Three LinkedIn Essentials

Business has always mostly been about who you know. Back in the day, your Rolodex would be full of old college friends and past associates that you considered your connections. But now your Rolodex is virtual and it’s called LinkedIn. Professionals from all industries utilize LinkedIn to further themselves and their business. We at CLAi find our LinkedIn profiles pretty handy as well, yet we recognize that there is a certain way to use your profile to optimize your results. Through our own experience and the points made in Compukol Connection’s business blog, we’ve come up with three basic steps to getting the most from your LinkedIn profile: information, keywords, and references/recommendations.

Information: Filling out every field on your profile is essential to connecting to colleagues, clients, or suppliers. Many people opt to leave their bio or specialties section blank, figuring others won’t actually take the time to read it. But by leaving out information, you’re limiting your linking potential because people tend to connect based on professional commonalities. Each section should have detailed and well thought out answers, highlighting your career strengths and accomplishments. If you think of it as an online resume and beyond, you’ll see why each field needs to shine. After you’ve finished your profile, complete with current contact information and preferably a picture, you may begin networking with others and building business connections.

Keywords: Including business relevant keywords in your profile can help drive more traffic to your profile over others. You can include many descriptive keywords in your headline, past/current occupation, bio, and specialties sections. For example, some Chris’ keywords, representing CLAi, include “director”, “editor”, “video production”, and “film.” By including keywords in Chris’ profile, we increase the chances of appearing in search engines that are related to these things. LinkedIn also allows you to view how many times your profile has shown up in search results and how many people have viewed it in the last 90 days. These features can help you determine how effective your keywords are.

References/Recommendations: The recommendations section of your LinkedIn profile is very important to colleagues or clients that may be viewing your profile. It does the job of reference checking for them so it’s a nice addition to include in your profile. After all you can only provide so much about yourself before sounding disingenuous. Outside references are essential for peers and clients who are considering you or your business. Of course, you should only choose those who you have worked closely with and would provide an excellent and accurate recommendation. Offering to return the favor is a nice gesture too.

LinkedIn is the new essential for savvy professionals and those looking to connect and expand their business repertoire. Those who are just starting out on LinkedIn or perhaps not seeing the results they’d hoped for should consider looking at the three aspects of their profiles listed above. Most people only see the benefits of LinkedIn if they actively update their virtual resume and continue linking to other professionals. LinkedIn is a great way to remind others of your business and to promote what you have to offer. But it’s important to master the basics of a LinkedIn profile if you want to build connections.