Job-Hunt 15 MinuteGuideTHIRDEDITIONSmart Personal Brandingwith LinkedInHow to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Personal Brandand Land a New Job Faster!By Meg Guiseppi of ExecutiveCareerBrand.com,Personal Branding and Executive Job Search Strategist for the C-SuiteUS News& World ReportTop Site forFinding WorkJob-Hunt.orgForbesBest of the Webfor Job HuntingJob-Hunt.orgJob-Hunt is a registered trademark of NETability, Inc.PC MagazineBest of the Internetfor CareersJob-Hunt.org
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInLinkedIn, Personal Branding and the New World of JobSearch in the Digital AgeFor successful executive job search today, you’ll need to: Focus your efforts on specific employers who will be a mutual good fit, Target and research these employers to pinpoint what makes you a good fitand how you can help them meet their current needs, Define your personal brand around the areas of expertise and qualificationsthey need, Create brand-reinforcing content for your job search documents and online/social media personal marketing, and Network your way into a job.Your personal marketing content must be designed to resonate with your target employers and differentiate theunique value you offer, over candidates competing against you.At a minimum, you’ll need a resume, biography, cover letters and a LinkedIn profile. To learn how to write thisand other content, see my post, How to Build Personal Brand Content for Executive Job Search.8 Reasons LinkedIn Is a Job Search Must1. Your branded LinkedIn profile helps position your promise of value to your target employers, advance yourthought leadership, and expand your brand community.2. Recruiters have embraced LinkedIn as their #1 tool for referrals, candidate research and sourcing, and forpublishing job openings. That makes LinkedIn one of the best places to be found online by recruiters andhiring decision makers.3. LinkedIn constantly adds new features and tools to help you advance your job search and career.4. Networking to uncover leads and stay top-of mind with people who can help you are the best ways to landyour next great gig. LinkedIn is the most important place for professional social networking.5. Many of the people competing for the jobs you want, with the employers you’re targeting, are using LinkedInto be found and network their way into these jobs. Just to keep pace with them, you need to do the same.6. Having a strong, fully fleshed out, keyword-rich LinkedIn profile boosts high-quality search results for “yourname”. When hiring professionals do a Google search on “your name” to assess you (a standard practice),your LinkedIn profile will likely show up within the first 3 search results.1 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedIn7. Having a strong LinkedIn profile indicates that you’re social media savvy and up-to-date with the new worldof work. NOT having a strong LinkedIn profile can actually be detrimental to your job search.8. Your LinkedIn profile provides critical “social proof” corroborating the claims you’ve made about yourself onpaper (resume, biography, cover letters, etc.).Building Your Branded LinkedIn ProfileBe aware as you use LinkedIn that, due to the ever-changing nature of social media, LinkedIn continuouslytweaks and updates features, and changes the User Interface. Changes happen overnight. Features discussedhere may have vanished, or may not function as I describe them. For up-to-date information about usingLinkedIn, go to LinkedIn Help.As you’re building your LinkedIn profile and leveraging the site to advance your job search, refer to my post,Essential Checklist to Optimize LinkedIn For Executive Job Search.First, A Few Words About KeywordsLinkedIn is a search engine. Executive recruiters and other hiring professionals search LinkedIn for candidates like you by using relevant keywords andphrases. These keywords usually represent your areas of expertise or hardskills. The more of the right keywords your profile contains, the more findable you’ll be. You'll see examples of relevant keywords in the ProfessionalHeadline and Summary section descriptions below.Your entire LinkedIn profile should be packed with your relevant keywords – while still being readable and interesting to humans, not just the search engine. Fill out every profile section that applies to you, with as muchcontent as you can. The more keyword-rich content in your profile, the better your personal SEO (Search EngineOptimization) . . . making you more visible and findable to people who can help you reach your career goals.Pay particular attention to keyword density in these sections: Professional Headline Summary Section Job Titles in the Experience Section Skills & Endorsements2 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInProfessional HeadlinePump it up with the relevant key words yourtarget audience will be looking for. You can packquite a punch with the 120 characters allowed.Which of the following headlines, for the sameexecutive, do you think will make her profile moresearchable and compelling, and capture attentionbetter?CEO - [Current Company]ORCEO - Global Operations Change