How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Personal Brand
These tips for improving your LinkedIn profile will make you a stronger job candidate
Carol Ross is a Bell Labs engineer turned career coach, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. She has created career development programs to help talented midcareer professionals be more successful in a competitive, increasingly digital marketplace. Contact Carol on LinkedIn or by email.
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Your brand story should contain three things: a compelling statement of your distinctive value, a backstory that explains how you got to be so good at what you do, and an aspirational statement about the impact you want your work to have.
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To write an aspirational statement, don’t worry about the job or title you currently hold. Jay Want, a physician turned chief executive turned health care consultant, has a LinkedIn profile with a simple but powerful aspiration statement: to make health care “more effective, efficient, and humane.”
Align Your Experience Section With Your Summary Section
The Experience section of your LinkedIn profile is the data that backs up the story you tell in the Summary section. So be sure the two sections are aligned. If you talk about an experience at a company as part of your brand story, be sure that company shows up in your Experience section.
Be Choosy About Your Recommendations
When you're looking to put recommendations from others about your work in your LinkedIn profile, think quality over quantity. One recommendation that reveals a new aspect of what you can contribute is better than 10 recommendations that repeat what's already been said in other parts of your profile. Remember: Your reader's attention is limited, so think about how your recommendations can complement your profile, rather than duplicate it.
- Be introspective. Identify your passions, talents, competencies, values, beliefs and wisdom. In short, know thyself. That's fundamental to describing who you are, at your core.
- Gather feedback. It helps to get an outside perspective. Ask your clients, colleagues or managers: “What is distinctive about the way I approach my work and the results that I produce?” Incorporate that information into your profile.
- Identify a theme. Figure out the thread that ties together your disparate jobs, projects and passions then put that into your profile as well. Susan Arnold, a Denver startup executive, conveys her brand story with the simple phrase: “Dream It, Implement It, Achieve It.”
- Describe formative moments in your life. Often, these moments play a part in the development of your theme. They could include an achievement in high school, a painful lesson you once learned or a failed business venture. Ask yourself, “How have these moments contributed to who I am today?” The LinkedIn profile of TV and film producer Victoria Cummings shows how a powerful experience early in her career sparked what for her became an important theme: not taking no for an answer.
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