Most common LinkedIn guidance and feedback
Along with networking, resumes and interviewing, LinkedIn feedback is among the common requests I get, so thought I’d write a post. Enjoy!
Create a LinkedIn profile
If you’ve been putting it off, just go ahead and do it. If you are on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, then you need to add LinkedIn to your professional toolkit. Be aware that just as MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook, LinkedIn might be replaced by something else, but for the foreseeable future, it is the defacto social platform for professionals in general. At the very least, have a picture, and a profile statement. You can transcribe your resume experiences and other professional accomplishments later.
Have (an appropriately) professional picture
Most of the people I have seen have an appropriately professional picture. Which means it is likely NOT the same as your Facebook profile picture (unless you use Facebook for work). When I say “appropriately professional”, I mean within the context of the work and image you want to portray. You can choose your level between formal business (which is recommended for most corporate types) and casual (which might be relevant for those wishing to portray that image – start-up founders often want that personna).
For me, a smiling face is most welcome. Backdrop doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A professional looking backdrop taken by a friend or coworker from your smart phone works just fine. Don’t over think it. You can upgrade it later on when you feel it’s appropriate.
Make your profile statement compelling
The profile statement is not your resume nor your cover letter, and it might be a version of your elevator pitch, but whatever it is, make it compelling. Make someone who is interested in your profile want to connect with you.
Also, I recommend to take a stance. Demonstrate an interest or passion for something. There’s a quote along the lines of “if you’re trying to be something to everyone, you become nothing to no one”. For eager job seekers, like new grads or newcomers, this can be hard as you may want to just take what you can get, however, by doing so, the person on the other side, might not know if they should connect. This can be extra true for recruiters, who are looking for specific qualities and if you confuse them that you are both A, B, C, and all the way to Z, then someone looking for skill set U might get lost with everything else. Be U. Pun intended.
Focus on your benefits instead of your features. Having a list of all of your achievements is nice, however, telling a story of the impact you could have on the person viewing your profile or those they know would be more compelling.
Complete your sections
The experience section can have information very similar to your resume (assuming it is well written). Make sure to include words that might show up on the recruiter’s results that would be looking for something to you. They are not restricted to the 1-2 pages as a resume is, and could be as complete as a CV if you really want.
Education is relevant. Add content to the accomplishments, volunteer experience, publications, certifications, projects, etc, etc that would be useful for the roles that you want.
Get recommendations and endorsements. If you can.
Join groups and interact
As much as your LinkedIn profile passively sits there and is searchable to recruiters and others, interacting with the LinkedIn community can help build your professional brand. Liking and sharing posts is great. Thoughtful commenting on posts is better. Creating your own content is even better. You can write, send info-graphics, or even create video! Like with most things, the more you give to the LinkedIn community, the more it will give back.
Keep your up to date
Put a reminder in your calendar to update your profile every 3-4 months. You can use it as a version of your career document.
Those are the basics. Nothing much to it. Just do it. Keep it clear and professional, and up to date! Happy Linking In!
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