By Joe Appleton

LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world and the only network of its kind online today. It’s built specifically to help professionals connect and network with each other, and it’s a great tool for managing your personal brand and reputation online.

Completed profiles on LinkedIn usually rank within the top three to five results in Google searches, which means that your LinkedIn profile could help more people find you as you boost your brand and your business. Of course, if you want to use LinkedIn effectively, you’ll need to have a really great profile that sets you apart from other entrepreneurs and businesspeople in your niche or industry.

DO MORE WITH YOUR HEADLINE 

If you browse through LinkedIn profiles, you’ll find that a lot of users write a job description and leave it at that. That’s really not going to do anything for you, though. Instead, turn your job description into an engaging headline that really sells you. Make it compelling and specific.

WRITE A KILLER SUMMARY 

Below your headline and info, you’ll see that you can add a summary to your profile. This is where you can let your personality shine and show off a bit. Be professional, but talk about your brand, what drives you, what you specialize in, and your brand story. Tell people about what inspired your brand and why it’s destined for success.

If you really want people to read your summary and pick out the best things about you and your brand, though, avoid writing a lot of long, dense paragraphs. Break your writing up into shorter chunks that are easily digestible, and more people will take the time to read your full summary.

GET DETAILED IN YOUR EXPERIENCE SECTION 

Filling in your experience on LinkedIn can feel a lot like filling in a résumé, and if you already have a quality résumé, it can feel pretty redundant. Stop thinking of this section as a bunch of redundancies, though, and start thinking of it as your résumé on steroids.

On LinkedIn, you don’t have to pick and choose from which experiences to share or cut down on your job descriptions to fit everything on a single page. In fact, there’s no limit at all, and the more detailed you are (including using relevant keywords naturally throughout), the more likely you are to be found by the people you most want to connect with.

Furthermore, you don’t have to stick to bullet points in the descriptions for your jobs and experience, either. You can write a list of bullet points or a paragraph or two about the type of work you do or did. Sometimes a little context like this can go a long way.

GIVE ENDORSEMENTS TO GET ENDORSEMENTS 

Endorsements and recommendations from other LinkedIn users tell people that you really do know your stuff, and it’s actually really easy to get them. To get endorsements, just add a list of about ten of your top skills, and then start endorsing other people in your network. They’ll then have the opportunity to endorse yours, and you’ll be on your way to building trust in yourself and your brand.

To get recommendations, send a quick and pleasant message to the people you’ve worked with and for in the past. Tell them a bit about your business endeavor and ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing you a quick recommendation. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to help you out with a quick but meaningful recommendation.

Do these simple things, and your LinkedIn profile will stand out from the crowd and help you build your personal brand. Good luck!

Check out these 3 Things NOT to Put in Your LinkedIn Profile

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