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You are your business. However technology has completely changed the way that potential employers, colleagues and partners view you professionally. So how can you represent, market and boast about your business while still staying true to yourself? LinkedIn of course!

LinkedIn is not utilized the same way as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This is a competent audience interested in encountering professional, educational and interesting content. This is NOT a forum for selfies, memes or cute cat pictures. Your name will be searched and your experience will be scrutinized. Here are 5 tips to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is ready to be viewed.

1. Make the most of your professional headline. You have 120 characters to make this count. Most people won’t make it past this portion of your profile so take it seriously. Don’t be snarky or cute. Do eloquently describe your current professional status. This is your moment to shine.

2. Connect, connect, and connect! Add your co-workers, employers, friends and family. Don’t be shy about connecting with like-minded business individuals and build your network. The rule here is that quality always wins over quantity.

3. LinkedIn recommendations count for a lot. When asking for a recommendation, do not use the standardized email that LinkedIn gives you. Take a moment to personalize that request and be sincere. It is also just as important to give a recommendation when you can. These testimonials shine a lot of light on individual character and you should aim to get and give a few recommendations every few months.

4. Use a professional photo. You don’t have to visit a Glamour Shots studio but please don’t post a goofy Snapchat or your latest selfie from Vegas. I repeat – this is NOT Facebook. Save those photos for a different platform and use a photo that represents the real you. The real you is beautiful and deserves to be seen!

5. Add Media. That infographic you made? Share it. The presentation that you painstakingly created? Post it. That brilliant piece you wrote for the local newspaper? Publish it on LinkedIn! You never know who in your network is going to be thoroughly impressed by what you created and will then share your project with their own network. You have worthy work to present and LinkedIn is the perfect place to exhibit your talents.

There is a lot more to LinkedIn but we can start here for now. Please feel free to contact me (miri@coweconsulting.com) with any questions as I would be more than happy to help you. Our business community is very special and I know that with a little bit of effort you too can start to build an incredible LinkedIn network. You and your business deserve it!

– Miri

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