In the professional world, LinkedIn serves as a multi-purpose social media platform. It allows others to see your background, experience, credentials, network, even your physical appearance – basically, it’s your entire online footprint rolled into one. It is what others use to find out who you are and what you do. Therefore, taking control of your professional branding is essential in building your career. So what does your profile say about you?
• Having a complete profile speaks volumes about you as a professional. It shows that you put a lot of thought into your professional branding, which includes a nice headshot, a full description of work experience and education, along with reputable recommendations.
• Another important part of your profile is your picture. This is most likely the first thing viewers see. The wrong photo could send the wrong message, such as a cropped picture of you from last year’s holiday card. A studio photo, or even one in a professional setting, shows sophistication and leaves a positive image, especially to prospects.
• Your connections, or lack thereof, say a lot about you as well. Having 800 connections can mean that you just befriended every single person you can possibly find on LinkedIn whether you know them or not, or it can also mean that you have a very large network of quality connections. On the other hand, having very few connections shows that you hardly use your profile and are not taking advantage of its immense networking capabilities.
Online branding is essential in the business professionals’ world. It showcases who you are and what you are capable of. The best part is that you are in complete control of it, which many professionals often overlook. Controlling the message of how you are perceived shows you care about your career, demonstrates that you are current with the social media trend and will ultimately help grow your professional network into a reputable one.