I’ve got some breaking news for you. On LinkedIn, a strong personal brand is essential for job seekers. It is no longer optional. Trust me!  It separates you from the masses of applicants with a simple resume (which is still super important BTW). 

Here is an example of the why. I am currently working with a client in the corporate world, she is in the middle of her career right now so she hasn’t hit that leadership milestone yet. BUT, she did start building a personal brand on LinkedIn at the beginning of this year. Yes, less than 5 months ago. And guess what? Her profile has attracted attention from some of the highest executives in her company.

They SEE her. They can see the impact of her brand, and they WANT her. They want her to stay with their company, and drive change internally like she has with her LinkedIn profile.

They can now see beyond the qualifications listed on her resume and they are getting a glimpse of the impactful human that she truly is. So, if you want to strengthen your positioning in your industry, establish yourself as a thought leader, and seriously open up new opportunities, then you need to think about your personal brand today.

But where do you begin? Let me tell yuh!

Define Your Brand Identity

Defining your brand identity is the foundation for building a powerful LinkedIn profile. It’s about understanding your “why” and “what.” Consider your career goals, the specific value you bring to the table, and the qualities that make you a unique professional. 

Think about the problems you solve and the impact you create. Distill this essence into a concise statement that reflects your professional aspirations. This will be your guiding light as you craft your profile, ensuring all elements resonate with your core strengths and target the kind of opportunities you seek.

Headline Hunt

Your LinkedIn headline is like a flashing neon sign above your profile. It’s the first impression you make on recruiters and potential employers, so it needs to be clear, concise, and attention-grabbing.

A generic headline won’t make you stand out. Instead, craft a benefit-driven statement that encapsulates your brand identity. Think of it as a mini-advertisement for yourself, highlighting your expertise and the value you offer. 

A strong headline will not only strengthen your personal brand but also increase your searchability on LinkedIn, making you more discoverable by the right opportunities.

Profile Picture Polish

Your profile picture is a handshake in the digital age. It’s a crucial element in establishing trust and professionalism. A blurry selfie or a photo with distracting elements sends the wrong message.

Instead, invest in a high-quality headshot that portrays you in a professional light. A clean background, appropriate attire,and a confident smile all work together to create a positive first impression. 

Remember, people connect with faces, and a professional picture makes you appear approachable and credible, strengthening your personal brand and leaving a lasting impact on viewers.

Banner Blast

Consider your LinkedIn banner the digital equivalent of a power statement for your personal brand. Unlike a static image, it offers valuable real estate to visually showcase your expertise and accomplishments. A well-designed banner can grab attention and communicate your value proposition in seconds. 

Think strategically! Use high-quality visuals that resonate with your target industry, perhaps showcasing a relevant project you’re proud of. Keep it clean, professional, and aligned with your overall brand identity. 

A captivating banner can spark curiosity, set you apart from the competition, and leave a lasting impression on potential employers, solidifying your personal brand as a leader in your field.

Summary Storyteller

Your LinkedIn summary is your elevator pitch on steroids. Thanks for the inspiration, Arnold! It’s a chance to go beyond the bullet points of your resume and tell a compelling story about your professional journey. Think of it as a captivating trailer for your career movie. 

So, ditch the generic descriptions and focus on what makes you unique. Highlight your achievements, using data and metrics to showcase your impact. 

Are you a data whiz who increased sales by 15%? Or a marketing guru who spearheaded a wildly successful campaign? Share your wins! 

Remember, keywords are QUEEN. Use terms relevant to your target jobs to ensure your profile pops up in recruiter searches. 

Finally, inject some personality! Let your passion for your field shine through.A well-written summary breathes life into your profile, strengthens your personal brand, and leaves a lasting impression that makes you a memorable candidate.

Experience Expansion 

Don’t just list past jobs on your LinkedIn experience section – turn it into a brag sheet (without bragging)! This is your opportunity to showcase the impact you made in previous roles. 

Quantify your achievements whenever possible. Did you streamline a process, saving the company X% in time or resources? Highlight those results with data. Think beyond just responsibilities and focus on the problems you solved and the value you delivered. Use strong action verbs to paint a picture of your accomplishments. 

For example, instead of “Managed social media accounts,” write “Developed and executed a social media strategy that increased brand engagement by 20%.” By showcasing your impact and problem-solving skills, you strengthen your personal brand and position yourself as a valuable asset to potential employers.

Skill Sharpening

The skills section on your LinkedIn profile is like a toolbox you present to potential employers. It showcases the specific tools and capabilities you possess that make you a perfect fit for the job. But it’s not just about listing every software program you’ve ever touched. 

Focus on including a targeted mix of hard skills, the technical abilities directly related to your field (e.g., SEO optimization, data analysis), and soft skills, the transferable strengths that demonstrate your work style and personality (e.g., communication, teamwork). 

Don’t forget the power of endorsements! Encourage colleagues and past employers to endorse your skills, adding credibility and social proof to your profile. By strategically selecting and highlighting the most relevant skills, you strengthen your personal brand and make it crystal clear to recruiters that you possess the exact tools needed to excel in their open positions.

Content is QUEEN

Content is the fuel that propels your personal brand on LinkedIn. Sharing valuable content positions you as a thought leader in your field and demonstrates your expertise to potential employers. 

It’s not just about bombarding your network with self-promotion; focus on providing genuine value. 

Share industry articles, insightful commentary on current trends, or even original posts showcasing your unique perspective. Think quality over quantity. Well-researched and informative content establishes you as a credible source of knowledge and positions you as someone who stays ahead of the curve.

Engaging with other users’ content is also key. Like, comment, and share posts that resonate with you, sparking conversations and building relationships within your industry. 

By consistently sharing valuable content and actively participating in discussions, you solidify your personal brand as a knowledgeable and engaged professional, making you a more attractive candidate to recruiters seeking top talent.

Network Like a Pro 

Networking on LinkedIn isn’t just about collecting connections. (Trust me, I have learned that the hard way in the past). It’s about building genuine relationships and expanding your professional circle. 

Think of it as attending a virtual industry conference. Join groups relevant to your target field,where you can connect with peers, experts, and potential employers. Actively participate in discussions, share your insights, and engage with others’ posts. This showcases your knowledge and establishes you as a valuable contributor to the community. 

Don’t be shy about reaching out to people you admire in your industry. A personalized message expressing your interest in their work or a specific post can open doors to valuable connections. The key is to be respectful and offer value yourself. By strategically building your network and fostering meaningful connections, you expand your reach, strengthen your personal brand through association, and gain access to a wealth of knowledge and potential opportunities that can propel your job search forward.

Need help updating your resume and establishing a personal brand on LinkedIn?

Reach out today! www.resumeassassin.com or mary@resumeassassin.com

Connect on LinkedInwww.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern

Schedule a 15 Minute Callhttps://calendly.com/resumeassassin/meet

I’d welcome you to subscribe and check out my new podcast. I am interviewing LinkedIn Top Voices, Thought Leaders, and Recruiters. I have had some super interesting conversations so far. 😎

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Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/resume-assassin-presents-recruiting-insider/id1744810699

Spotify: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recruitinginsider