Category Archives: Social Recruiting

14 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand on Linkedin And A Character Count Cheat Sheet


 

How-to-promote-your-brand-in-LinkedIn-image1Linkedin is a great channel for personal branding and can help you build a powerful presence on the most popular professional social network for over 300 million professionals.  LinkedIn can be  extremely useful for job search, networking and also for lead generation—especially when you’re aware of all the I love LinkedIn!hidden tricks. Here are fourteen tips and a cheat sheet for Linkedin character counts to help you optimize your Linkedin profile without having to call your techie friends.

Linkedin Character Count Cheat Sheet

Before you get started, here is a cheat sheet of each area so you know up front how many characters or keystrokes each field allows. Letters, numbers, punctuation and spaces count towards character count.

  • Name: 60 maximum characters.
  • Professional Headline: 120 character limit.
  • Summary: 2,000 character limit.

Contact Info:

  • Website Anchor Text: 30 maximum characters.
  • Website URL: 256 maximum characters.
  • Phone number: 25 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.
  • IM (Instant message): 25 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.
  • Address: 1000 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.

Experience:

  • Company Name: 100 maximum characters.
  • Job Title: 100 characters.
  • Position Description: 200 minimum and 2000 maximum characters.

Other Areas:

  • Personal Interests: 1,000 Characters
  • Skills and Endorsements: You may add up to 25 skills using 61 characters per skill.
  • LinkedIn Status Bar Update: You can use up to 700 characters unless you want to update your Twitter status at the same time. Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters. If you go over the 140-character limit, only the first 140 characters will be visible on Twitter.

Here’s Your 14 Tips:

1. Completeness. Make sure that every section of your profile has been completed and that there are no blank spaces or obvious gaps. Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, so treat it with the same level of seriousness you would your normal resume. Here’s what you need to have completed to have  an ‘All-Star’ status:

  • You need to add your industry and location
  • A current position
  • Two past positions
  • Your education information
  • A minimum of 3 skills
  • At least 50 connections
  • A professional profile picture that represents your industry. This is critical for your Linkedin success! For example, if you are a Creative Director, you might want to have more of an edgier photo as opposed to a CEO, who would want to have a suit on in a traditional pose. Having the same picture on multiple social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ will help build your personal brand. Whatever you do, don’t use a selfie, your company logo, you and your furry friend or something like the below photo. These types of photo’s could damage your personal brand which defeats the whole purpose of being on Linkedin.

    A definite "No" for a LinkedIn profile photo.

    A definite “No” for a LinkedIn profile photo.

2. Create Your Vanity URL. When you create your LinkedIn profile, the default URL that you get doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, you need to create one like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisadougherty. This URL is far more friendly from an SEO point of view and is a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in Google and to make it easier for people to find you. Go here and click “customize your public profile URL” on the right hand side.

Linkedin_Custom URL 4272013 64435 AM.bmp3. Get Recommendations. It is important to have at least three recommendations from colleagues, management, people you manage, vendors or customers. Recommendations now appear right below your job description for a certain position. Linkedin no longer requires three recommendations anymore to have a complete (or “All-Star”) status but it is still considered a best practice. Recommendations are written for specific roles and show up underneath each position in which they are written. They are very different from Endorsements and serve a different purpose.

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4. Get Endorsements. Endorsements are one-click acknowledgments from your network showing that you are being recognized for a certain skill. If you would like to learn more about Endorsements, check out this earlier blog post. The reason endorsements are  important to your profile is for search results. The more endorsements you have for a specific skill, the more likely that you’ll come up in the search results when someone is searching for that skill. For example: I have 99+ people who have endorsed me for Social Media Marketing. When a hiring manager or recruiter is searching for people with the skill ‘social media marketing’, it is more likely that I will come up somewhere on the first few pages of the search results.

