LinkedIn and Professional Development
I am also here to bust the myth of LinkedIn profiles solely being beneficial for job searchers. Utilizing LinkedIn for professional development and networking continues to be overlooked. Whether business growth is your goal or simply learning new skills from others, LinkedIn is the perfect go-to. If you are familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, this social media platform is one he frequently speaks about regarding the attention being significantly underpriced. The breakdown of this idea is the audience available through LinkedIn is accessible for a very low cost (if any, depending on your goal). Essentially the reach is significant and cost is low to initiate. Another notable feature of the platform is reaching those across the world from your own living room, but that is a completely separate conversation. Let’s stay on task!
Top to Bottom
Starting from top to bottom with your LinkedIn profile, I will begin with Summary at the top. This is your personal and professional introduction to all eyes viewing your profile. Think of it as your initial handshake and meaningful first impression. A noticeable similarity in messaging can be seen on the introduction of your resume. Utilize the space to breakdown your highlighted skills in a one to two sentence format followed by bullet points encompassing other notable details. Two great examples are quantitative statistics or awards won that can be displayed to draw attention to how attractive a candidate you are.
The Summary section is followed by Experience. Similar to what I mentioned earlier, the tone and format here look familiar to your resume and vice versa. Present the information in a well thought out and direct manner showing specific tasks completed or influenced in order to make the largest impact. The use of bullet points again will allow the reader to review your skills and history with ease!
Next, is the Education section, which is fairly straight forward. List each degree with accuracy and specificity. One thing often skipped is if an Associate’s degree was completed at a different school from Bachelor’s, both should be listed. There are endless possibilities with networking or alumni connections that could potentially be missed if only one is listed.
LinkedIn Skills brings another important section! Recruiters are looking to identify key skills in order to fill their positions properly. On top of the manual review, queries are run to locate potential candidates who qualify for openings, so you can see the emphasis necessary. Terms such as customer service, sales, ICD-10, work flow operations, financial analysis and many more can be included depending upon industry.
Recommendations and Endorsements
Last and most certainly not least, are what I refer to as ‘LinkedIn Extras’. The entire profile holds weight, so don’t skip over the last couple sections. You will notice a section for Recommendations and Endorsements where other members can endorse you for particular skills or write a complete recommendation. If you’re a business owner looking to increase credibility, the recommendation section can be an effective ask of your clients to help after delivering a satisfying product or service. Endorsements can simply be sent from other members who believe you excel in particular categories, such as marketing or team building.
The final section is ‘Interests’, which will populate those pages and companies you have followed. It is important to remain specific about what you ‘Follow’ knowing it will show as public.
With all these details wrapped with a bow, you can begin to transform your profile one step and section at a time. Avoid overwhelming yourself, regardless of time of year by making small incremental changes. If you have specific questions relating to your experience and future goals, please drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org! Until next time, Happy Holidays to all!
Rebecca Wagner - I actively find flow through unparalleled focus on propelling the careers of others. These posts will help to share my thought processes about development, self-awareness and growth.