How to stand out on LinkedIn

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I love this business.  It's full of smart, passionate, problem-solving thinkers who strive to be great at what they do and have fun doing it.

But let's face it: Despite the growing pool of evidence that suggests we're slowly exiting one of the toughest media economies on record, it's a pretty uncertain time to be in the advertising and marketing business. The ad trade press is full of headlines telling us that the average tenure for a CMO is a measly 18 months, that marketers are regularly mixing up their agency rosters, and that media sellers are dealing with unprecedented challenges to their business models and cost structures.

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As a result, it's more challenging than ever to manage a career in this business. For those of us currently working, we know that the expectation to succeed is higher than ever, the tolerance for failure is lower, and the resources available to get the job done are scarcer.

For those currently looking for their next gig, you know it's harder than ever to stand apart from the throngs of people competing for every job in this great industry of ours. And for those who are looking to hire people, you know that it's time-consuming and expensive to find the perfect candidate.

Now, I happen to feel very lucky. I work for LinkedIn, a company whose mission is to "connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful." With more than 70 million members and three million more joining every month, the benefits of joining LinkedIn and putting it to use have never been greater for professionals who are focused on being hugely successful. And because I love this industry so much, and want to see more and more smart, passionate, problem-solving thinkers contribute to making this industry even better, I thought I'd share some tips on how LinkedIn can help you be great.

Tell everyone how great you already are
Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is up-to-date and lists where you've worked, for how long, and what you accomplished while you were there. Use the narrative style that works best for you and represents who you are.

Make sure other great people can find you
LinkedIn's People Search index pivots off of keywords in your summary, experience, and specialties sections -- so be sure to include all the keywords that should be associated with what you have to offer, like "digital strategy," "consumer marketing," "ROI analytics," "SEO," etc.

Go public
Own your professional brand and Google search results for your name by customizing your LinkedIn Public Profile URL. Edit the link so it's your firstnamelastname as one word with no spaces. (If that option is taken, you can put in your lastnamefirstname one word no spaces.) Now you can control what people see when they do a search for your name on search engines. This is important because you control the information in your LinkedIn Profile and can update it as frequently as you want if you change jobs or switch roles within your current company.

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Nick Kizirnis
Nick Kizirnis June 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Great article, these are really good points. I get a lot out of LinkedIn, and the tips you've covered have really helped me get more exposure and connections. Thanks for the great article!

Nick Kizirnis