LinkedIn: sell yourself. Don’t hold back.

Just as your company website “About Us” page may be not quite as dynamic as you’d like it to be, could the same also be said of your personal “About Us” page …nowadays also known as your LinkedIn profile? This is something which continues to grow in importance, in my opinion, and shouldn’t be considered just as an online CV for those looking to change jobs.

LinkedIn does show you who’s looked at your profile recently, and that alone might throw up a few interesting names. However, many other people who aren’t signed in also see the fundamentals, and I suspect they might include folks both inside and outside of your company who could be useful or important to you. Every salesperson I know uses LinkedIn to help build up a picture of important prospects, but it won’t just be salespeople who use it. Indeed, when I’m on the phone to people, I often find myself idly typing their name into LinkedIn.

While nobody ever got fired for having a boring LinkedIn profile, it really doesn’t take much effort to make yours a good one, and who knows when that might turn out to be useful?

The most important part is the summary. This is the bit where you get to define yourself. It’s a couple of hundred words to say why you’re the sort of person you’d like to think you are. You might want to use this to sell your company, if you have a major stake in it, as I’ve done in my own summary (constantly under development!). But more likely you’ll want to sell yourself. Don’t hold back. And cross out all those buzzwords. If you’d genuinely describe yourself to a friend as “analytical” or “organisational”, then fair enough, use terms like that. Otherwise, stick to colloquial English.

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