Maximising your ‘personal brand’

Robert Peasnell from TMP Worldwide outlines some essential tips on how to enhance Your LinkedIn Profile.

Most HR professionals across the Health sector have some form of presence on LinkedIn – the professionally focused social networking service. Indeed the platform is becoming increasingly popular across the public sector, with 1.77 million UK professionals working in the public sector currently registered.

One of the most important aspects of the platform is your LinkedIn profile. It can be accessed by anyone, so you need to ensure it is positioning you and your organisation’s brand in the right light.

TMP Worldwide support employers to get the most from social networks and we’ve put together some pointers to help HPMA members get started.

Your professional headline

Your professional headline is often the first and only thing people will see (along with your name) when you come up in a search. Your professional headline is searchable, so think about the terms people might search you on. If you’re Head of Nursing Recruitment for an acute trust, make that clear. ‘Head of Recruitment’ is generic, and won’t explain immediately what you do.

Your picture

Your picture should reflect the job you do. If you’re in a creative role, you might use something more light-hearted, but as your role is more serious, you should choose to use your professional headshot.

Your public profile URL

Your public profile is a streamlined version of your LinkedIn profile, and shows up in search engine results. Customising your public profile URL makes you more likely to show up in search results.

At the outset, most people have a list of numbers against the end of their name. In edit mode, click ‘edit’ next to the URL and look to the right hand side of that page for the words ‘Customise Your Public Profile URL’. Type your name, all lower case and no spaces, then save. If your name is already taken, select one of the automatically generated LinkedIn suggestions.

Your contact details

Ensure your contact details are up to date and accurate, including at a minimum your email address and telephone contact details.

Linking Twitter

If you use Twitter for business purposes, it makes sense to link your Twitter profile with your LinkedIn profile to make it easier to share updates. It can also encourage people to follow you on Twitter if they value the content on LinkedIn.

Websites

You can add up to three websites in the contact section of your profile. This is worth doing if you have multiple websites, or places on your site that you’d like to direct people to. Ensure when you add a new site, rather than clicking the automatic ‘Company Website’ you click ‘Other’ which allows you to freetype a description of the website, making people more likely to click on it.

Summary

Your summary is your elevator pitch. It is often the only part of your profile that anyone will read so you need to think carefully about how best to position yourself and your organisation. Consider the following points – not all of them will be appropriate so you need to tailor your summary.

• Are you an employer? If candidates visited your profile, as a hiring manager, are you giving the right impression of your organisation and your department, and does it reflect the employer value proposition?
• Are you delivering services to an external audience? If so, consider what sort of information is going to be most valuable. Is it a description of your services, clients you’ve worked with or perhaps case studies?
• You are an ambassador for your business. How will you promote the company in the best and most engaging fashion?
• You are a product. Even if you’re not currently looking for new opportunities, we all need to consider our personal brand proposition and how we add value to our organisation and clients.

Rich Media

Rich media is a catch-all term for the documents you can add to your summary. This might include links to articles you’ve written, links to videos that your organisation has produced or even case studies. These can either be a URL link or a PDF upload.

Experience

When giving an overview of your experience, keep it brief. You don’t need to copy your entire CV into LinkedIn. Brevity and accuracy are important; keep your career history to the last 5 – 10 years. Readers will struggle to absorb that much information, so emphasising key points is important.

Courses

Ensure you add all the courses you have completed, including both work and vocational courses. This allows people to understand a bit more about you. The more visibility people have of your personality, the easier it will be to build an online network.

Interests

Finally, interests are an important part of your profile. This can be a bit of a contentious issue as LinkedIn is viewed as a professional platform. However, interests can be a great icebreaker, especially when using the platform for networking and can offer some insight into you as an individual. We’ve all said it, but people do business with people so if you can offer some insight into you as a person it can’t do any harm.

For help on how your organisation can get more out of LinkedIn and other social media platforms, please contact: Robert Peasnell, Managing Director – Government, Healthcare & Education Solutions
robert.peasnell@tmpw.co.uk