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One Word That Will Change Your LinkedIn Profile Forever

LinkedIN logoIt’s no secret. I’m nuts about social media. (I lead the Cisco Careers “Life at Cisco” social media strategy.) Word gets around, so people who aren’t as nuts about social media ask me for advice. I love helping them, because when you’re passionate about something, you want others to be passionate about it.

One of the biggest questions I get asked is about how to make a great LinkedIn profile. There are lots of tips out there – have a great profile picture, fill out all the sections of your profile, etc. However, there’s one word that I tell people will change the way they think about their LinkedIn profile.

Here it is. You ready for it? The word is “keywords.”

Carmen's LinkedIn profile

My LinkedIn profile, full of keywords!

LinkedIn is the Google Search of the professional world. If a hiring manager is looking to fill a role, they’re going to search for keywords. If a job seeker is looking for a new role, they’re going to search for keywords. If someone wants to network with their peers, reach out for new opportunities or build their contacts in a certain area, they’re going to search for keywords.

That’s why your LinkedIn profile better be filled with keywords.

Ask yourself this: “What are the words or phrases that best describe what it is I do.” (Or, if you’re early in your career, what you WANT to do.) Not sure what keywords are right for you? Do a LinkedIn search using the keywords you THINK you want to use, and look at the profiles that come up on the first two pages. Do those people represent what you’re looking for? Or, look at the profiles of people who you feel represent your chosen field. What keywords do they use?

Once you’ve got your keywords, you need to start building them into your profile.

1. Start with the Skills section of LinkedIn. (Go to Profile -> Edit Profile -> Scroll to Skills -> Click “Add Skils” box.) Enter your skills (which should be your top keywords). Now, LinkedIn will start asking your connections to endorse you for those skills/keywords. The more endorsements for those skills/keywords, the higher you’ll come up in search results for those skills. For example, my top two keywords are “social media marketing” and “social media.” I have the most endorsements on those two skillsets.

2. Now, look at your LinkedIn Headline (the short section under your name on your profile.) Are your top skills listed? If not, put them there. (Go to Profile -> Edit Profile -> Scroll over headline -> Click Pencil button to edit.) This area doesn’t have to be your title (we all know that sometimes a title says nothing about our skills.) The edit box even gives you the opportunity to see examples or what other people in your industry are doing. (Let’s hope they’re using keywords!)

3. Now, tackle your summary. Your summary is your chance to show your personality, while incorporating your keywords. Make sure when you use your keywords, you’re doing them in a way that makes sense so people don’t get annoyed. (For example, I didn’t write “social media” 50 times in one paragraph.)

4. Is your experience section filled out? Make sure that your experience section uses action verbs, is results-oriented, and features your keywords.

That covers the basics, but I’m going to go past LinkedIn 201 to LinkedIn 301 with my last tip, for those of you who are now so excited that you want to rank on the top search page for your keywords if it’s the last thing you do.

As you grow in your career, your keywords should be what people recognize you for – your areas of expertise. Pay it forward, and share your expertise with others. LinkedIn allows you to create what is essentially a blog post that is tied to your LinkedIn profile. (Go to your Home page, select “Write a Post.”) What should you write about? Your keywords. Share knowledge. Share projects. Share learnings. Share mistakes. When you write these posts, use your keywords.

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What Makes Engaging B2B Social Content

Why do you login to your various social media accounts? Is it to be entertained by videos and images? Catch up on the latest news in your industry? Engage with colleagues? My hunch says you do all of the above.

Nobody has time to sift through every piece of content on social media though. We quickly scroll through our feeds, bypassing updates that do not grab our attention. So how do we as social marketers create content that is not ignored? Here are some absolute musts for creating engaging B2B social content.

The content must be a balance between entertainment and education

Let’s look at marketing content as a spectrum. On the left we have lengthy and boring technical data sheets and white papers. On the right, we have funny videos, memes, and other amusing pieces. While we all need to push the left content to our audiences, we need to incorporate aspects from the content on the right to grab our audience’s attention. The middle of the spectrum is where we as B2B social marketers need to be.

Gary Vaynerchuck writes in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, “If we want to talk to people while they consume their entertainment, we have to actually be their entertainment.” But not only is our B2B audience looking for entertainment, they are also seeking information and new insights so they can be ahead in their industry. Some examples of good content for this include infographics, informational short videos, and visual SlideShare decks of key highlights. We must strike a balance between informative and entertaining content, such as the examples below.

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3 Tips for Growing your Network with LinkedIn

In the social media world, Facebook and Twitter get a lot of time and attention. Both platforms have huge user bases and appeal to both businesses and consumers. However, LinkedIn is the go-to professional network for over 347 million members in over 200 countries worldwide.

When I originally started using LinkedIn it was generally more of a consumption model – meaning people looked at content but didn’t necessarily engage with that content. I know my personal habits were to post some things, update my profile as needed, and “just browse” what was going on with my connections. Over the past couple of years, LinkedIn has made significant changes to their user interface (UI) to encourage more content posting and engagement within the platform.

Here are three top tips to leverage LinkedIn’s feature to help expand your network.

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Networking Goes Social

As you probably know, networking can bring your career to a new level. Who you meet can open a variety of doors – you’re able to meet new clients, gain referrals, meet future peers, find a mentor, or begin a new partnership. The possibilities are endless.

Gone are the days where you would print out a stack of business cards and keep them in your wallet to hand out wherever you go. Now, with the digital age, your business card is your social presence. Interacting with someone digitally is the new norm; connecting with a colleague on LinkedIn, tweeting at your favorite brand or company, sharing your favorite articles on Facebook – these are all ways to network from right behind the keyboard.

Networking Goes Social

So, what’s the benefit of getting active on social networks? Here are my top three benefits for taking your networking skills to the computer:

Reach Brands Directly. Many brands are active on social media and are curious about how their customers and partners are using their products. Use this to your advantage and start a conversation about their latest launch, an article they posted, or good customer service. They’ll likely respond back with a follow-up question or a kind note as a way to thank you for reaching out.

Save Time and Money. While you should continue to go to live events when possible, you can network through social channels whenever and wherever you go. You can reach out to brands on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn through your phone or desktop without the hefty price tag that comes with traveling.

Interact with Industry Leaders. If you refer to an article written by an industry leader, tag them by using @[their handle]. On Twitter, for example, many company executives and brands will favorite or retweet your post as a way of engaging back. It’s a way of interacting with people you might otherwise not get the chance to.

Have you started networking online? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Cisco Focus: The Year in Review

Everyone loves “year in review” articles, slideshows and wraps, right? Well, I do. Cisco’s fiscal year ends July 26, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to give our fiscal year in review for the Cisco Social Media team and all the great content that we produce week-in and week-out.

We created and run “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site.” This is where we have great journalists writing stories about the impact that technology has on your life or your business. We also create short, informative videos that highlight Cisco Innovators, our Leadership team, and other video series like “My Networked Life” or “City of the Future: Songdo, Korea.” And, whether you are a customer or partner…or are just interested in technology, we invite you and encourage you to take our content for your own site and re-use it or share it.

Last August, we launched our monthly digital magazine entitled “Focus.” Each month we do a deep dive on technology topics that we care about and that the industry cares about. You can see all the issues here.

Our Top 3 Issues this year:
1.       Technology in Education
2.       Women in Tech, and Read More »

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