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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Make Your Personal Brand Stand Out in LinkedIn

Written by  Duane Bailey

Is Your LinkedIn Profile a Best Seller?  Let’s assume it is and your profile is among the first to appear in a search for people with your background and aspirations.

What happens when a hiring manager or recruiter opens it? What story is your profile telling about your personal brand? Is it strengthening or diluting the hiring manager's brand impression? Does your personal brand stand out from the others who are competing against you for the same opportunity?

If your profile is sprinkled with one or more of the 2010 Top 10 overused buzzwords identified by LinkedIn last week, chances are it doesn’t. This list consists of the most clichéd and overused phrases culled from over 85 million LinkedIn profiles:

1. Extensive experience
2. Innovative
3. Motivated
4. Results-oriented
5. Dynamic
6. Proven track record
7. Team player
8. Fast-paced
9. Problem solver
10. Entrepreneurial

Because so many others are using these phrases, they have lost their uniqueness. They’ve become part of the vernacular of resumes and job searches. Their meaning is ambiguous (e.g., what really constitutes extensive experience, anyway?). They can even dilute the hiring manager's impression of your personal brand.

To help make your personal brand stand out in LinkedIn, be different. Try using more descript words and phrases in your profile. Connect your phrases to specific results and explain how your accomplishments might benefit a future employer (e.g., Relevant experience includes leading the design and production of nine direct mail advertising campaigns over a 12-month period, achieving an overall response rate of 8% and an average reduction of 2% in per customer acquisition costs).

Imagine the impact you will have by showing potential employers how you can contribute to their organizations in a meaningful way! By strengthening the hiring manager's impression of your personal brand, you will surely differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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