Natural Search Blog

Use LinkedIn for Career Building & Reputation Management

This past week, LeeAnn Prescott at Hitwise reported that usage of LinkedIn has risen by 323% in the past year:

Hitwise LinkedIn Chart
(click to enlarge)

For those of us working in the internet and information technology fields, this probably isn’t a big surprise. I started getting increasing amounts of LinkedIn invites a few years ago. If you’re not yet aware of the LinkedIn phenomenon, it’s a professional social networking site which allows you to post some biographical material, resume information, and then you can link up to your colleagues and other professional contacts who also have LinkedIn profiles.

If you haven’t joined LinkedIn yet, I’d encourage you to do so, because I think it’s beneficial to your career and good for your company. You should get everyone else in your company to integrate with it as well, because this could be beneficial to your company’s search engine optimization, too. Read on for more details.

I really began beefing up my LinkedIn profile last year, as I began to perceive increasing benefit from it, and as I began seriously planning for the possibility that I might leave my company. I used it primarily to provide potential employers another method by which they might find me, and secondarily because it became a great way for me to build a personal business directory – it’s my rollodex, now.

One of my friends integrated with it, because he wanted to dominate the results page content when others might Google him. It gave him a much needed inbound link to his personal website, and having that LinkedIn page come up high in the search results also helped push down some other webpages that belonged to people who shared his name.

LinkedIn has a brief public profile they will display to everyone for each user, but to view more of the details and to contact a user, you have to be registered with LinkedIn yourself. The cool thing about the public profiles is that LinkedIn has very capably optimized the profiles so that they will get crawled and indexed by the search engines. So, people who Google you may be likely to find your profile, particularly if you have a unique name. The best part of their optimal design is that any hyperlinks you provide are bare-bones links which transfer PageRank which can help out with your natural search optimization. You can view my personal profile at LinkedIn, Chris Smith, and you’ll see that I list links for my company, my blog and my personal website.

If your company has a few hundred people, just think of the benefit to having all of their profiles linking back to the company website!

In addition, the LinkedIn service makes it that much easier to locate people and companies. The LinkedIn community members are sometimes asking for consulting and business references, so being integrated with it could open your company up to more partnership opportunities.

Sure, loads of recruiters are also using it to try to headhunt people, but this is a risk you have to accept along with the benefit of having great employees and making your business more findable.

So, join the growing crowd of LinkedIn users as a component of your online reputation management, internet promotion, and career development.

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