Agent Entrepreneurial Startups Crisis, Recovery & Turnaround Management Remember that your professional headline follows you everywhere on LinkedIn in a mini pop-up giving viewersa brief snapshot of who you are – when you share an update, post a Pulse article, participate in Groupactivities, invite people to join your network, etc.PhotoChoose your LinkedIn photo wisely. This is the first thing people are likely to see whenthey open your LinkedIn profile. Choose an appealing photo that strikes the right imageand professional tone for your industry and niche. For consistency, use the same photoeverywhere else online.Discussions persist over whether including your photo can cause people to discriminateagainst you. You may have good reason not to include a photo, but I encourage you toinclude one. Branding is about creating emotional connections. People believe content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo.Your Public Profile URLThe default URL ends in an indistinct jumble of letters and numbers. Maximize your profile’s searchability bypersonalizing it with your name. This is what my LinkedIn URL looks like:www.linkedin.com/in/megguiseppiIf you have a common name or one that’s already taken, you’ll have to play around with this. Include yourmiddle initial, or just use your first initial, or first and middle initials.3 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInOnce you change your profile URL, be sure to change it anywhere else you’ve placed the link – resume, otheronline profiles, email signature, etc.Contact Information Fill in your personal email, IM and phone. Don’t use any company contact information. And it’s not a goodidea to include your home address here, for your safety and online security. Fill in your Twitter and other social networking info, if you’re active on these sites.WebsitesInclude links to up to 3 web pages associated with you and your brand. If you don’t have a blog or website, thisis a great place to put a link to your online career portfolio, any notable recent press about you, a relevant whitepaper you published online, etc. The idea is to lead people to more brand-reinforcing information about you.Tip: Optimize your profile by associating the link with what’s actually on the web page. When naming yourwebsites or web pages, use searchable and relevant terms. Instead of “My Blog” or “My Website”, use theactual name of the blog or website if it’s keyword-rich, or something like “My Turnaround Management Blog”.ConnectionsOpinions differ on whether it’s more important to amass a lot of connections or concentrateon building fewer high quality connections. That’s up to you, but be aware that the more connections you have, the wider you’ve cast your net for opportunities. And note that having atleast 500 connections will boost your ranking in LinkedIn search, making you more findable.In the menu across the top left hand of your LinkedIn profile, check out the options under "MyNetwork" for building your network.SummaryThe Summary section is where you begin telling your personal brand story, to differentiate the value you offerover your competitors. Storytelling allows you to make a more vibrant connection with people than the dryresume-speak too often used here.Weave together your key “hard” skills (areas of expertise that represent your relevant keywords, or personalSEO) and “soft” skills (personal attributes, leadership qualities, passions, people skills, etc.). Think of this section as a brief biography. I advise using first person voice here, that is, the word “I”.My Personal Branding Worksheet will help you develop content that balances personal SEO with personalbranding. Try to get across what you’re like to work with and how you get things done. Generate some chemistry!4 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInCreate a lead-in paragraph for the Summary section that will draw people in and entice them to want to readyour entire profile. Which of these lead-ins for the same executive captures attention better and indicates hispromise of value?Business Development and Operations ManagementExperienced in new business development, technology solutions, acquisitions and divestitures, and customerservice improvement.ORC-level Global Business Development and Operations ManagementBest-of-Breed Technology Solutions . Major Acquisitions & DivestituresExceptional financial acumen with vast P&L experienceA “think big” business turnaround expert who invents strategies that shape the market, I recently stimulateddeclining business in shrinking markets to deliver double-digit revenue growth with up to 3-times margingrowth. By re-engaging lost customers, capturing international growth opportunities, increasing partnershipsand optimizing thought leadership, my strategic planning revitalizes brand positioning and market presence,and unifies all stakeholders.Strategies to elevate your LinkedIn Summary section: Add a quote of yours or someone else’s to showcase the value youFormatting Tipoffer.LinkedIn may not accept somegraphic bullet points that you Add 3-5 bullet points to highlight hard-hitting achievements and/used in your resume, but