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Career Development | Social Media | March 2013

LinkedIn: Enhance Your Profile & Get The Job of Your Dreams

by Dean Tsouvalas | StudentAdvisor.com

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Recently I had the unique opportunity to listen and speak with someone who I consider to be a “LinkedIn guru.”  At 200 million members strong, you know LinkedIn is the best site for career networking and development.  Brendan Browne is LinkedIn's head of global talent acquisition. Basically, he hires all the staff at LinkedIn.  

Brendan is based on the West Coast, in the main offices of LinkedIn, but had flown east for an interview and live webinar.  I spent the afternoon with Brendan and some of his extraordinary team members in New York City. Brendan was incredibly inspiring and motivating as he shared LinkedIn tips on how to find a job, how to leverage social media and even his personal philosophy when it comes to creating your digital brand.  Brendan also shared his secret LinkedIn tips on how to best leverage LinkedIn tools, as he is passionate and knowledgeable about profile optimization for users to be noticed and get hired.  He was so inspiring that soon after our conversation my colleagues and I were at our desk updating our LinkedIn profiles.

According to a recent statistic, 90 percent of recruiters are on LinkedIn to research and discover potential candidates.  In fact, one recruiter said "If you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”  In today's world, your social media presence on LinkedIn truly is the best way to create your digital brand. Who better to help us bolster our digital brand than one of the people that knows the best features of the LinkedIn profile? 

 

Five LinkedIn tips to make your LinkedIn profile the best it can be and advance your career.

Advice from my LinkedIn guru, Brendan Browne:

  • Choose who you want to be and what you want to do, and share it on your LinkedIn profile. Step back and take a personal inventory of what you want to be.  Ask yourself  “what am I passionate about?”  According to Brendan Browne, having a goal gives you clarity. Brendan says, “it can be scary, but the tools [on LinkedIn] can mitigate your risk. Find someone who is doing that “thing” that you want to do, “follow them” and then leverage social media to accelerate the process of being your authentic self.  This is the best first step in creating your digital brand”
     
  • Be Authentic. Add a picture to your LinkedIn Profile – Brendan says you must have a photo if you are serious about finding a new job or career.  Your activity on LinkedIn should also reflect your passion.  If you want to be a chef, make sure your profile says that and then share relevant culinary editorial to your connections. Ask yourself if you bumped into one of your connections at a cocktail party, would they be surprised by who you are?
     
  • Build your digital brand.  Let your profile empower you to have a voice. Remember, says Brendan, “LinkedIn is not your resume of the past but your digital brand that you want to show off to the world.” Leverage tools/platforms like SlideShare to further show your true self.  Browne shared a story how a person was masterfully using SlideShare on LinkedIn to market himself.  The internal LinkedIn team discovered him because of his unique activity on Slideshare, was incredibly impressed and eventually hired him.  
     
  • When you share content on LinkedIn, add your personal voice to it.  If you are going to share a story, article about your company, or fun video make sure you add something to the beginning of the share.  For example, if you want to share this article on LinkedIn, it could just show up as the title and URL, however, Brendan says add a pithy statement to the beginning like, “Dang, how can I meet this LinkedIn Guru?” Say something - don’t just forward an article.  Brendan says, “Most magnetic people share insightful content with personal comments that lets their personality shine through.”
     
  • Another LinkedIn tip from Brendan Browne is to stand out from the pack. Engage with other people on LinkedIn to stand out from the crowd and be noticed.  Ask yourself, Brendan says, “how can I get my LinkedIn profile noticed by this recruiter, company or employee?” Build a network that is carefully selected. Join groups that you find relevant or interesting.  Follow influential people. After you have commented, shared or liked their content – reach out to connect with that person.  Leave no stone unturned as you try to discover people and opportunities relevant to you. However, Browne adds; if you are trying to reach out and connect to someone make sure you don’t use the standard connection wording.  Add your reason for wanting to connect, how you may know the person, when you met – especially if you are trying to connect to a social media influencer.  These people get so many requests that you want to be sincere, interesting and authentic.  Do not be a spectator.

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