LinkedIn, like any social networking site or service, gives members a personal/professional profile page. With LinkedIn the setup is geared to helping members display their professional history and capability as effectively as possible. There are no photos – that’s another story, but my understanding is that LinkedIn really wants to concentrate on professional, business networking. Although I don’t know that Xing or other professional/business focused social media services suffer from having photos of members onsite.

But the LinkedIn profile setup is very neat. And you get a neat, easy to remember, web address for the profile. Mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/deswalsh

Of course, you have to put some content into the profile if it’s to serve its purpose of helping your professional networking. And you need to keep it up to date. That can provide a challenge if, like me, you do not find it easy to write up your own profile. Those of us so challenged get some help from LinkedIn’s excellent system which allows friends and colleagues to add recommendations to your site. They can say complimentary things about you which, if you said them yourself, would not win you a modesty award.

The other day a respected colleague messaged several of us to the effect that he was looking for a full time position. I immediately looked at his LinkedIn profile and saw that this very talented guy who is always helping others was seriously underselling himself via LinkedIn. I suggested some words that would give others a better picture and make him of more interest to hiring managers. I was pleased to see he took up the suggestions and changed the site pretty well straight away.

Then, via recruiting hotshot El Dave Mendoza’s “Six Degrees from Dave” site I saw a great bit of sharing by Guy Kawasaki: Dave had picked up the story at Dennis Smith’s Wireless Jobs post 13 Tips for Your Extreme Makeover: LinkedIn Edition. With the help of expert LinkedIn staffers, Kawasaki has been able to optimize his site for the kind of role he wants it to play in his marketing. It’s explained in the post, with screenshots.

All of us in LinkedIn or thinking of joining (basic membership is free), who want to get more value from our membership and are prepared to put some work in, can benefit from this case study.

And having written this post, I will now have to cast caution aside and get to work on my own LinkedIn profile!

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