Let’s Talk LinkedIn
If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of LinkedIn. If you’re a PR professional or any professional for that matter, you must have a viable LinkedIn account if you want to connect with the industry’s top recruiters. So, how LinkedIn savvy are you?
LinkedIn is growing in users and popularity. In fact, according to the platform’s statistics, two professionals join LinkedIn every second. That's an impressive growth rate. Just think in Q3 2016 LinkedIn had 467 million users but had 590 million by the end of 2018. That’s 123 million new users in two years.
If you’re looking for a low-down on LinkedIn, I’ve got you covered.
First, make sure you’re using a professional profile picture. It doesn’t have to be professionally shot, but it should be a clear photo from around the shoulders up. You should look presentable, wear professional or decent clothing, and smiling. You want to suggest friendliness and professionalism.
Not only that but make sure your profile picture is visible to everyone. You can check this by going to ‘Settings & Privacy’, then ‘Edit your public profile’, and then select the ‘Public’ option for profile photos in the right-hand column, ‘Your profile’s public visibility’. By allowing everyone to see your face, you give yourself a better chance to receive connection requests.
Second, make sure you have a customized LinkedIn profile URL. It looks cleaner and neater and looks good in your email signature and resume. To do this, go to your profile. Click the pencil icon in the ‘Edit your custom URL’ box at the top of the right-hand column. If available, use your full name. Otherwise, try using your first name, middle initial, and last name or something else that feels appropriate.
Third, make sure all of your information is up to date. This includes your experience and education, your skills, your ‘About’, your header, your location, your current resume, etc. Most important? Your contact info!!!
There is so much to add to your profile. Go to your profile and browse the categories and subcategories within the ‘Add profile section’. Add additional languages you speak, your honors and awards, volunteer work you’ve done, published work you’ve written or collaborated on, a recommendation from someone, excellent test scores, license and certifications you hold, and more. Generally, the more fleshed out and robust your profile, the better it is for recruiters.
Fourth, make sure you have a strong ‘About’ description. When you mention your current or most recent position, what exactly were you doing? I want details. What industries did you work in? Where exactly does your experience lie? I’m searching for your specific capabilities. For example, if you work in PR, I need to know the vertical industries in which you have experience such as healthcare, financial, consumer products, etc.
Fifth, post and interact! While you’re on the job, post confirmed and verifiable achievements. Link an article or photo. Comment on other people’s posts.
Sixth, network! When requesting a connection with another professional, send them a note! It couldn’t hurt to ask them for quick industry tips, a short phone call, etc. Engage! That’s part of what LinkedIn is all about.