LinkedIn: Putting Your Executive Foot Forward

Senior Executive using Social Networks to Manage his Career

As a follow-up from our last LinkedIn article, we want to focus on your LinkedIn Profile. Here are five tips to have a stronger Profile:

1. Keep the top section clean, on-brand and compelling. Nothing should be in your name field except your name. Put up a nice, professional-looking headshot, and use the "professional headline" to convey your strengths - you can think of it as a 5-second elevator pitch.

2. You should have strong 'Recommendations' that show the value-add that you bring to the table. Consider getting Recommendations from different types of people you worked with, including bosses and subordinates as well as peers and customers. Each type of contact will be able to convey a different value-add because of how they worked with you.

3. Your Summary is your chance to hook me in. I want to see your professional credibility on your Profile, and the Summary is where you can tell your story. Use as many of the 2,000 allotted characters as you can, and tell me mini-stories. Think PAR: What Problem did you face, what were your Actions, and what were the Results? You can put a number of PAR stories in your Summary.

4. Have websites. If you don't have a personal website or a blog, go to Emurse.com and get an account there - then, back in LinkedIn, make sure you customize the names that are shown in the Websites section. Instead of showing "My Company" or "My Blog", you want to choose "other" and call it your "CEO Pundit Blog" or something like that.

5. Join Groups but don't show them all on your Profile. It's okay to join up to 50 Groups (the highest number of Groups you can join), but you should only show the Groups that will reinforce your brand. I'd rather see 3 - 8 Groups that reinforce your brand than a list of 20+ Groups that just look like noise.

Developing a strong LinkedIn Profile is not easy - it is a marketing tool that is kind of like a resume, but there are clear differences. It should be developed in such a way that the people who are looking for you will be able to find you. If you know your LinkedIn Profile could be better but are unsure what you should do, join BlueSteps to gain access to our expert resume/CV and LinkedIn writers from BlueSteps Executive Career Services.

Beyond LinkedIn, there are many other tools available for your career management. Join BlueSteps to recieve up to date career management information and expose your career profile to over 6,000 executive recruiters who are members of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

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