What does an Incomplete LinkedIn Profile Say About You?
LinkedIn has become the defacto standard for businesses to research potential employees, keep an eye on the competition, and watch their employees to see if they are looking for work elsewhere. While it is true that the employer cannot directly tell when someone is looking for work, it is true that most people only update their profiles when they are starting to look - therefore the conclusion can be drawn that a surge in activity on LinkedIn means an employee who is ready to jump ship.
Additionally, people are looking to LinkedIn more and more for talent and expert guidance. One never knows when an opportunity will be around the corner. To maximize these opportunities, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field. If you can become the expert in your field, the opportunities will come.
The first step in your LinkedIn strategy is to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete. Here is a look at what is required for a complete profile
- Your industry and location - it is imperative that you accurately and correctly choose the industry that you are associated with and the location. Many searches are based around both of these as well as the inclusion and acceptance into groups which are the most underutilized but most important features of LinkedIn and establishing yourself as an expert.
- An up-to-date current position (with a description) - It is also extremely important that your most recent position be shown. Many people are routinely checking LinkedIn to see what their colleagues are up to and this is your circle of influence. Any one of these people may have business opportunities or serve as a connector to help generate business
- Two past positions - While you do not need to get lengthy and show your entire history, at least your last two positions will show where you have come from. Additionally, these positions will help you with the identification of connections that may have slipped your mind and will help you build your connections
- Your education - This is a great opportunity to show your educational background and show off the degrees that you worked so hard for.
- Your skills (minimum of 3) - The more skills the better. If you working to establish yourself as an expert, than skills based around your expertise is great. Keep them focused- you are working to be an expert not a jack of all trades
- A profile photo - So many people don't do this. Many people share names with others and you cannot expect people to know your background. This is the time to be personable. Put a professionally looking photo on LinkedIn so that connections know who they are connecting with.
- At least 50 connections - This is the most important point. The whole purpose of social networking is to "network" and connect. LinkedIn wants a minimum of 50 connections for a completed profile. At Inbound Marketing Agents we like each of our people to have a least 500 and many of our people are in the 1000's. This is where you are going to be able to establish yourself as an industry expert. The more connections that you have, the more people that you will be able to reach. The following is an example of one of our employees reach:
- 775 1st Level Connections (this person can reach directly out 775 people through LinkedIn
- 2,567,341 2nd Level Connections (there are over 2 million people on LinkedIn that you can use a 1st level connection to get an introdution to)
- 10,007,552 3rd Level Connections (Over 10 Million people that can be reached through 2 introductions)
While this is a start to the process, we should always remember that when filling out our profile, we need to be SEO conscious - additional tips can be found in 4 quick tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
The power of LinkedIn and social networking is truly astounding and can seem overwhelming at times. By taking your first step by having a complete profile you can begin to position yourself to become the industry expert and bring these connections to you.