|Author: Jean L. Serio|
LinkedIn is in the process of updating the Profile Page. Says LinkedIn "We are focused on making it easier for LinkedIn members to get more value out of the services we offer by creating simpler, more relevant, more social experiences." That said new changes, which will affect members most, are changes to the Profile Page. Will these changes affect you and your business, help or prevent you from getting hired?
The first change, which will immediately affect you, is LinkedIn is providing you with a larger frame for your photo.
What can this mean to you?
Dressing more professionally
Taking more time with grooming before a photo shoot
Springing for a professional photographer
Choosing a less casual photo
In the past, you may effectively used Adobe or snagged your face from a family, friends or group biz photo. With the new larger photo frame, you'll need one which shows only you. Making it more difficult to crop yourself from current group photos.
Regarding attire for photos:
While dressing for success has always been essential when job interview time comes 'round, when meeting new or potential clients, LinkedIn is now upping it's professionalism and yours. By providing you with a larger frame, for your photo. Allowing you take center stage on your Profile Page.
A 2010 national poll by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pa. provided the following invaluable information:
"Appearance" ranked second only to "communication skills" when respondents named qualities most often associated with professionalism."
Now, in order to stand out from your competition and the crowd, to make a good impression with potential clients who likely don't meet you before hiring, you must provide a clear, current, professional looking profile photo of yourself. How you create that photo, or whether you have a pro snap you, is your choice. Just be sure it looks professional.
Virginia Tech's Division of Student Affairs tells students applying for all types of jobs - "Your choice of attire reflects your judgment. Your choices regarding your attire and appearance: Show how you choose to present yourself. Are a form of communication to the people you encounter". This is such good advice, it can aptly be applied to almost anyone appealing or applying to clients or companies to hire them.
LinkedIn Summary Changes:
More emphasis will also be placed on your Summary. When it comes to businesses, this should not be presented resume style. And will require more thought and presentation to hit the mark and get you hired.
Not only that, because competition is so fierce, your Summary will require some search engine optimization to reach those who want your unique services and products.
Now, you'll need some keyword research to discover what words potential clients actually search for to find you. If you're unfamiliar with keyword search, use Google's Free Adwords Search Tool.
In a recent LinkedIn workshop I hosted, I explained that LinkedIn is similar to Google in that it can be considered a type of search engine. Though considerably smaller, you still use it as one when you type names, groups and other info into the search box at the top of each page. This helps refine your search process. Assisting you in find the info you need.
There are several other Profile Page changes - job titles removed from the area next to your photo showing only education and experience, website info, emails, for example, will now be found by clicking the 'contact' button.
However, the two you should be most concerned with are your profile photo. Fleshing out, and search engine, optimizing your summary. Regarding photos - do members visiting pages even look at them? The answer is yes. LinkedIn stats show members consider people who don't upload a photo don't care enough about their presentation.
You bet they do! LinkedIN stats show people visiting pages of potential hires - whether for biz or a job - believe those with no photo don't care enough to take the time (to do it right).
Regarding dressing professionally, here's some sage advice from Image Consultant Sandy Dumont: "If you are not professionally attired, you won't get the job, even if you are the most qualified. Always dress better than required for an interview. Never dress down, because it is insulting to the other person. It says, 'I don't have to impress you; I dress for my own comfort.' When you dress to impress, they get it, and you will stand out from all the other candidates."
Jean L. Serio: LinkedIn allows you to reach your exact audience. Businesses and entrepreneurs interested in YOUR business, YOUR products, YOUR services. Discover how you can quickly become a LinkedIn Expert and easily tap into this HOT professional social networking site to build your biz, get new clients. Plus simple, effective ways to get more valuable biz connections. http://www.womensmarketingandbusinessnetwork.com/public/578.cfm
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