I just didn’t get LinkedIn.
I understood why LinkedIn was important but never took time to update or improve my profile. I wasn’t as comfortable using LinkedIn as other platforms like Twitter. My account was stagnant.
However, I’m ready to build my professional profile after attending a LinkedIn Workshop hosted by IABC Maritimes last week. Lindsay Cross (Brand and Integrated Marketing at MSVU) and Chantal Brine (Consultant at Venor Group) demonstrated how to maximise the potential of your profile.
Here are my top five takeaways from Lindsay and Chantal on how to get started on LinkedIn.
1. Define your brand and values
“A well-positioned brand puts you in the envious position of being the hunted, not the hunter.” – Wendy Nolin in IABC’s Communication World.
Before you write a summary, take time to determine what makes you unique. Building a personal brand will make you memorable and help align you with potential employers.
Start by asking yourself:
- How are you distinct?
- What are you known for?
- What do you value?
- How do you help others? Why do you?
- What are you passionate about?
Once you’ve answered these questions, write a catchy summary that defines your brand and values. Show who you are, what you’re good at and why people should care. Keep it concise with three to five key messages.
2. Turn off notify your network
Avoid oversaturating your connections with profile updates while you’re getting started. Turn off the “notify your network” setting until your profile is ready to share.
3. Update your photos
Make sure your photo is professional, current and authentic. Outdated or inappropriate (hint: party pictures) won’t do it. Ask a friend to snap a picture outside or if you’re in Halifax, stop by Iris Booth. In less than 20 minutes you can take, edit and download professional headshots.
Adding a background could seem unnecessary, but it makes your profile pop and supports the visual of your personal brand.
4. Ask for endorsements and recommendations
Don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements. This will display your strengths and build credibility. However, only ask for and give endorsements to people you’ve actually worked with. For more detailed description of your skills, ask former professors, co-workers or bosses to write you a recommendation.
5. Be a content creator or curator
Creating the perfect post can be intimidating. If you’re afraid of the pressure of being a content creator, be a curator instead. When you like, comment and share posts on LinkedIn it can show up in your connections’ newsfeeds. As a result, you will become a resource for other people. Even better? Seeing your name pop up could be the reminder your connections need to get in touch.
One last tip: let people know you’ve seen their profile. As Lindsay and Chantal say, “You want to be seen. It’s LinkedIn. You’re there to connect!”
Whether you’re starting your degree or on the verge of graduating, it’s time to get LinkedIn.
Thank you Lindsay Cross, Chantal Brine and IABC Maritimes for hosting the LinkedIn Workshop.