GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Building your personal brand is becoming an increasingly important subject for career-seeking professionals in 2022. People are constantly seeking to have an influence and initiate change within their communities, and with the rise of social media influencers and online entrepreneurs, standing out in a crowd is becoming increasingly difficult. Cultivating a credible, authentic, and employable personal brand on LinkedIn can elevate you to new opportunities and pave the way for a successful career in any industry.
With 70% of employers using social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 48% using social media to monitor current employees according to a survey by CareerBuilder, building your personal brand is more important now than ever.
A personal brand is the way in which you choose to represent yourself to others. This includes your online presence, your interests, tone of voice, your reputation – it is what separates you from everyone else.
LinkedIn for Personal Branding
According to their website, LinkedIn boasts 800 million members from 200 countries worldwide with 180 million users in the United States. People search for jobs, post-thought-leadership content, and conduct company research all within this platform and it is the prime place to establish your personal/professional brand.
Personalize your connection requests on LinkedIn. It is vital to connect with people you may know or have met with somewhere down the line of your professional career such as people you went to high school with, graduated college with, or encountered through previous work experience.
According to Findstack, LinkedIn has passed the half-billion user mark. This number is only projected to continue to grow according to the CEO, Jeff Weiner, who states LinkedIn’s goal is to reach 3 billion users. This allows users more connections than they could have ever imagined around the globe.
You can personalize your request for a connection by visiting an individual’s profile and clicking the “connect” button. This will bring up a box that allows you to add a personal note with the connection request. It is also good to consider connecting with people you may not know but hold a similar role in a different company. For example:
Hi _____, it was nice to chat with you at the networking event today. I would love to connect!
2. Profile Appearance
Choosing the right profile picture for LinkedIn is essential when it comes to your connections. Your profile picture is a way of introducing yourself to everyone in the professional world and the first impression you make. Be yourself, upload a picture that shows authentically who you are and represents your personality.
LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 21x more visitors and 36x more messages. A profile with professional photos gets more visitors and messages than a profile with no image.
3. About Section
It is imperative to have a summary section telling your connections about who you are and what you are passionate about. This section is a chance to tell your story and include pertinent professional skills. The about section is a personal piece of content marketing, so it is worth taking the time to draft a few summaries up and run it past different people you know.
4. Professional Experience Section
When writing about your professional experience on LinkedIn, focus on actions and results. Establishing credibility through key skillsets is important as it allows potential employers to get a gauge on your employability within their organization. Companies want to see how your skillsets have translated into business results – proving your value as a professional (see example below):
Create public relations strategy, pitch compelling stories, write press releases, and establish relationships with local media outlets. Landed 22 media hits from August to January.
This strategy allows you to build your personal brand by establishing professional credibility.
5. Skills, Endorsements, Recommendations
One of the best ways to get a quick win on LinkedIn is through listing skills that are relevant to you and apply to your personal skillset. Listing skills that are relevant to you help to solidify your headline and summary while providing a way for connections to endorse your skills.
Being endorsed by your connections increases your credibility. A good way to start this is by doing it yourself. Going through your connections on LinkedIn and endorsing them for their skills, sometimes the favor is returned – helping to boost your reputation and credibility as a professional.
Taking the time to build your LinkedIn will result in success. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you establish credibility for thought-leadership to your connections and grow in your career. Working through this basic strategy and building a great profile on LinkedIn will establish a solidified personal brand.