Saturday, November 22, 2008

So what's in your LinkedIn profile?

I have a couple of clients who are excellent business executives with great web sites and powerful marketing materials.  Still, they have the most Godawful Linkedin profiles.    To paraphrase that credit company, "They don't know what's in their LinkedIn profile."

Here's why have a good Linkedin profile is important.  First, a lot of people check the web to get information about you and LinkedIn can direct them to information about you, your work and your company. Unlike most other web sites, the folks at this California networking site allow you to control how the whole world perceives you.   While my profile isn't perfect, I have spent some time and effort updating it.    And, just like any web document, a Linkedin profile is a work in progress.

So, here are a couple of points for those who have the Steve Martin version of what I would term as the "I was born a poor black child" LinkedIn profile.  In other words, you  may have entered a name and the the dates they started their duties with a new company   There is nothing else to it, and it leaves the reader wondering about you and your qualifications.  If you are in any form of community outreach, sales or marketing, having this abbreviated form of a LinkedIn profile is like wearing Bermuda plaid shorts and a dirty T-shirt to a job interview.

To overcome this poor effort in your marketing effort with your LinkedIn profile, I would suggest the following:

1)  Take a pad of paper and outline your key points for every job you ever held.  Then, write it up into your Linkedin profile.
2)  Ask a trusted advisor or friend like my good friend and colleague, Jay Fraser, to serve as your grammar enforcer.  Allow them to nitpick it for errors and suggestions on how to improve it.
3)  Reach out to others within your industry.   LinkedIn allows you to share with others in your industry.  Looking for a way to improve a process.  Your colleagues will share their input with you, especially if you reside in San Antonio, and their base of operations is Baltimore.
4)  Ask your friends, former bosses and other colleagues to comment on your work.  These third party endorsements allow you to convince others that you truly are the best in your business.

Finally, here are some great Linkedin profiles that should give you some inspiration for how to make it better:

Brian Massey: One of the best Linkedin profiles on the web because it gives you a sense of what the Conversion Scientist does for a living.
David Smith:   Another great profile because it chronicles the CEO of HBMG's achievements for the past 30 years.
Michael Kelly:  My friend Mike Kelly's LinkedIn profile shows how endorsements legitimize his efforts and acchievements throughout his military and civilian career.

A LinkedIn profile like these allow you to take advantage of the changes in today's marketing channels.  There is no cost for setting one up, but with a little time and effort it can help open your doors to new opportunities and connections.


JF said...

Matthew, none of the hoylinks to your highlighted profiles work, They all lead to:

Profile Not Found
An exact match for mattscherer%20 could not be found.

LinkedIn users have access to advanced people search functionality, including search by last name only, find similar names, as well as search by company, industry and other keywords.

"Me thinks" that you copied something extra... VERSUS

bogie said...

I almost look at my linked in profile as a sort of career blog... What have I done lately? What have done in the past? What am I doing right now?

No, it's not buttoned down and conservative, but if everyone bought suits at Brooks Brothers, nobody else would look like Matt...

Brian Massey said...

Here's a good trick: When adding your Blog to your profile, choose "Other" instead of "My Blog". When you choose this option, you are given an extra blank to enter whatever link text you like.

That's why the link to my blog appears as The The Conversion Scientist on my profile instead of "My Blog".

David said...

Matt, Thanks, One of the ways I love to use Linkein is to look at what people have done in the past. The ones with only the current info drives me crazy!

thomascomedia said...

Matt, I use LindedIn to meet new professionals to gain knowledge in areas I am weak in and business. I have gained new clients by becoming active in the Q&A area.