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20 2012

What does your Linkedin profile really say about you?

Syndicated from: The Essential Message

What does your Linkedin profile really say about you? Five years ago, most of us were wondering how the universe would shake up between Facebook and LinkedIn, but today it’s clear that LinkedIn has emerged — true to its roots — as the primary platform for professional networking. While Facebook is doing all it can to expand in both social and professional arenas, it understandably continues to be defined as the more social of the social networks. So are people using LinkedIn effectively as the professional platform it’s intended to be? Browsing through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, I see most people are making the same mistake on LinkedIn as they do in other professional environments — and most of those mistakes stem from not getting the balance right between overly personal and, (more often), overly professional. You wouldn’t show up at a professional event wearing a bathing suit and dark glasses, so why would you use a profile photo of you on vacation, unless you’re in entertainment or the travel business? Telling people about your hobbies and outside interests is wonderful, but when those things feel like they’re more important than your business achievements, something’s wrong. Notwithstanding the above, your personality is your most distinctive value proposition; make sure it comes through in your profile photo and biography! Buzzwords and industry jargon don’t make you sound more professional; use them sparingly! Typos, chat acronyms (LOL) and basic grammar errors have no place on either your resume or your Linkedin profile.  (Of course, nobody’s perfect, so if you find a typo in my LinkedIn profile, please let me know!) Headline Goes Here! Finally, I am constantly amazed at how few people use the ‘headline’ field of their profile. This is like answering the question, ‘what do you do?’ with a blank stare. The headline is your best opportunity to focus the profile visitor on the one key thing that sets you apart, and to positively distinguish you from everyone else with an otherwise similar profile. If you have left your headline field blank, it may be because either you don’t know what your greatest differentiating value is, or, you don’t know how to articulate it in the most compelling way. Either way, I suggest you start here — because your ability to communicate and focus on your greatest value and true competitive advantage is your foundation for massive increases in sales, leadership effectiveness and, yes, happiness! Essentially yours, Michel Neray Chief Differentiation Officer The Essential Message P.S. A few people have asked me to look through the Essential Message ‘lens’ and review their Linkedin profiles. If this is a service you’d be interested in, please Contact Me.

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