youcan get visual impact withor metrics, focused around your top relevant keywords and phrases,various characters right on yourwith a brief description of how you achieved these things.keyboard, such as:* - Include a brief paragraph about why you chose your profession orindustry. For visual appeal, include plenty of white space and short paragraphs. Add some pizzazz with special characters. Break down the information into sub-sections, with headers in all caps. Leave a little room at the bottom of the Summary to list misspellings and variations of your name, so thatpeople using them to search for you will still find your profile.Your Articles & ActivityPostsOnce you begin writing posts for the LinkedIn Pulse platform, your posts will land in this section, right belowthe Summary section, highlighted by whatever image you use at the top of each article you post.5 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInWhat's so great about posting on LinkedIn's Pulse?Just like running your own blogsite, you’ll be building your personal brand . . . demonstrating your subjectmatter expertise and thought leadership, and communicating your personality and good-fit qualities for theemployers you’re targeting.But also, because they’re on LinkedIn, your Pulse articles will draw people to your LinkedIn profile and keep you topof-mind with your LinkedIn network. Each time you publish a new Pulse post, your LinkedIn network is notified.The immediate impact of having your most recent articles land at thetop of your profile: Supports the claims you’ve made in your profile about your expertise. Shows you have something to say about your industry and vocation. Demonstrates that you’re up-to-date with social media and know how toleverage LinkedIn.ExperienceThis section zeros in on your scope of responsibilities for each of your jobs, along with the top contributionsyou made while in each job, that will be relevant to your target employers.Each job, of course, should include the company name, location, your title, and beginning and ending dates youheld the job. As noted earlier, job titles are important places for personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization).You can add several relevant keywords and phrases to each actual job title, as space allows.Start each job description with a brief description of the company (you’ll only need to do this once, if you heldseveral jobs at that company), including size of the company and services/products.In a few sentences, describe your scope of responsibility including budgets you managed (type and amount),major clients/customers (if applicable), number of people managed and their positions. Include any specialcircumstances about why you were hired.Then follow with 4-5 bullet points (if space allows), showcasing your top contributions, in terms of what will bemost important to your target employers. Lead these points with the WOW result first and surround each onewith white space for better impact.For added impact, you may want to lead each job description with your top contribution, that will be mostrelevant to your target employers.If space allows, you can also insert a quote here from someone you worked with about your value to the company.If you’ve held several positions within the same company, complete a separate experience section for eachone, even if you can’t come up with enough content to fill out each one.6 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInMany LinkedIn experts, including me, suggest that you include your employment history all the way back tothe beginning, even if it isn’t on your resume and may indicate your age. The thinking is that people searchingthose early company names will find you.EducationAs with the Experience section, fill in all of your education information, going back to the beginning. Add inspecifics, as applicable.Skills & EndorsementsA "Skill" endorsement is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the skills listed on your profile, or those suggested by LinkedIn.An endorsement is not the same as a “Recommendation”, whichis a written narrative submitted by a connection in support of yourexpertise and value.A high number of endorsements for skills representing your besttalents supports your personal brand and adds credibility to yourcandidacy in job search and in doing business. These endorsements validate that you really do possess theseskills, and they add value to your profile. Since these skills are also relevant keywords and phrases, a solid listshould boost your profile search ranking.Pull together a list of your top 50 skills (or areas of expertise), and post them to your profile in order of importance to your target employers. Then you can reach out to your connections individually and ask them to endorse you to build up your numbers. And you’ll see others you haven’t asked add endorsements to your profile.LinkedIn lets you reorder and delete skills. Come back, say, every few months or so, and repeat to keep thissection up to date.Additional Profile Sections and Information: Use all the sections that apply to s & AwardsPatentsTest ScoresLanguagesOrganizations7 