For years, LinkedIn was the ugly stepchild of Facebook … a little more professional, a little harder to use, a little less fun. In the last several years, however, LinkedIn has earned widespread recognition for its ability to bring professionals, such as project planners or project management experts, together in an environment unsullied by embarrassing photos or notes on what you ate for breakfast.
Because of this, it is now crucial that you develop a polished profile that clearly states what you do, who you do it for and how you can help others. This is not only one of the best ways to bring in business these days, it proves you’re dedicated to your craft. When first using LinkedIn, though, it’s easy to feel lost in the weeds. Follow these 8 tips to create the project controls LinkedIn profile of your dreams.
1. Create a Strong Headline
Your headline is the most important part of your profile. Just because LinkedIn provides a handy default doesn’t mean you have to use it, says Forbes. Instead, make your headline stand out by using keywords, stating your value and adding your own unique twist. Instead of “Project Planner at XYZ Construction,” for instance, try “Expert at achieving project objectives, improving processes and implementing change management. Addicted to timeliness.”
2. Choose an Appropriate Picture
This one is harder than it sounds. Sure, you know to keep alcohol out of the shot and leave Fido at home, but even doing that won’t guarantee your photo is professional. The Undercover Recruiter advises sticking to a digital file and never taking a photograph of a photograph … no matter how good it is. And although black and white may be tempting, use color: it’s more representative of you.
3. Hone Your Summary
The summary is your one chance to grab an interested viewer by the horns and tell them your story. Use the full amount of space to tell a story about your career: why you got started, what thrills you, how you can help people to tell their stories or build their dreams.
4. Get Quality Connections Quickly
So you’re a busy planner & scheduler and don’t have a lot of time to devote to LinkedIn, but you know connections are important. What do you do? Don’t get spammy; instead, get smart. Connect with people whose email addresses you have, who you know through work or your children’s school, whom you might have networked with in the past. Connect with anyone you can, as long as you actually know them, and always leave a personalized note. Add yourself to LinkedIn groups to get in touch with even more like-minded professionals … once you strike up a relationship, they can become part of your network too.
5. Use Multimedia Wherever Possible
LinkedIn now offers fantastic multimedia functionality, so don’t ignore it. Use it to display past projects, share images of on-site progress and presentations you’re proud of, and anything else that might add to your professional credibility in the world of project controls. You could even scan and post any relevant training certificates you’ve earned.
6. Give and Ask for Recommendations
Recommendations are a great way to earn credibility. If you’re a project controls expert, for instance, start by recommending others in that field for the types of skills you’d like to be recommended for. As you build your network and add value to others’ profiles, you can start to request recommendations too.
7. Remember SEO
Search Engine Optimization is crucial, even for your LinkedIn profile. If you want to attract attention, use relevant keywords throughout your profile such as “project controls” or “project planning” to tell people and search engines what you do.
8. Spread the Word
Don’t let your shiny new profile languish in obscurity. Instead, use it! Link to it from your other social media profiles and put it on your business cards and brochures. Direct prospects to it as a place where they can find out more about your work, and don’t be shy about including it on your blog, in your email signature and at the end of presentations. Building a quality LinkedIn profile and getting it out there takes some doing, but if you work at it, you’ll make a mark sooner than you think.