SPEAKER'S CORNER: Debra Wheatman – LinkedIn Strategies for Personal Branding

By David Pastore
LinkedIn has become a critical business-networking tool; and it can be a powerful resource when it comes to developing your personal brand. In order to maximize your exposure on LinkedIn, you should take full advantage of its features and optimize your LinkedIn branding campaign.

  1. Add Your Picture – People are visual – they like to see with whom they are communicating. It is acceptable (and desirable) to have a picture on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Edit Your LinkedIn URL – You can leverage your name as part of developing your brand. Click on Profile, then Edit Profile, and go to the last item in the blue box called Public Profile. Click on edit and a page will come up. On the right hand side, there will be a box where you can enter your name. If you have a more common name, try to enter your first name, middle initial, and last name. This will allow you to extend your name brand. If someone is looking for you, your LinkedIn profile will appear with a higher ranking in Google.
  3. Modify Your Headline – Take advantage of the branding power of LinkedIn by modifying your headline. If you are trying to position yourself for career advancement, this important element should not be overlooked. By default, LinkedIn puts your most recent job title in the headline. You can modify this by going to Profile, Edit Profile, and clicking on Edit next to your name.
    Using keywords that are likely to be searched by potential recruiters can help you. If your most recent title was Sales Manager and you want to become a Director of Software Sales, you should create a headline that supports your efforts. For example: Software Sales Manager / Director. This is more specific. When a hiring manager is seeking a software sales manager or a software sales director, your name will be more likely to come up in the search.
  4. Make Your LinkedIn Profile Flawless – Consider working with a professional writer to create a compelling and keyword rich profile that is 100% error free.
  5. Ask For Recommendations – Ask your present or former colleagues, superiors, and/or subordinates, for recommendations. To do so, click on Profile, then Recommendations and send them a brief note. You can customize the standard letter that appears.
  6. When recruiters and hiring managers see all the positive things that others have said about you, it reinforces your brand. It is up to you whether you want to accept a recommendation. You can accept and the recommendation will appear on your profile, or can choose to keep a recommendation hidden.
    Join and Participate in Groups – I cannot say enough about the importance of groups. They help you to extend your reach; if used wisely your participation can enhance your brand.

Debra Wheatman, an experienced human-capital, management strategist, will help you take the next step up your career ladder. Debra, who possesses both Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) designations, is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career-search techniques. With more than 18 years of corporate human-resource experience guiding and directing global clients in determining career goals and identifying gratifying career choices, Debra can package the amalgamation of your skills and accomplishments in a compelling and creative way to generate interest on behalf of decision-makers at leading corporations.
A featured blogger on career planning at numerous sites, Debra posts regularly on her site: careersdonewrite.com/blog, and has appeared on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading online, print, and trade publications, including Forbes.com, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. 

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