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5. Create “Sexier”  Website/Blog Links. Don’t list the generic “website” but brand it with your company name or blog name to make those links more appealing to people who view your profile. For example, if you want to include a link to your blog, rather than choosing LinkedIn’s standard “Blog” anchor text, customize it to include keywords that indicate what your blog is about like, “Social Media Blog or BrandLove, LLC Blog.”  This will help optimize your profile and drive Google PageRank to your other web properties. Each profile can display up to three website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile, clicking edit on your website links, and selecting “other” in the drop-down menu to customize the anchor text.

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6. Rearrange Your Profile. LinkedIn enables you to reorder the sections of their profile in any way you prefer. When in edit mode on your profile, hover your mouse over the title of each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

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7. Search Engine Optimize Your Profile. You can also optimize your profile to get found by people searching LinkedIn for key terms with which you want to be associated.  Add these keywords to various sections of your profile such as your summary, specialties, job title, career history and personal interests.
8. Use Keywords in Your Headline. The headline (up to 120 characters) is the first thing people see when they go to your LinkedIn profile. Unless you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held. Since this headline will appear in various places on LinkedIn, you want it to be more descriptive. The Linkedin algorithm seems to put a lot of emphasis on the words used in the headline when ranking people, so make sure it includes your USP, benefits your company offers or your geographic location if you serve a specific area.

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9. Add Projects. I highly recommend adding a projects section to your profile, especially if you are a Consultant or Freelancer. By adding this section, it will allow you to name your project and input a URL. This then turns the title of the project into a hyperlink, leading the viewer to the project’s website and thus creating an inbound link. You can specifically relate your project to a position that you hold or have held. This can be a great way to show off your expertise in a current or previous position by showing viewers evidence that you know your stuff. The best part is that you can add “Team Members.” If you are connected to your collaborators on Linkedin, you can add them here and their name will appear as a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile.

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10. Join Groups. If there are groups related to your industry or niche then make sure that you join them and, if at all possible, be an active participant in them. This raises your profile to get it noticed by other industry contacts and you’re also adding value to LinkedIn, which in turn, adds value to your own profile. Just remember, if you’re going to participate in group discussions, groups are about COMMUNITY not YOU. You should participate by all means, but to support the community not sell yourself or your services. Did you know? If you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities. You can join up to 50 groups.

11. Build Your Network. Once your profile is in good shape, work on building your network. Here are some things to keep in mind: when asking to connect with someone, use “we’ve done business together” rather than “friend.” Be sure to personalize any requests to connect with how you know the person or where you met or who you have in common.  If you do decide to try to connect with someone that may not know you well, be absolutely sure that you defend your network invite in the personal note section, such as saying you just purchased their book or saw them speak at a major conference. If you invite people to your network and they mark your invitation as someone they do not know, you will be banned (temporarily) from inviting new people to your network unless you know their email address.

12. Use Linkedin As A CRM Tool. I know this really doesn’t fit into building your personal brand, but I thought this hint would be helpful as you’re building your network.  You should know that Linkedin has a feature that allows you to segment your connections. Once you’ve made the connection, make sure you “tag” them into certain folders turning Linkedin into a very powerful CRM tool that allows you to target messages to individuals or groups of people. There isn’t an easy way to go back and tag your contacts except one by one, so I highly recommend doing this as you add more connections.

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13. Add Media To Your Profile. Images and/or documents add a visual appeal and will make your profile stand out among the rest. To add media samples to the Summary, Education, and Experience sections on your profile:

  1. Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. I highly recommend using Internet Explorer. I am not able to do this using the Chrome browser.
  2. Scroll down to the section you want to add a sample and move your cursor over the add media icon (looks like a square with a plus sign).
  3. Select Upload File if you’d like to display the media sample on your profile OR select Add Link if you want to link to content that exists on another web site. If you chose to add a link, type or paste the link to your content into the Add a link field. If you chose to upload a file, select the file from your computer. A picture of your file will display with pre-filled Title and Description fields. You can customize these fields. Here are the acceptable file formats: Documents: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf and .odt   Images: .png, .gif, .jpg and .jpeg
  4. Click Save. An update will appear on the homepages of your network, letting others know you added the media file or link unless you have this feature turned off.Fullscreen capture 5282014 110736 AM.bmp

