By Kelly Fantasia, PHR, SHRM-SCP

A LinkedIn profile is a must in the professional world and it defines your personal brand. It’s your virtual business card. LinkedIn hosts approximately 700 million professionals across all professions and you don’t want to be conspicuously missing if someone is trying to connect with you there.

Illustration of people polishing the personal brand for their LinkedIn Profile

A LinkedIn profile is the basis of your online professional, personal brand. The profile should feature a clear, concise summary of your skillset and what you have to offer a prospective employer or organization. It doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t!) read like an all-inclusive resume, but it does have to demonstrate current skills and previous accomplishments. If you’re able to get them, recommendations from former employers, coworkers, and industry peers help to give your profile more depth.

Your LinkedIn Profile = Your Personal Brand

The more relevant content you include in your profile, the more likely it is that your LinkedIn page will appear higher up in search results so creating and keeping your profile up-to-date is particularly important if you’re conducting a job search. If you’re looking for a specific type of job and you see a posting for it, be sure to include keywords that appear in the posting inside your profile to, again, ensure you come up higher in search results.

Build Your Network

Once you’ve completed or updated your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to continue to build out your network. Remember to start with the people you’ve worked with, in the past. Then move on to members of professional organizations in your field (for accounting, these would be organizations like the AICPA, FINRA, your state societies, etc.).

Something very important to remember is that the vast majority of roles are not publicly posted and most positions are filled by people recommended by current employees so if you can find and connect with relevant people inside the organization you’re interested in, that’s a great way to try to secure that recommendation.

One secret to LinkedIn is that not everyone has access to all the people on LinkedIn. You need to expand your network to have access to different people and different LinkedIn organizations or user groups.

If you have any questions on how to effectively brand your LinkedIn profile for job search success feel free to contact us with any questions you have.