On 15 October 2010 LinkedIn enabled a new feature called "sections" for its individual user profile pages. This includes the option to add "Certifications" along with other elements that includes Languages, Patents, Publications and Skills.
These new sections add another rich layer of profile information that will make LinkedIn an even more powerful networking tool than it already is.
Associations should encourage all of their certification holders to include this information on their professional profiles. This will help to raise awareness of the certification and of the affiliated organization.
How does it work?
At the bottom of your LinkedIn profile page in the "Edit Profile" mode you will see that the option to "Add sections" has been added:
When you click on "Add sections" you will see a prompt that includes the ability not only to add sections (certifications, language, patents, publications and skills) but also links into other LinkedIn enabled applications.
Advice: We strongly recommend that associations inform their members how to add the certification to their LinkedIn profile. We suggest that you give them guidance on the exact wording. For example, to include the acronym and the full description of the designation and the authoring body. See example.
This helps to ensure consistency that will improve the ability to search for individuals based on their certifications. It is also an important element of your branding to have your members use correct descriptions of your certifications, designations, acronyms and organizational names.
LinkedIn continues to add features that make it a valuable tool for associations in an overall social media strategy.
LinkedIn can be used to engage your members in a LinkedIn group, to search for and invite potential members to your organization, to identify new thought leaders, speakers and authors, to perform competitive intelligence and scores of other applications that deliver real results.
If you would like to connect with other users of LinkedIn to share experiences or to ask questions, please join our LinkedIn group for LinkedIn Users! (of course we have a LinkedIn group for that!)
If you don't have a LinkedIn profile yet, now is a great time to get one. It is free and you control what information is shared. More importantly, it opens doors for professional networking that will deliver real benefits to you and your organization.
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