 

 

 

 

 

14. Jazz Up Your Profile With Symbols and Bullets. Using  bullets, symbols and visual cues in your LinkedIn profile will definitely help to make yours stand out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Click here for a ‘How To.’ Like anything else, just make sure you don’t get too crazy or too cute with your choices in symbols. And, most importantly, make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile  to appear unprofessional. This will cheapen your personal brand which you’ve worked so hard to fine tune.

I would love to hear if  these tips worked for you, questions you may have and any Linkedin related success stories. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow @BrandLove on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook, follow BrandLove on LinkedIn and add BrandLove to your Google+ circles. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to share it with your friends. Your support is much appreciated!

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Filed under Branding, Digital Marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Social Recruiting

LinkedIn: How to Share Ideas, Questions, Articles and Website Links and Why It’s a Good Idea


TLinkedIn-love-imageips on Using the LinkedIn Status Bar for Marketing

LinkedIn is a great platform  to use for both personal and corporate brand awareness.  It operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories. If you’re not optimizing your profile and taking advantage of one of the many ways to draw attention to your profile or company page, then you should pay close attention because I’m going to give you several ways to use the LinkedIn status bar for marketing. Here we go:

1. Share a blog post. If you have a blog for your organization – or a personal blog – you can write up a quick summary of the post and attach a link to it in the status bar. It will then be shared in your LinkedIn network and Twitter (if you want to do so).  Remember, your network can then share your latest update, like it and comment on it. This will help propagate the message even further.

I digress for just a minute. Here are some thoughts sharing updates through LinkedIn to Twitter at the same time.

I’m not a big fan of publishing your status updates to your personal Twitter account via LinkedIn for every status update unless the majority of your Twitter followers are colleagues and like minded individuals. Why, you ask? You’re dealing with two entirely different audiences, with different personalities, writing styles and lingo. On LinkedIn, you may have some important work-related intel to share with like-minded connections. While those in a directly related field may express interest, it will likely go over the heads of all those on Twitter.  Twitter is designed to be more of a casual, conversational format. You may want to gain followers by posting a tweet intentionally designed to get a reaction. While random people may love it, your business contacts may get turned off by the “unprofessionalism” of your tweet. Remember, not everyone uses Twitter, so your colleagues on LinkedIn may not know how to read some of the special characters and abbreviations on Twitter.

2. Increase the reach of a press release – When you send out a press release, you can post it through the LinkedIn status bar with a link to the complete news release and your network(s) will get the information that way. Again, your connections can share, like and comment on the status and their networks will get the press release information too.

3. Media coverage or bylined articles – If you  or your company are covered by the media or you write an article for an industry publication, post it to the status bar. Include the link to the article and ask your network to like, share and comment. You would be surprised by the number of people that will help you out if you just ask. If a colleague is mentioned in the article, you can “mention” them or their company by using the @ in the status bar and they will get a notification from LinkedIn they were tagged. More on mentioning companies or people in status updates in this earlier blog post.

4. Promote an event – Hosting an upcoming event or conference or just attending one? In addition to using traditional channels to market your event – write up a short description with a link to the event’s website and send it out through the status bar on your home page or just let people know the event and booth number like in the below screenshot. This post generated 375 views in less than 24 hours (this number is growing by the minute!) and also shows the people behind the V2Soft brand! A good combo for generating engagement.

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V2Soft Screenshot Whos Viewed Your Updates 592014 82939 AM.bmpJust four days later this post is at a whopping 722 views as shown in the below screenshot.

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5. Job Opportunities – Is your organization hiring? Let people know about it by posting an update. Post a brief description of the job and add a link to your careers page. This is a great way to get referrals from your connections!

