My love for the Winter Olympics is no office secret. Since last Thursday, every opportunity I have, I tune in to watch. It’s amazing to hear the announcers clue the average viewer in to the minute technicalities of each event – the control of the lower body in the moguls, the precision of a landing in figure skating, the timing of a perfect bobsled run.
The smallest mistake could cost an athlete everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. They’ve got one shot to prove they are the best. If you think about it, it’s a very similar concept to LinkedIn. In a blog last week, we looked at how the professional-networking site was one of the most solid investments of 2014, especially for online degree students.
So if the “LinkedIn profile” were an Olympic event, would you get a gold medal? Not sure how you’re being scored? Here are four things that the judges (potential connections) are looking for as they assess your profile.
A Complete Profile
First and foremost, prospective connections are looking at whether you have a complete profile. Leaving blanks on your profile is like skating off the ice two minutes early in a figure skating short program. An incomplete profile is one of the quickest ways to disqualify yourself from getting a medal. Looking to improve your standings? Check out our blog for 5 tips to spruce up your LinkedIn profile.
Second, your professional profile will highlight many of your skills, allowing key decision makers and companies to see what you do best. Socialmediatoday.com explains, “LinkedIn allows users to add up to 50 skills to their profiles. It is important to consider what skills are most important to you as a professional. Focus on your business, thought leadership and what resonates most with your target audience.”
Choose skills that can be quantified through work-projects or experiences. Consider choosing specific things that you do well rather than general things such as listening or writing. Think about skills you acquired while completing your online degree program.
After you’ve identified skills you feel you possess, your LinkedIn contacts will be able to confirm that you are proficient in that area. The more people that confirm your skills in LinkedIn, the stronger your profile will appear to companies who are seeking your talents. A great way to increase your endorsements is to trade with others in your network. Visit their profiles and endorse the skills you feel strongly about in exchange for them doing the same on your profile.
LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to share more specific feedback about other people's experience working with you in the past. While most other recommendations submitted during a job search are private, LinkedIn recommendations are displayed on your profile for the public to read.
Recommendations are great for differentiating you from other people with similar skills online. Think about it -- how many other computer engineers are out there? How many more computer engineers have a military background? You can ask your former supervisors, co-workers, or anyone else in your life who has had a positive experience working with you.
It’s a competitive field. Strengthen these core areas of your LinkedIn profile and the chances of impressing the judges and grabbing the gold will become much more of a reality.
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A Grantham education lasts well beyond our online degrees. Grantham offers a variety of professional development services, along with tuition assistance like military scholarships to help you reach your goals.
About the author: Valerie Morrow joined the Grantham team in August 2013. As social media manager, Valerie draws upon the skills she developed as a social media consultant for several high-profile sites to spread the good word about online degree programs. Valerie earned her Master's degree in Mass Communication from The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.