social media, linkedin, mark perl, linked in tips, personal success, resumeThere are 6.95 billion people in the world, and 1.5 billion of them are online. There are over 700 million on Facebook and over 80 million on LinkedIn (25% of these in Europe). The UK is LinkedIn’s 3rd largest market, with 4 million members. There are 18 million people working in the UK. So LinkedIn is a very powerful platform. Here are 12 critical tips for success on LinkedIn.

1. Use the first person in your profile (don’t write it in the 3rd person) –LinkedIn is for networking and like networking in person, the voice should be yours.

2. Put up your photo, and have a professional photo taken in the same clothes you would wear for a work business meeting. A head shot: head & shoulders. Not having a photo is like walking into a room with a bag over your head. – Those who only leave the Avatar on LinkedIn are referred to as ‘ghosts’

3. Your current position does not have to be just your current job. It can also be roles or training you give, e.g. “Conference Speaker”, “Member of the Design Business Association”, “University Guest Lecturer”, “Football Coach at your children’s school, etc.

4. Make your summary focused on the reader – it’s a sales pitch. Talk about outcomes and benefits not features, and try to quantify what the outcome of doing business with you will be performance or offering. See it as a chat with your business prospect.

5. In the “specialties” area under your summary, write a list (separated by commas) of the keywords of how people would look for someone like you or for what you do. E.g. graphic designer, branding, print design, website design etc.

6. Under “public profile”, click on the “edit” button and take the funny stuff off from the end of your name, so your url reads something like this: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/madelynpostman

7. Get recommendations. No one cares what you say about yourself (your marketing) only about what others say about you In order to have a profile completeness of 100% one thing you have to do is to have at least 3 recommendations. In a recent UK university study, it was found that 13% of people believe the ads they see while 90% believe peer reviews. So get reviewed by your peers! You can give out recommendations to get a warm and fuzzy feeling and then you’ll have a chance that those people will reciprocate. You can also just ask for them outright.

8. Click on the “settings” link (currently at top right as a drop-down from your name) to look under the bonnet and switch around anything you want to so you’re comfortable with the level of privacy. You can make your photo not visible (kind of defies the point but…), not show who you’re connected to, etc.

9. Link to whomever you want. Some people only link to people they know and like (this is called a narrow but deep network –where relationships are close). Others will link to anyone and everyone (this is called wide but shallow – where you don’t personally know everyone well, but you are now connected). Do what you want.

10. Under your website links, you can link to specific things you can have up to three back links to your website – use them all to drive traffic to your website like a portfolio page of your website or a blog. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one link per website. You can also customize the names of those links (instead of just “Company Website” for example.)

11. By all means add in your interests/hobbies if you want under the “interests” section — it can provide an opening point for conversation. Part of the networking Know / Like / Trust process of relationship building

12. You can set up a company page for your own company.

We thank Mark Perl for this great information and helpful recommendations, visit his site or stop by one of his social media profiles list below.