6. Share Other Information — You can share thoughts, articles or other content-rich websites with others from several places.  You can use LinkedIn Pulse on your home page to share information. The example “How To Generate Qualified B2B Leads With Inbound Marketing, Blogs and… Great post by salesforce.com!” is shown in the below screenshot. I even ‘mentioned’ salesforce.com in my post, so they will get a notification email generated by LinkedIn.

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Whatever you do, don’t do this! It may generate a lot of likes and comments, boost up your profile views for your 15 minutes of fame in the news feed, but it will damage your professional brand in the process. I will hide those posts in my news feed every time. I’m sure I’m not alone.

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How to Post a Status Update on LinkedIn

1. Click into the text box where it says “Share an update” and type in your remark and/or link.

  • Limited to 600 characters maximum.
  • If you choose to update your Twitter status too, only the first 140 characters will be visible on Twitter.
  • Please note: If you have publishing capabilities, there are no limits on word count.

2. To attach a link, type in the URL. Allow a few seconds for a summary to display.

3. To attach a file, click the  paper clip icon on the top right. You can attach files such as PDFs, Word documents, and JPEG images.

  • The size limit for an upload is 100 MB
  • Uploaded images cannot be resized.
  • Your update can include either a file with text, or a link. You cannot share both a file and a link in the same update.

4. Select an option under Share with:

  • Select Public to show the update to everyone in your extended network including your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections.
  • Select Connections to show the update to only your 1st degree connections.
  • Select Public + Twitter to have your update visible on both your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Note: Only the first 140 characters will be visible on Twitter. You can learn more about Twitter on LinkedIn.

You can manage your Twitter settings from the Profile section of your Privacy & Settings page.

An update will be broadcast to your network’s homepage feed. You can select who can see your activity:

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5. Click “Share.”

  • You can also share with groups or individuals once the update is posted. It will show up on your home page under “All Updates” as shown below in my post “Why 55% of Potential B2B Buyers Might Not Trust Your Website Content.” A great article written by Dianna Huff, who is an AMAZING Website Marketing Consultant. Click “share” to post to groups or share with individuals. You can share posts with 1 group or as many groups as you belong.

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Who’s Viewed Your Updates?

An update will remain visible in your side bar under “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” until it is replaced by a more recent update or until it is deleted by LinkedIn. You can even check to see how your update is performing by viewing it on the right hand side of your home page shown below underneath in the screenshot. The 1st circle represents views by your 1st degree connections, 2nd circle represents views by your 2nd degree connections and so on for 3rd degree and out of network views. Also, within each circle you will see different colored dots.  The purple dots will represent ‘views’ and green dots will represent ‘likes’. Hovering over a green dot will show a bubble that will give you more information on the connection or connections who liked your update (you won’t see the viewers, but members who liked/commented.) There is also an option to ‘View Full Conversation’ that you can click on that will take you to the update you have shared. 

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Other Ways of Sharing Updates:

  • From Discussions in your groups.
  • From partner sites like Content Marketing Institute, Wall Street Journal, Forbes or the New York Times.
  • From LinkedIn Pulse.
  • From any webpage when using the LinkedIn Sharing Bookmarklet.
  • From your connections’ updates by liking their posts.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow @BrandLoveLLC on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook, follow BrandLove on LinkedIn and add BrandLove to your Google+ circles. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues. Your support is much appreciated!

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Filed under Digital Marketing, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Recruiting, Twitter

[Infographic] 5 Ways To Make Your Linkedin Profile Irresistible


download (2)A positive online presence is critical to any professional’s life, whether you’re a job seeker or secure in your current position. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn offer something that may not be fully available on other platforms: the ability to  show off your work history, accomplishments and even your personality. Sure, you can always list the jobs you’ve had or where you went to school on other networks, however, LinkedIn provides an avenue for all professionals that just doesn’t compare to other sites. LinkedIn currently has more than 238 million members worldwide in over 200 countries, executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies as members and its corporate talent solutions are used by 90 of the Fortune 100 companies. It is the social network to be on if you want visibility and a channel for extreme networking capabilities.

