When asked to name the Social Media Site most widely used by the business community, (in your opinion), I would venture a guess that more often than not people think of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the few non-industry specific Social Media venues that is widely utilized by professionals. But there is so much more to LinkedIn than just housing your resume. In a three part series on using LinkedIn to address The Importance of Social Networking for Business, I outlined 20 different ways you can use LinkedIn to not only grow your business but to also Build Your Brand. However, since I wrote that series LinkedIn has added new ways to customize your LinkedIn Profile. You can now even add a list of patents!
In addition to adding applications and widgets to your profile to add content and to show your connections what you’ve been up to, LinkedIn has decided to give it’s users what they request most, Customizable Profile Sections. At the top of your profile page is your Blue Informational box. When logged into your Profile and while being on Edit Profile tab of your Profile Page, you have the ability to edit any of the sections within your profile. Directly under the blue box, you may have noticed something fairly new, a small line that states, Personalize your profile with patents, publications and more.
Just after the statement is a + Add Sections link that gives you the ability to add new sections and applications to your profile. The Add Sections link takes you to pop up box that allows you to choose which of the five additional sections and fifteen additional applications you would like to Enhance your Professional Profile with.
The five new sections that are now available for you to use within your profile are Publications, Certificates, Languages, Skills and Patents! The last of which is very important and pertinent to our country’s necessity to continue on its quest for technological advances and innovation. Following is a brief description and screen shot of each of these five new sections.
The Publication section now allows you to add your original, published works to your profile. Share with your connections specific publications that will help showcase your areas of expertise.
The Certifications section gives you the ability to list any Certifications, Clearances and Licensure that you have attained throughout your professional career. Not everyone will have the ability to add to this section. But think of it this way, in your profession/industry, are there a lot of others that do what you do within your own geographical area? For those who have certifications, licensure or special clearances, this section will help you build your credibility that can help you stand out in the crowd.
If you are fluent in more than one language, or are even somewhat proficient in another language, this section allows you to share this information with your connections.
This section can be added to your LinkedIn profile to show what skill sets you are proficient at and what are your areas of expertise. You can either type in your own skill sets or type in the first letter or two to populate a list of skills that start with that letter. You can then choose your level of proficiency for each skill as well as to choose the number of years of experience you have for each skill. Other than the skill itself, there is no requirement to choose a proficiency level or set number of years. I highly recommend that you choose a proficiency level for each skill you choose. By doing so, you are setting up realistic expectations. You would not want to be skipped over because your profile does not exude proficiency, however, you also do not want to over inflate your experience telling people you are more proficient than you are in a given area. It won’t take long before people will know the truth.
With all of the buzz over Innovation in DC of late, what better way to show prospective Venture Capitalists, Competitors, Consumers and the like what patents your company has been issued or applications you have pending. This section allows you to list both granted and pending patents.
The fifteen Applications that you can also add through this Add Sections link are as follows:
- Creative Portfolio Display
- FT Press Delivers
- Google Presentation
- Huddle Workspaces
- Lawyer Ratings
- Legal Updates
- My Travel
- Projects and Teamspaces
- Reading List by Amazon
- Real Estate Pro
- SAP Community Bio
- SlideShare Presentations
In addition to adding new sections and applications to your profile, you also have the ability to reorder the sections on your profile using drag-and-drop. This enhancement was added as a result of it being one of the most highly requested profile features from LinkedIn users. This feature gives you the ability to highlight the skills, expertise, and/or experiences that you would like to portray first and foremost. To do this, simply go to the section you wish to move, place your curser along the top of the section then drag and drop it to its new location within your profile.
It amazes me every time I go onto LinkedIn to see just how much one can do with his or her profiles and yet just how few people utilize what is offered. Did you know you could even create your profile in other languages? You do have to translate the information yourself though. But nonetheless, there is so much you can do with LinkedIn to promote your business. Setting up your business profile takes time but is worth it in the end. Even if you don’t have time to set up your own profile, it pays to hire someone like me, for example, who offers his or her services on a consulting basis.