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Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn (PDF)

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In today's world, it is essential to think about your professional image, a.k.a. your personal brand. Here’s how LinkedIn can help.

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Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn (PDF)

  1. 1. Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedInThe days of working in one organization, or even one industry, for your entire career are pretty muchover. This means it’s no longer enough to have a good reputation in your current position. You have tothink about your wider professional image, a.k.a. your personal brand. Here’s how LinkedIn can help:1. Be authentic.The best personal brands are genuine, honest and focus on telling peoplewhat makes you unique and what you can offer to the world.Personal branding is not about sales or spin. There’s no reason to build a great brand if the real you doesn’t live up to the expectations you’ve set.2. Create a distinctive LinkedIn profile headline. Your headline is the first -- and possibly only -- description of you that many people will see, so make it count.Good headlines are clear, confident and keyword-rich, such as “Big Idea, ROI-focused Salesperson Specializing in Digital Media.”3. Avoid clichés. LinkedIn research has found that words like creative, extensive experience, motivated and team player appear on so many profiles and resumes that they’ve become almost meaningless. Find unique and memorable ways to describe your skills, such as “entrepreneurial since age nine” or “commended as Employee of the Month by three different employers.”4. Increase your visibility. Your personal brand won’t matter if no one can find it. Increase your exposureto people in your network by consistently updating your LinkedIn status. Tell people what projects you’re working on, what events you’re attending and what books, articles and blogs you’re reading. Remember that your brand is not just who you are; it’s what you do.5. Build your strategic brand association.We think highly of people who keep good company, so building your LinkedIn network simultaneously builds your personal brand. Connect with former colleagues and classmates, industry leaders, clients, vendors and other professionals in your field.6. Constantly add to your knowledge.Another way to differentiate yourself is to have an expert level of knowledge about your industry.Be well read on topics you care about (LinkedIn Today can help keep you in-the-know) and keep abreast of new developments so you can be known as a well- informed and up-to-date professional.7. Share your expertise in LinkedIn Groups. As you increase your knowledge, be generous about sharing it. Every comment you post and every question you answer is an opportunity to market yourself and your skills and to build your credibility. Focus on a few group memberships where you can be highly involved in discussions and known as a group “star.”8. Personalize your communications. Whenever you send a LinkedIn connection request or any other communication, always customize the message to your recipient rather than sending mass messages or using generic templates.People will appreciate and remember your personal attention.9. Be consistent. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, resume, Twitter bio, Facebook info, Google profile and all other professional representations of you are consistent. Double-check your job titles, dates of employment and specific accomplishments so everything matches up. Consistency is important so as not to confuse people or send mixed messages about who you are and what you want in your career.10. Give generously.Helping others is a crucial way to build your own personal brand. Give advice, share job leads, write recommendations, agree to informational interviews and congratulate people on their successes. When people know they can rely on you, they remember you and recommend you to others.