Setting up a LinkedIn Profile

The first step to working with LinkedIn is to build your personal profile.  A simple profile will allow you to get started, but the more you develop your profile with your professional history and education, the better you will appear to prospective contacts, and those who might recommend you.  LinkedIn recommends a minimum of 65 network connections, but the larger you build your network; the more LinkedIn will be of value to you.  There are several strategies in building your network, and who you should seek, or accept, in your network.  For now you should build your network connections from everyone you are personally acquainted, and those that share a common ministry and goals.

The goal in using LinkedIn is to “attract” the right people to see you, and you want to be connected with.  To begin working on that goal, find out what opportunities you or your ministry might help with, and then focus on telling a story that will attract your target audience to you.  The most important thing as you fill out your LinkedIn profile is to determine the questions your target contacts will be asking, and answer those questions clearly in your “Headline”, what you are “Working On”, in the first several paragraphs of your “Summary”, in your “Employment history”, and your “Education”.

First Steps:

Go to:  www.linkedin.com

On the right side, under “Join LinkedIn Today”, fill in the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email – You can use your personal e-mail address or a dedicated address, and can add additional addresses later.  Whatever e-mail address you choose, set it up to go to your normal e-mail inbox so you can respond right away.
  • Password

Then Click the “Join Now” button.  (You can change these items later if desired).

The next screen is for your professional profile, and asks you to complete the following:

  • I am currently: a drop down box will let you choose from the following:
    • Employed
    • A Business Owner
    • Looking for Work
    • Working Independently
    • A Student
    • Company: If you are “Employed” or a “Business Owner”, start typing the name and LinkedIn will give you pre-registered company choices, or you can complete typing the name if it’s not on the list.  Use the pre-registered company if possible to improve your search results.  If you are “Looking for Work” or “Working independently”, a drop down box for “industry” will give you choices.  If you are a “Student”, drop down boxes for both Industry and Education give you selections to choose from.
    • Job Title: Use something easily recognized and understood
    • Country:  United States is the default
    • Zip Code: LinkedIn only lists your region like Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida Area

Click the “Continue” button.

When you have completed these sections, LinkedIn sends an e-mail to the e-mail address you used so you can confirm that everything is legitimate.  This avoids people setting up false profiles.

Once you confirm your e-mail address, LinkedIn takes you to a sign in screen where you can search for people you already know on LinkedIn through Yahoo, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, or other.  If anyone is found, LinkedIn gives you the ability to send them an invitation to join your network by clicking on the “Add Connections” button.  Caution, when you invite people, (especially if you don’t know them well), make sure you customize the invitation and tell them how they know you.  You don’t want them to reply with an “I don’t know this person”.  In fact, I even add “If you are not open to connections, please just Archive this invitation” as a safeguard.

Did you know that 80-85% of new jobs are found through networking?  It’s no different in ministry, most ministry and business opportunities are brought to us through our contacts and network so don’t stop with people you know well today.  Invite everyone you know or have ever known, including; current and past co-workers, school mates, fellow church members, pastors, ministry leaders and ministry contacts, etc.  At the very bottom of the LinkedIn profile, under Contact Settings, it gives you an opportunity to tell people what you are interested in.  Under “What advice would you like to give users considering contacting you?” you can tell people specifically who you’d like to be connected with.  You can also add your e-mail address to make it easier for them to connect.  From now on, you’ll want to invite everyone you meet to connect with you on LinkedIn.

In the next posting I’ll give you my suggestions on how to add Experience (jobs & positions), Education, and what to put in your Summary. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff now, just get your profile started, and if you are not already connected with me, send me an invitation, just mention you read my blog and I’ll accept!

Thank you for reading my Linked4Ministry blog, and please share it with others who it might benefit.  Remember, readership and networks are built one person at a time.

Blessings, Bill

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rev. Oscar Amponsah on August 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    God bless you for the provision of this site, for it is going to help promote the kingdom of God.

    Reply

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