Have you ever Googled your own name?
This quick and easy test shows you how prevalent your personal details are in the virtual world. If your LinkedIn profile isn't the first thing that comes up, you have some work to do to maximise your online presence.
Since it's inception in 2003, LinkedIn has experienced enormous growth. By the end of the first month, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 active members on the network, and today at least one professional joins the network every second. As of January 2011, LinkedIn had members from all of the 2010 Fortune 500 companies, and by March 22, 2011, it was used as a hiring platform by 73 of the Fortune 100 companies.
This is evidence enough that it is becoming increasingly important to monitor and manage your online presence. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, your online identity can impact your ability to secure your next role.
Here are some quick tips to help you maximise your online presence:
1. Complete your LinkedIn profile
You have 120 characters in your profile headline to tell people what you do. LinkedIn selects a default heading but it is up to you to modify this so your summary is rich with key words that clearly articulate your expertise. This is a searchable field so it must be optimized. Log into your LinkedIn profile and click to Edit LinkedIn Professional Headline. Continue completing your profile, by requesting recommendations, adding a photo, and populating the summary and skills sections.
2. Broaden your network
Although you may be inclined to connect with people already in your friendship or professional circle, more benefit can be gained from initiating contact with those more distant. It is not unusual for a business interactions to be completed with inviting your new acquaintance to connect on LinkedIn so don't be afraid to do so. However, ensure you do not send generic invitations - each one should be personalised.
3. Integrate your social media platforms
If you are active across multiple social media platforms, make sure you integrate them. For example, your LinkedIn account should have a link to your Twitter feed. This will assist in maximising your online presence.
Above all, remember that generosity is the foundation for success across all social media platforms. Give recommendations to receive them, and accept connections to generate others.