Choosing a social network is a little like when you go to the animal rescue centre and you have to choose just one puppy or kitten. They all seem so tempting but you can’t take them all, mostly because it’s difficult to juggle so many, and that probably isn’t the only thing you can focus on. This will make your decision easier:
Start with LinkedIn: Perhaps unexpected as a first, but LinkedIn as a platform provides you with a way to keep two things for you which are ultra valuable: your full career history and your network. This is your chance to make sure that when people Google your name, they see the best version of you. If you do it right, it provides as complete and hopefully honest a version of you as possible.
Make sure you cover the following:
Profile Picture: Your picture should be a cropped headshot and should be professional. You can instagram a selfie or get a professional photo shoot but definitely make sure it’s just you – no one else’s arm, head or leg in there – and you look appropriate and approachable!
Headline: Under your name is your headline. Often this comes out as the title of your last role. You can change this! Put something specific about what you do, including keywords, so if people search for someone with your specialism, they are more likely to find you. Avoid generic words like “owner”, “director “, “partner” or “associate” and instead put what you actually do.
Summary: Your LinkedIn summary should be written in full sentences, in the first person (I, not he or she) and if someone reads it they should get a sense of why you do what you do. People prefer to work with people who like their work. Show some personality and passion!
Vanity URL: Change your “vanity URL”. This is the link that leads people to your LinkedIn profile. It sits under your picture and can either look neat and tidy or messy with a load of numbers. I have created a screencast on how to change it and you can view that here.
Previous Roles: Write out each of your previous job roles, also in the first person. Be sure you include the positive experiences you had with each job, and also what achievements and responsibilities you had. It all forms the rich tapestry of your life, and telling those stories gives people an insight into who you are. You can use keywords for search purposes but make sure it reads well to humans!
And then what?
Well if you are that impatient, and you have done all the above, that’s amazing. Please comment below with your LinkedIn vanity URL and I will check it out. Then I can tell you personally what the second most important social media channel you need to use is! Yay!