Change Your Business. Change Your Life. Use LinkedIn.

imagesWhen I graduated from undergrad in 2011 my mentor encouraged me to get a LinkedIn account and to get as many endorsements and recommendations as I could. So I did what he told me. When I met with him a few weeks later he was happy with my progress but told me to still stay active and get on everyday. I tried to heed his advice but eventually I started spending less time on the network. About six months ago when my boyfriend graduated with his Master’s and started using LinkedIn to connect with recruiters it hit me, LinkedIn is not just about displaying your resume. LinkedIn has the ability to transform your business and your life.

If you need more proof that LinkedIn is changing our professional landscape look at Pepsi Cola Company and Starbucks. Pepsi and Starbucks say they use the platform as a main source for job candidates through LinkedIn’s “talent solutions” (recruiting program). Half of LinkedIn’s $972 million profit last year came from “talent solutions.”One in six people have landed their current position by using social media. Companies are investing lots of time and money into this social platform. It’s time for you and I to start utilizing LinkedIn!

images2 LinkedIn is about more than making connections. Making basic changes like having a professional profile picture (no partying, no kids, no dog, just you), not broadcasting your every move when looking for a new job (turn off broadcast), and using spell check (54% of recruiters don’t like spelling and grammatical errors) will improve your profile. But the BEST thing you can do for yourself on your LinkedIn is to have a STRONG headline! This is something I am really going to focus on creating this week! It is essential to have a headline that says who you are, who you help, and how you help them. Have your headline include key words you want to be discovered by. This makes users want to read your profile and see how your experience and recommendations prove your headline! Not having a powerful headline is one of the Top 5 Mistakes Journalists Make on LinkedIn. Don’t let it happen to you!

Another powerful change to make today: have a meaningful summary that has a call to action at the end. Give people a place to go next and a reason to go there. Even if you don’t own your own business make it clear what your career goals are and how people can reach you for more information. Include your website, Twitter handle, and email address. With more and more business deals happening on LinkedIn this will pay off for you!

What are some improvements you plan to make on your LinkedIn page this week? How do you foresee these changes impacting you professionally? What is it you want to accomplish on LinkedIn?

 For me it’s going to be all about my headline. I want to develop a creative and informative headline that interests people and makes them want to read my whole profile! I’m also going to start updating my status more. I want to connect with people on a personal and professional level. I want people to know what I’m working on! I want to prove I am a valuable asset to my company. I think these improvements will increase traffic on my page and make me more searchable. I love learning and I love growing I hope this is what I can accomplish by making these changes.

Good luck everyone!