ensure you have filled in key information like your Name, Title, Experience with logos linked to the organisations you’ve worked for, Education, the “About” section, and Skills.
- Go to the “Edit public profile & URL” on the top right-hand corner of your page (next to the top of your banner) and edit it to a URL @name that you can use on your digital signature. This is a positive technology indicator.
- Make sure your photo is professional, approachable, and looking directly at the camera. Add a banner image of something that reflects your professional brand at the top of your profile. Try to keep it simple and professional, as you want your profile to look as “clean” as possible.
- If your aim is to create a personal brand, don’t fill in the Description part of each role so your profile looks like a CV.
- “Ask For a Recommendation” from people you have worked with as a public endorsement of the value you have built in your various roles.
- If you go to the “Home” page of LinkedIn while signed in, follow specific hashtags, follow people, and join groups that are related to your industry or interests. This will create an interesting feed where you can write a comment or Like the post.
- Always keep your comments positive and Like posts that reflect well on you and your company. For example, if you Like a post that talks about how leadership is lacking in organisations or affirm this with a comment, this could negatively impact your public brand and how your colleagues and people within the industry perceive you.
- Try to expand your network actively, connect online with your colleagues and people you meet within a business context. You can also connect with like-minded people to expand your network on an ongoing basis. You should be aiming to add a couple of people to your network every week. And when people invite you to connect, do it. The more people you are connected to, the more awareness you build of yourself as a brand.
- Aim to go onto LinkedIn at least once a week, Like and post and comment on it. This doesn’t have to be a well-thought-out thesis. It can be simply something like “Inspirational,” “Great innovation ideas,” or “Leadership at its best.” Three or four words are acceptable. Don’t overthink it.
- Always go to your organisations’ page, Like and Share posts with some relevant hashtags. This actively communicates you are an engaged employee and raises your profile within your peers.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to grow awareness of you as a brand, build credibility and highlight you as a potential candidate for recruiters or head hunters. All you need to do is to be positive, be consistent, and keep your network growing!
You are your brand.
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