Leveraging LinkedIn

Continuing with the theme of personal branding and networking, let's take a moment to talk about LinkedIn. Wondering why you should use LinkedIn? Look no further than their mission, which is "to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful." Pair that message with their vision to "create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce," and the importance of leveraging this tool in your career management should be obvious.

Enhancing Your Profile

So, where to begin? While having a complete profile will increase the potential you have for opportunities, here are steps to get started:

  • Profile Photo: Make sure you have a professional photo and it's visible to all (unless you have a personal circumstance where that is not possible). Having a photo increases views of your profile by 21 times and leads to 9 times more connection requests. Check out tips for taking a great photo here. It's less important to change the background photo from the default. 
  • Headline: The headline is the line directly underneath your name and is the most searchable part of LinkedIn, so you want to make sure you move beyond the default headline (job title at company) to share more of your value and areas of expertise. Consider including: target job titles, industries, job functions, and a branding statement about what you are known for. You can also include relevant degrees (hint: MBA) and certifications. Remember to separate each idea by a vertical line. 
  • About section: The about section is truly a differentiator on LinkedIn as it provides you a chance to introduce yourself and your brand in your own words! Elevate it by sharing more than just a reiteration of your experience (remember that section exists already on LinkedIn), but who you are and what makes you stand out. There are seemingly endless ways to approach this section based on your goal - finding a job, becoming a thought leader, etc. Check out these articles (from Jobscan, Hubspot, and LinkedIn) for ideas on how to elevate this section. 
  • Experience: Make sure to include your work history (at least your two most recent roles) with key achievements as recruiters often use job titles and companies to locate potential candidates. You don't have to include everything, especially if you've had a long career or already made several pivots, but make sure to include all experiences that fit with your story and your brand.
  • Education: List your formal education in reverse chronological order, and make sure you include Valar! The only caveat would be if your company is not aware of your degree, and it may be problematic before graduation. The best way to leverage the network is to showcase your affiliation publicly! 

After these sections, add more details as you can include skills, recommendations, and relevant licenses, certifications, and courses. 

Engagement Strategies

As with the profile, where to begin with engagement can also feel overwhelming. Start with these simple tricks:

  • Follow companies of interest as it's an easy way to do company research and see relevant openings
  • Comment on posts from those already in your network - it will increase your reach to continue to move existing conversations forward

Once you get more active on the platform, sharing your own content will greatly enhance your visibility, but, at the very least, we all have time to like/share/comment on existing content!

Curious as to how your LinkedIn profile is representing you now? Sign up for a LinkedIn review here and get asynchronous detailed feedback to help move your profile forward.

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