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Is your LinkedIn profile like the Emperor with no clothes?

Most everyone knows the story about the Emperor with no clothes.

Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said: “But he has nothing on”!

We laugh at his pretentious ignorance of what he really looks like and think how gullible.

You probably wouldn’t go out the door to meet potential clients, employers, or customers without taking time to dress and groom yourself for the event.

In front of the whole world, don’t you want to look professional?

We try to look our best for interviews, networking events, and special gatherings. Yet, I find that when some people are building their profile on LinkedIn, they don’t bother. These same very professional people would make sure they took a shower, styled their hair, and dressed appropriately for the event.

On LinkedIn, you are presenting yourself to one of the largest potential professional networking groups in the world. With 200 million people now on LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to meet the world, literally, make sure you look complete.

You might think it is OK to be out there with a stripped down version of LinkedIn, but without  maximizing your profile, you miss the opportunity to explain who you really are and what goals brought you to LinkedIn.

7 Point LinkedIn checklist

  1. Maximize your Banner headline – 120 characters to say something. Don’t let that be filled with your job title or if you are unemployed with a “I need a job” kind of statement. Think personal branding. Spend time crafting the right message and keep it current. Use Adjectives that describe your best attributes – what you bring to the table and combine them with your areas of expertise.
  2. Complete your summary. 2000 characters here. Written in the “I” voice and personalized to sound less resume-y and more like you are meeting new friends because LinkedIn is like your own little networking event. Personalize and qualify your summary with attributes and key words that fit your goals whether you are an entrepreneur, career changer, or job seeker.
  3. Expand employment details. Give more than your title and company on your employment experience. People want to know what you do, what you bring to the table, and what makes you special.
  4. Finish your skills and expertise section. LinkedIn is very intuitive. In the add a skill area, three letters will generate a corresponding list of possible skills you may have. Type in  Cus for customer and you will get customer service, customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer profitability, and customer intelligence.
  5. Experiment with new sections.  Play with all the many options in LinkedIn. If you have publications, honors, volunteer causes, languages, test scores, or patents, LinkedIn has a section for that.
  6. Endorse – Individually endorse your friends and connections that you know you have skills you respect. Don’t use the auto-endorse that LinkedIn greets you with all the time, actually visit their profiles and see what skills they have that you can endorse.
  7. No auto-invites – Last but not least, when you do connect with someone, go to their profile and make the connection from there. Every once in awhile, I see the photo of someone I know and the auto-invitation goes out by accident but you need to personalize the invites. You can do that from the connect button on the profile but all the other convenient places where LinkedIn suggests people results in the dreaded auto-invite which resonates with the you’re not special to me message. Take the time and write at least two lines of a personal invite. Your connection will appreciate it.

You get the idea. Dress up your LinkedIn profile and if you want help, hire me!

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