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInRecommendationsKeep building up brand and value-reinforcing recommendations within each job you’ve held. Nothing speaks toyour unique value proposition better than what others who know your work best have to say about you.If they’re amenable, it’s okay to help people write a brief paragraph or two by providing them a little information about the kinds of positions you’re seeking, so that they can align what they write with what hiringdecision makers will be looking for. Let them know which attributes, skills, and achievements you’d like them tohighlight.Tip: Write LinkedIn recommendations for people you work with. They’ll be much more likely to reciprocate witha recommendation for you.LinkedIn GroupsLinkedIn Groups are all about learning, positioning yourself as a subject matterexpert (SME) and thought leader, and staying top-of-mind with your network.To help you land a job faster, your network on LinkedIn should include recruitersand hiring decision makers at your target companies, and others who can helpEXPERTyou reach your career goals. Steady, gentle reminders of the value you offer willhelp position you as a potential good-fit for your target companies.How to Use LinkedIn Groups to Position Yourself as a Subject MatterExpertJoin relevant Groups – search the profiles of top-level executives, Board members and/or hiring decision makers, and other employees at your target companies.And LinkedIn offers 2 ways to find new Groups:1. Search for groups by name or keyword: In the search box at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, type key words or group name of interest and clickSearch. On the search results page, click the Groups tab.2. Browse groups recommended for you by LinkedIn: Click the “Work” icon in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select Groups from the dropdown. Click Discover at the top of the page to view suggested groups. You can then request membership by clicking the Ask to join button.8 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInAdditional LinkedIn Profile Branding and Job Search TipsOnce you’ve completed your profile, check out the other LinkedIn features you’ll find in the menu at the top ofyour profile, such as SlideShare, ProFinder, Jobs, etc.Possible Updates to Share:Share an Update Keep your LinkedIn network and those viewing yourprofile current with your latest activities. An online article, blog post, or white paperyou’ve published An event or seminar you’re presenting A new project you’re working on A significant accomplishment or contribution to your company Activities with your networks or LinkedIn Groups An important seminar or event you’ll be attendingor have attendedLinkedIn notifies your network whenever you refreshthis or any other part of your profile, which keepsyou and your brand value top-of-mind with them. To access this feature, click on “Home” in the menuat the top of your profile. To the left of your photo,you'll see "Share an article, photo, or update”. As you create the update, include a link to more about it, if applicable. This area also represents anotheropportunity to brand your profile with relevant key words. Add hashtags at the beginning of each relevantkeyword and keyword phrase to make your commentary moresearchable.Typos and poor grammar can discredit you.Meticulously check spelling and grammar. Have a few otherpeople proofread and edit for you.Pay special attention to all that lands “above the fold”in your profile.Whatever is on the screen when people open your profile is obviously the first thing they’ll see, and can makeor break your chances to be considered. Take advantage of what you can do here to immediately capture attention and promote your personal brand and value proposition to employers.Make them want to scroll down to read your entire profile. Just as with your resume, it’s wise to move up toabove the fold those pivotal achievements and contributions that would otherwise be buried in the Professional Experience section, further down in your profile.Sprinkle a few select key words and phrases relevant to your target and niche throughout yourprofile.You’ll rank higher for these terms when people conduct a LinkedIn people search. If you land within the firstfew results, they’re much more likely to click through to your profile.9 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInFor instance, if you’re all about “Turnaround Management”, make sure the phrase appears in your professionalheadline, summary section, and a few times in the professional section. But resist over-packing your profilewith the same relevant key words. Remember that human eyeballs are reviewing your profile, too. Make it acompelling and interesting read.Choose your privacy settings.Go to the “Settings & Privacy” tab at the top of your profile and be sure your profile is completely open to search –especially that your “Public Profile” is set to display full profile information, so that it’s fully accessible to search engines.Lead people to your LinkedIn profile.Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume, along with your contact information at the top, and inyour email signature, your website/blog (if you have one) amd elsewhere.Use LinkedIn for research and market intelligence.The more information you have about your target employers, the better prepared you'll be to position yourselfas a good-fit hire for them, as you network and interview for jobs. Here's how and where to conduct researchon LinkedIn: Search profiles of candidates like you, using your relevant keywords. Study the details on LinkedIn Company profiles of your target employers. Use them to assess the company and to identify employees. Look at the profiles of employees of your target employers. Connect with them and scan their profiles for market intelligence andrelevant keywords to boost your personal SEO. Search job listings for your target employers on LinkedIn “Jobs”(on the main menu bar). A wealth of information about the company is provided in these descriptions.How to Keep Your Job Search Undercover on LinkedInFirst, it needs to be stressed that, no matter how many safeguards you put in place, some people may noticeif you’re making changes to your profile to gear up for job search, and suspect what you’re up to. I advise thatyou have a ready answer, in case people ask.Even though you’re looking elsewhere, be sure that all the content in your profile and all of your LinkedInactivities, support your current employer and yourself as an employee of that company or organization. Luckily,this strategy will also support, and provide evidence, of the value you offer your target employers.10 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInTips to keep your job search confidential: Perhaps this is obvious. Don't note anywhere on your profile, oranywhere on LinkedIn or elsewhere online, that you're seekingemployment. You should belong to some LinkedIn Groups that focus on jobsearch, but don’t start conversations in those Groups. You’llinstantly be “outed”. Just read and learn from these Groups. Turn off notifications to your network before you make anychanges to your profile. Change your "Profile viewing options" to "Private mode" before you view the profiles of people with jobssimilar to yours and those working at your target companies. They will not know you've viewed their profilesto gain competitive intelligence. Add or change large chunks of profile content slowly, over a few days, so that you won’t suddenly have abrand new profile.11 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
www.job-hunt.orgSmart Personal Branding with LinkedInAbout the Author: Meg GuiseppiMeg Guiseppi has been partnering with c-suite and senior-level executives for more than20 years to help them differentiate and strategically position their unique ROI for today'sexecutive job search, and Land a GREAT-FIT New Gig! The Personal Branding Expert at Job-Hunt.org, Meg has been featured and quoted inForbes, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal's FINS, Inc.com, Fortune, CMO.com, PBS’ Next Avenue, and many other esteemed publications.Meg has written several ebooks including “23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How YourBrand Will Help You Land” and “20 Little-Known, Insider Tips to Accelerate Your Executive Job Search.”She has earned 10 professional certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, ReachSocial Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master.Meg Guiseppi Contact InformationEmail: [email protected]: twitter.com/megguiseppiExecutive Career Brand blogsite: www.executivecareerbrand.comAbout Job-Hunt.orgJob-Hunt.org (don't forget that hyphen between the “job” and the “hunt”) is a free guide providing excellent practicalhow-to job search advice from genuine experts to help you have a smarter and safer – also shorter – job search.Advice includes topics such as protecting your privacy, practicing personal search engine optimization (SEO) andpersonal online reputation management, avoiding job scams, working with recruiters, and finding jobs plus the bestmethods to successfully leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media for a successful job search.Assisting job seekers since 1995, Job-Hunt has won much recognition for the quality of the content, and our goalis to continue to deserve that recognition. Recently, Forbes chose Job-Hunt.org as one of the 100 Top Websitesfor Your Career. In the past it has been recognized by many organizations, publications, and websites for thequality of the content, including the US Department of Labor, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TheChicago Sun TImes, and The Los Angeles Times newspapers as well as magazines like TIME, FORTUNE, andNewsweek, and websites like Forbes.com, AARP.org, USNews.com, AOL.com, and many, many others.Contact InformationEmail: [email protected] Twitter: Twitter.com/JobHuntOrg Office: 508-624-626112 2017, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use without prior approval.
My Personal Branding Worksheet will help you develop content that balances personal SEO with personal . branding. Try to get across what you’re like to work with and how you get things done. Generate some chemistry! 5 Smart Personal