With that said, if you want to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, here are a few suggestions taken from the infographic created by Nando Rodriguez, Social@Ogilvy.

  1. Keywords in your profile – if recruiters  can’t find you, they won’t hire you! If a recruiter is looking to fill a sales position and you are an expert networker, revenue-driving sales leader and you don’t highlight that in your profile, you aren’t showing up in search results. Those keywords should be organically scattered throughout your profile. Creativity is good when changing the template headline but don’t get too creative with wording. Trust me, no one will be searching for Marketing Guru or Sales Ninja.
  2. Who do you want to be seen as? People will sum up your personal brand in seconds. Make sure yours clearly defines who you are and is reflected on your profile and on your resume. Your resume should not tell a different story than your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Tell us your story – story telling is story selling as we all know. This tells potential employers that you strategically aimed for a particular career.
  4. Use A Professional Profile Photo. Let’s face it. People will judge you by your photo. In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s some suggestions of what not to do. No selfies. No photobombs. No family shots. No alcohol. No group shots. Keep your clothes on. Yes, I’ve seen a half-naked person. I’m not kidding. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to work. You get the idea. Rather, have a professional take your photo. Uncross your arms. Smile. Look friendly.  Stand in front of a colored wall, or Photoshop one in, so your profile will stand out amongst the rest. Ask your photographer to give you a couple that are edited so you can update your profile every once in a while. It’s a good thing to keep your profile fresh.

    A definite "No" for a LinkedIn profile photo.

    A definite “No” for a LinkedIn profile photo.

  5. Customize Your LinkedIn URL. This will take you seconds to optimize and will look great in your email signature. Also, use this on your resume. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out an earlier blog post titled 11 Tips To Build Your Personal Brand on Linkedin for help and additional ways to improve your profile.

WebIf you found this article helpful, be sure to follow @BrandLoveLLC on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook, follow BrandLove on LinkedIn and add BrandLove to your Google+ circles. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to share it with your friends. Your support is much appreciated!

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Filed under Branding, Infographics, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Social Recruiting

[Infographic] Social Recruiting with Facebook Graph Search


Recruiting Image 2Facebook is testing a feature called Graph Search that helps you find more people that share your interests.  For example, you can explore new places to eat from friends that have similiar interests, plan a trip, start a book club or find a gym buddy. Connect with friends who like the same activities—and meet new people, too. There is currently a waiting list for Graph Search, but you can sign up to get on this list. This infographic, developed by social employee referral management platform, Zao, takes a look at how to use Graph Search as a tool for social recruiting.

If someone were to ask me what platform would I focus on for social recruitment. I would say LinkedIn without a doubt. What is surprising to me, according to this infographic is that 47% of new hires through social media are referred through Facebook, which puts the social network ahead of LinkedIn and Twitter as a recruitment platform. Facebook is  the second most trafficked website in the world, only trailing Google. No less than 85% of internet users have Facebook accounts and this is why it’s time to start building a Facebook presence for your brand now.

More Facebook Job Hunting Facts

  • 1 in 5 of users have had a friend share a job on Facebook
  • 84% of job seekers have a Facebook profile
  • 14 percent search specifically for jobs on Facebook
  • 52 percent use Facebook to help find work

Companies can set up Facebook pages to build a following and post job listings, but almost 50% of users will “unlike” a page if the company posts too many status updates. This is why searching for candidates directly through Graph Search might be a better way to target people who might be interested in a new career.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about recruiting on Facebook. Do you have a social media recruiting success story? Do you think it as effective as traditional recruiting? Let us know in the comments.

Zao_Social_Recruiting_with_Facebook_Graph_Search

If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow BrandLove on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook and Follow BrandLove on LinkedIn. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and your support is much appreciated! 

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Filed under Digital Marketing, Facebook, Infographics, Social Media Marketing, Social Recruiting