Samora suggests sharing things that are important to you, or that demonstrate your values. You want to deliver “a glimpse of your life without going into too much detail.” Once you reach the executive level, people will be more curious about who you are as a person.
Don’t settle for LinkedIn's default
You can include a photo in the heading of your LinkedIn profile, in addition to your profile picture. But this is a step that Donovan says you shouldn’t view as optional — it’s an opportunity for branding.
“The default is LinkedIn's design consisting of a blue background with connected dots — this is the new ‘blue screen of death.’ You want to replace that with something that represents your brand effectively,” she says.
You’ll have to take some time to find a photo — whether it’s a stock image or a personal image, just make sure it isn’t generic. By choosing an image that tells more about who you are, it “will instantly make you more memorable,” says Donovan.
While you’re at it, consider editing the default headline for your profile, which is automatically set to your current job title and company name, Donovan says.
“Instead of VP of IT at Acme Company,” Donovan suggests trying something like “information technology executive driving innovation and efficiency,” followed by your job title and company name. It’s short and sweet, but it reveals a little more about who you are as a professional.
LinkedIn is more than a one-stop resume shop. Being engaged with the networking opportunities available on LinkedIn will help elevate your executive brand. Join industry groups and follow thought-leaders and influencers, and be sure to take time to comment on discussions and respond to others’ updates.
“Belonging to groups will increase your visibility on the site, and when viewers of your profile see that you're in those groups and following influencers, it helps convey the image of a savvy LinkedIn user who's using the platform to keep up on industry trends,” says Donovan.
If you’re happy in your current role, you can stick to logging onto LinkedIn a couple times a week to engage with your groups, share articles and catch up on industry news. However, if you’re job hunting, Donovan suggests logging on daily to actively engage with your network. Stay active on the network by joining in on group discussions, share content and reply to others’ updates.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn to build engagement. Samora suggests staying “mindfully connected” so you can stay visible.
“You don’t need to be a social media junkie, but at the minimum, comment as an expert in your field. Be generous with your likes, posts and comments. Remember, you’re building your own like, know and trust factor as an executive and as a brand,” she says.
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