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Whether you are an aspiring board director or a current member of a board, it is vital that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, board appropriate and utilized effectively to maximize your board career opportunities. LinkedIn is a great tool for board directors as it can help you share updates about your organization, allow you to follow influencers in your industry, connect with fellow board members, and be found by those conducting board searches.
 
Aside from general LinkedIn tips, including uploading a professional photograph (you are 7 times more likely to have your profile viewed with a photograph) and keeping your Skills and Experience sections current and board focused, there are many steps that executives can take to advance their board career aspirations. Here are a few of the best tips below:
 
1. Be Found: It might sound obvious, but many people make the mistake of setting their privacy settings too high – preventing them from being found by those conducting board searches. If you want to be found, make yourself findable!
 
2. Use Keywords: Another way to make yourself on the radar of executive recruiters conducting board searches is to use strategic keywords throughout your profile. This will help you appear in skills searches. Also, when writing your profile, try to avoid overused phrases and keep your content current.
 
3. Use Multi-Media: Make your profile stand out from the competition by adding pictures, videos and presentations to the Experience section. This will also demonstrate your technical skills.
 
4. Join Groups: Not only will this give you inspiration for posting your own content, but groups can be a great way to connect with other corporate directors, executives with similar interests and college/university alumni.
 
5. Grow Your Network: The more connections you acquire, the more visible you will be on LinkedIn. For better results, when inviting a new person to connect, take the time to write a personal message to explain how you know them and why you want to connect. You might want to consider using InMaps, LinkedIn’s visual guide to see how your connections span, as this feature can allow you to understand whether your network is too narrow, or spread out to be most effective.
 
6. Customize Your URL: Rather than having your LinkedIn URL to read "LinkedIn.com/pub/firstname-lastname80712940knaf", you can now customize your URL to make it neater and easier to share. Simply click on the edit link on your profile, then the edit link next to your default URL and follow the steps.To gain a further advice on the board process download the podcast recording of our recent BlueSteps webinar, Top Tips for Gaining Your Board Seat, which took place Wednesday, June 18, 2014. To view this recording and the full BlueSteps Podcast Library, Join Bluesteps today!

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