With a profile added to Linked In every second, and a seemingly “same” look to profiles, how do you get to stand out and get chosen when potential clients, candidates or employees look at what you have to say?
There is the important stuff like changing your update regularly, having a professional headline that says more than what your job title is and who you work for, getting the right keywords in your summary and all the things you can read about in the many blogs on Linked In. (They are added at about 2 per second 🙂 )
Applications are Linked In bling. You can add them and use them to make your profile different, and there are a few that have been launched recently that got lost in the noise around signal and changing company profiles. You can have up to 15 applications or modules (sections) displayed on your profile and 13 on your home page. Look through the list and think carefully about what will work best for you.
The starting point is changing the order that your profile appears. This is very simple to do. I like to have my contact details at the top of my profile. You can change the order of any of the sections by dragging and dropping them in “edit my profile.” Just click on the cross in the left hand section of the profile and move it to where you want.
The sections you can move around in this way are:
Honours and awards
Think about the running order that presents you in the best light.
To make customisation even easier, the good people at Linked In have added a new tab: +Add Sections.
The sections you can add are:
Certifications. List details and dates of any professional certificates you have achieved for easy reference.
Languages. A listing of the languages you speak and the level of proficiency.
Patents. A list of any patents you may hold, or patents awaiting registration, as well as the date of registration and scope.
Publications. Links and details to any papers, documents or articles that you may have published. useful reference for speakers, journalists or published students.
Skills. This section could be the most important on your profile. You can list skills by type, years of experience and level of proficiency. I see this as a must complete, whatever your rating says, your profile is only 90% without it.
The Add Sections tab also allows you to make any of the applications a separate section on your profile. Previously, all the applications were lumped together in one section, with no opportunity to change the viewing order. It may be that you want to promote your blog towards the top of your profile, or for graphic designers your professional portfolio. You can now do this by creating a dedicated section for the application.
The applications list that you can plug-in to your profile is also growing. The list currently includes:
Reading list from Amazon.
I have used this as a conversation starter, and have sent messages to people asking for an opinion on a book on their list I’m thinking of reading. Great opener.
If you publish on wordpress, you can add your blog direct to your profile and show the first lines of the post. This brings new readers as well as showcasing a bit more about what you are talking about.
Powered by Typepad, you can display your last 5 posts on your profile to increase readership and show more of what you are about. This is great if you have more than one blog or publish outside of the wordpress platform.
A simple way to conduct research, engage with your connections, get attention and gives you something extra to post and write about in all the groups you belong to. You can show your open and closed polls on your profile for anyone interested in the results.
This is one of my personal favourites. You can add downloadable documents, white papers etc. Ideal for adding either a resume/cv for job seekers, job specs or sales documents. The free version allows for 5 documents, and the low-cost paid for version allows unlimited documents and gives you access to who has downloaded the document for follow-up. You can use Box.Net in most on-line places including Facebook.
You can add presentations, video and pictures to your profile. Google presentations allows you to insert presentations, video, pictures etc on to your profile. A video or presentation lets you say so much more about yourself and brings your presentation to life. These are sharable and downloadable as a link across all your on-line places. The other real ace in the application is that you can use Google’s own on-line presentation tool, that creates fantastic looking on-line presentations and documents easily that you can embed into your profile or use anywhere. For this reason, I think it has the advantage over the better known slideshare, although slideshare has some great sharing and networking options in its own right.
Currently the more popular way to load presentations or video on to your profile. Slideshare have recently added some funky sharing options, presentation tracking so that you can follow individuals and get updates as new presentations are added. If you see something really interesting, you can share it in your network via updates or shares, and even add it to your own profile. You can add up to 3 presentations to your profile. Whether you choose to use Google Docs, Slideshare or even both for different formats of presentation, a well made infomercial (video), about you will get plenty of clicks and go further to telling your story.
Projects and Teamspaces.
This allows collaborative working via your profile. You can set, share and track projects, communicate, contribute and share amongst a fixed group. You can control who gets access and add the project widget to your profile.
Another shared working platform. Huddle allows you to run multiple projects at the same time, giving access and sharing via your profile page. The free version gives you 1GB of space, and shares project and presentation software without the need for you to download it. I have used huddle in the past and found it to be an excellent shared workspace for collaboration amongst connections. Log in to your Huddle can be controlled to certain contacts according to project, and can be displayed on your profile page.
Powered by Trippit. This application shows your up and coming journeys and a timetable. great if you are travelling and you want to make your connections of where you will be when. this can be useful if you travel a lot, and gives you a share option to let local connections know you will be in the area, ideal for impromptu face to face meetings. Displays you up and coming travel on your profile, and a few other interesting stats, it even shows you connections making simmilar journeys close to yours, great networking opportunity.
SAP Community Bio.
Only useful for those that are SAP profesionals. If you are, you can now add your SAP credentials, postings, qualifications, references to projects worked on and more to your profile. This turns your profile in to a detailed reference point. If your in SAP, you need to add it.
Creative Portfollio Display.
If you are creative, or work in the creative industries, you can display your work on your profile via this application. Add your portfollio of work to allow visitors to your profile to see what you can do. If your a creative, this should really feature top of the page.
This displays any events you are either attending or interested in attending. It’s also a useful place to search for events that are coming up and may be of interest. By showing your events on your profile, you create reasons to connect.
This application has 2 options. you can either show all your tweets on your proile or just post updates using from twitter, tweetdeck or a simmilar platform by using #in after your tweet. To be honest, I think all your tweets on your profile look messy, and informal ones not relevant. Activating the update only function can mean that if you retweet a post with #in at the end, it is added to your profile as an update. Some savvy bloggers do this to get extra exposure, so think carefully before adding it to your profile, and get your settings right. I prefer to update in reverse, from linked In to Twitter. This also displays attachments in full and makes sharing among connections much easier.
The one feature of the twitter application I really like is the follow function, that shows me the Linked In connections I’m not following on twitter, and gives me the facility to connect with them. Quick engagment is far more likely in Twitter than Linked In.
There are a number of other news update applications for lawyers (rankings), real estate agents (to display there lists) and nnnews from the FT. I have not gone in to these in detail, but take a look.
Thats quite a lot of changes, ammendments and sections you can add to your profile. You can bring it to life as an interactive site, rather than a static reference page. Can you really consider your profile 100% now, just because Linked In tells you it is?
Before you rush off to look at my Linked In profile, and notice that a few of my recommendations are missing, I’m in the middle of an update. i was checking all of these features to choose my own bling, when I thought that what I found was worth sharing with you. I will let you know when my profile is finnished so that you can post feedback, good or bad!
What plans do you have for changing your profile? What really works for you now and what extra features would you like to see?
Please share your thoughts in comments, be the ambassador of your profile, and go get that bling.
All photo credits go to Linked In