Career Adventure

career development from both sides of the interview table

HowTo LinkedIn #2: Write a killer headline

If you missed it, you can check out HowTo LinkedIn #1: Creating your unique URL here.

Go check out the competition.  Search LinkedIn for keywords that might find someone like you.  Chances are, you see hundreds or thousands of search results within miles of you.  Your profile can easily be lost in a sea of people with similar backgrounds and career interests.  How do you get attention from a potential client, employer or influential contact?

One way to break through the clutter: a killer headline.

A headline is your chance to make a personal statement about who you are, what you believe, and what you have to offer.  It’s an opportunity to pique a reader’s interest or connect with an employer’s need.  While the profile speaks to qualifications for a job, a headline can speak to motivation.  Profile: professional, Headline: personality.  Use this space to sell yourself as the individual that you are.

Some things to keep in mind when writing a headline:

  • Keywords — Ultimately, the higher in a search you appear, the more likely you are to be scoped out by a potential connection.  Understand what keywords are most likely to be used in a search for someone like you.  You’ll want to pepper them through your profile, but having them in your headline will help your search positioning.
  • Catchy — If your headline can make a reader stop and wonder, you’re in good shape.  Try to craft something that will induce someone to click on your profile, even out of sheer curiosity.

Some examples:

Marketing maven with a passion for online communities.

IT specialist devoted to creating stable, scalable solutions for small business.

Office Manager and your next indispensable right hand.

Or, whatever makes sense for your situation.

Now, if you’re looking for a new opportunity like me, you may also want to consider putting that information in your headline.  Here’s my current headline as an example:

linkedin-headline2

So, go take a crack at making your own splash in LinkedIn search, and let me know how it goes.  What’s your headline?  Share it in the comments below.

Filed under: howto, networking, web tools, , , , , ,

HowTo LinkedIn #1: Creating your unique URL

What web site is at the top of an IT professional’s must-know list this year? Sites like Green Grid and Secunia are focused on optimizing and protecting the corporate network, but the New York Times’ top pick is a site that helps the IT professional optimize and protect their career brand — LinkedIn.

The value of networking is highlighted when the job market is unstable.  If you’re in transition or think there’s a chance you may end up there, a daily focus on networking is a good habit to create.

This post marks the first in a series on how to get the most out of LinkedIn as a professional networking tool.  Over the course of the series, you can expect to learn both basics and best practices for creating a professional presence online.

Creating your unique profile URL

By default, new LinkedIn users get a randomly-generated URL address for their public profiles.  A standard random URL might look like this:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/99/56b/000

With a few clicks of the mouse (and a little typing) you can select your own custom URL, which would look more like this:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristidaeda

Easier to remember, easier to share, and therefore more likely to successfully direct someone to your profile.

Changing your URL is easy enough.  While logged in, in the left navigation area, click “Edit My Profile” under the Profile header.  In the first large profile block, you’ll see a line that says “Public Profile” followed by the current URL location.  By clicking “Edit” to the right of the URL, you can select an available, unique URL for your profile.

The slightly harder piece is thinking about how to use the custom URL to manage your online brand.  Google and other search engines index LinkedIn profiles, and they typically get good visibility.  So, deciding on your URL takes two simple steps:

  1. Create a URL that will attract traffic. Using your name as your URL is common, and effective, especially if your name is unique or if you believe someone may search for you by name.  Or, you can develop a keyword-based URL.  Think “ILtechnicalrecruiter” or “freelancecommunicator” or the like.  Web traffic is all about being keyword-rich, and the URL is no exception.
  2. Don’t change it. LinkedIn allows you to change your custom URL, but each time you make a change you’re losing people who may have bookmarked you, and traffic off of search engines.  Choose a simple, quality custom URL to begin with and keep it.

That’s it.  Simple start, right?  You’re already closer to a fully optimized LinkedIn presence.

Watch for upcoming posts as we work our way through creating a profile that represents you professionally, and just might make the connection that leads to your next opportunity.

Filed under: howto, networking, web tools, , ,

About Career Adventure

Career Adventure is the blog of Kristi Daeda, a Human Resources and recruiting pro sharing thoughts on career development from both sides of the interview table.

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