To LinkedIn or Not to LinkedIn, that is the question! Deciding if or when to utilize LinkedIn has become quite a polarizing discussion. There seem to be a few conventions of thought surrounding the efficacy of using the online networking forum. Those who are not fans of social media may find LinkedIn to be a pseudo-extension of popular social media platforms and do not use it often. Those who were early adopters or have a familiarity or comfort using online forums, find the shift to LinkedIn more useful and use it for their benefit and in a variety of ways.
As advances in technology user us more into the future, having an online presence will soon become a must versus a luxury or courtesy. Sometimes it is simply about knowing how to use the platform and not a complete aversion to using it. To use the long-running PSA from the NBC channel, “The More You Know…”. Cue the rainbow and start optics! Continue reading for some guidance on how to leverage your personal LinkedIn page.
Be Visually Seen
As mentioned above, you a creating an online presence, how do you want to be seen? Long gone are the days of wearing a 3-piece suit, coiffed hair, and or a string of pearls. Our phones, nee, advanced cameras can easily take a great photo. Also, you can go to your app store and find a plethora of applications that will edit your photo to get the professional results you desire. If you still prefer the artistry of a professional photographer, you can take advantage of online freelance spaces like Thumbtack to find reasonable local photographers. Additionally, LinkedIn itself has helpful hints on how to post your photos.
Who Are You?
Use your “About Me” section. Let the visitors to your page know who the heck you are! A rule of thumb would be to use this as your online elevator speech. Who you are, what you are good at, and why someone should contact you to learn more about you. A good 5 to 6 sentences would be a great set point for this section of your page.
Showcase Your Work Experience
Yes, this may be a bit time-consuming. But the juice is worth the squeeze. There is no rush here. Be thoughtful in how you describe your contributions in each of your roles. This does not have to be bulletized like your resume, though I would recommend using your resume for support as you develop your work summaries. This section should show the progression in your career to include an increase in responsibilities, scope of work, and any initiatives or programs you implemented, developed or contributed to.
There are millions of professionals and thousands of companies and organizations on LinkedIn. Tap in! Start reaching out to professionals who share your experience, have a position that you aspire to, share the same school or previous place of work. You would be surprised at how many people will accept your request to connect. As a courtesy, it is always nice to send a little note introducing yourself and why you would like to connect. If you find someone who really does interest you, reach out to see if they would be open to a 15 min information interview. This provides you with a potential opportunity to make a real connection with like-minded professionals. This could be the beginning of someone providing you with mentorship or serving as a hiring advocate for the future.
Bonus- You Can Improve Your Professional Develop
LinkedIn has great learning opportunities as well via LinkedIn Learning. This is a great way to learn a new skill set or improve upon the skills you already have. The learning platform is vast with various groupings and you can either listen or read the transcripts or both. You will also get a certificate once completed that can be posted on your page. Please note you will have to have the professional subscription to access LinkedIn Learning.
Consider your LinkedIn profile as your professional online business card. You can also use this a personal branding opportunity as well. can be developed by using the platform for you. This is your opportunity to shine, even show off your skills, professional presence, and abilities.
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