“Insights No 1”, and the future issues, will aim to share some advice and tips in order to help you develop your digital and professional identity. Social and professional networks give us the unprecedented opportunity to self-promote us. For the last ten years, LinkedIn has become inescapable to develop one’s self-marketing, here are some of the reasons why:
- To be identified – visible and not to loose an opportunity
- « Googling » has become a reflex. When you have a LinkedIn profile, you appear first on Google’s search engine page. This point is extremely important for your marketing. Whatever you do, people will want to know who you are and so will automatically do searches about you even before reading your resume, contacting you or meeting you.
- LinkedIn allows you to investigate and watch what’s going on in your field of activity, the market requirements, who’s recruiting who, what the achievements of people in your field or with a similar profile to yours are
- Manage and develop your network of professional contacts in an effective way
Be careful, this is a process to consider as on-going one, and not to take only when you are about to be laid off or when you get frustrated about a professional situation. This should be considered as a strategic tool for the development and maintenance of your employability.
As an introductory remark, a simple tip that too many people forget about: discretion. Your community does not need to know about every update of your profile. It is, of course, important to communicate about great changes like a new title, a new position or your new company, etc. But when it comes to fine-tuning your profile and working on your “brand” for people to identify you better, I don’t recommend it. Go to Privacy and Settings, Profile, and click on Turn on/off your activity broadcasts. And don’t forget to turn it on when you are done.
It is essential nowadays to market your profile by making sure that it is pertinent and that it addresses the right people, which means the ones likely to make decisions about you, such as a colleague, your director, your manager, a head hunter or the HR Business partner of your next employer. You want to raise interest, make someone capable of projecting him/herself with you as a colleague, a business partner or, to put it simply, the one that will solve his/her problem.
On LinkedIn, you have the right to repeat yourself and you even have a great interest in doing so, but with intelligence and finesse. It’s a strategy that targets decision makers likely to identify you and as well as the LinkedIn network search engine. Indeed, if we still need a human being to trigger the most rightful request, search engines have largely gone beyond the simple detection of key words. Today, they are capable of selecting, associating and suggesting from the information in your profile, and then deliver weighted and thematic results to people doing a search on LinkedIn. It is also essential that the people reading your profile clearly understand what your competencies are and the orientation you give and want to give to your career.
For that purpose, you must know and acknowledge what your 3 to 5 key competencies are for which you want to be identified. The marketing of your profile is built around the elements you choose to emphasize. Be careful not to dilute those competencies and make sure to vary the way you describe the use of those competencies in your profile. Try to repeat yourself without being redundant in relation to your knowledge, aptitudes and former/recent experiences. This means that you must use the terminology of your field of expertise. This will help to find you easily on the network and especially to be identified the way you want to, by search engines or by your future employer.
For example: if one of your key competences is Project management, I suggest that you describe your expertise in your LinkedIn Summary and also in each professional experience you had with the terminology specific to this activity: planning, budget, scope, requirements, costs, risks, procurement, etc. This effort is part of your professional branding, a process that will position you efficiently according to your field of expertise and its professionals. In this way, they will be capable of identifying themselves with your profile and to project themselves in a future collaboration.