The key to a successful career is to build a professional LinkedIn profile.

Linked profile

What are people saying about you?  Are they saying you are an expert or intermediate? Are they saying that you are marvelous or mediocre? You have the power to control what people say about you.

If you are using social media today, you have to determine if what you’re posting online accurately reflects the kind of person you are. Now more than ever, our social economy is based on what you project about yourself. So what are you doing to build a powerful business profile?

Companies want the best and in order for them to hire the best, they need to know as much as they can about you. This is where your business profile comes into play. Let’s talk about ___ things you can do to build a powerful business profile.

Open a LinkedIn account.  LinkedIn is the number business social medial platform out there by far. With a LinkedIn account, you can build your resume profile, add information such as projects you have worked on, lists causes you are interested as well as post courses you attended. The idea is to show off your knowledge, skills and abilities to the public. This is the first step.

Resume Builder: Another huge advantage to posting your job history information, you can connect with those in your industry and network with them for potential job opportunities. The people who you connect with they know other people in the industry and those connection have connections; thus increasing your networking capabilities. The more your network increases the greater opportunity to network more people in your industry.

Write a Good Summary:  The summary section of your account is a place where you can state your expertise or your career objectives.  So make it good. A good summary will show the years of experience, the type of experience you have and maybe your mission statement. It should be short enough for people to know exactly what you are about. If it is too long, your connections may not care to read it all.

Get Endorsed One of the best things about LinkedIn is that other people can vet your experience. This can be just as effective as a letter of recommendation.  After you open an account list your skills in the Skills Section of your account. Once you do this, your connections will see your skills and the system will ask them to endorse you. They have the choice to endorse you or not. When someone takes the time to endorse your skills, it saying in effect I believe in her skills and I want everyone to know about it.  This is powerful. Once you’ve been endorsed, you have the option to allow it to be seen on your page. It shows you are an expert in that field when more people that endorse your skills.

Get Recommended. After a year of working on the job, the next thing you need to do is have the highest ranking person you know to give you a recommendation. This can be a manager, senior manager or other staff members that have a bit of “clout” on the job. You can even get vendors or external clients to give you a recommendation. What this will do is show that you can build relationships outside of the workplace and it also shows you are valuable.

Endorse and Recommend Others: Nothing speaks loyalty than endorsing and recommending others within your network. Your network is critical to your build profile and you want to keep them connected at all times.  You do not have to endorse or recommend everyone but make good judgment when giving out your recommendation. Some people just want to have connections and some people are looking to build solid relationships so that can call on them later.  Remember recommendations are just like your professional references. Treat them with respect and always let them know you will use them before you use them.

Keep Up Your Job History: Another advantage to having a LinkedIn account is that you can easily apply for jobs using your profile.  You can find really good paying jobs through LinkedIn. More companies are posting their jobs there because they know that they will get someone who has been vetted by other employees.  So, the moment you get a new job, update your profile with the new information. Your connections will see this in their news feed and see that you are progressing in your career.

Blow Your Own Horn: If you have awards or achievements, here is another place you can display them. Do not be afraid of blowing your own horn. This is your opportunity to show what you have.

Follow Influencers: One of the great things about LinkedIn is that they have people who are considered “influencers” who post articles and can serve as a mentor for you. They often talk about career planning, business building or other related topics. You can choose to show who you follow to your connections or public giving them an idea of the type of people you like to follow.

Join Groups: There are hundreds of groups in LinkedIn you can join either related to your industry or not. One good thing about joining groups is to meet people outside of your connection network. Most groups have discussion you can engage in and other groups may post information about job or articles. Find and join the groups you are most interested in. Remember you can choose what to show on your public LinkedIn page.