Optimize your LinkedIn profile – and other social media accounts – so you can use them as tools to amplify your strengths and skills, and help you land your dream job.
This post is a follow-up to a live workshop I provided on March 18, 2019. If you're a student who attended the workshop, and you're interested in my guide, "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating a Simple & Effective Social Media Strategy," please click here.
Your LinkedIn profile is your new resume. Well, it's not really new... more of an expectation. Okay, you need a resume AND a LinkedIn profile, got it? But, don't be intimidated. Luckily, the two can work hand-in-hand.
When I first started hearing about LinkedIn a number of years ago, I wasn't interested. I had a job. I created an account, but I would go months without checking it.
I began to make some connections through LinkedIn with local professionals, as well as past colleagues and coworkers. Again, I didn't give it much thought.
But, things started to change. Some wonderful former colleagues of mine provided me with some recommendations. Whoa. They were so impactful, and public. They held some weight. I've since used some of those recommendations on my actual resume, website, applications and beyond.
When I started my own business, I became much more aware of LinkedIn. Whenever I would go to a networking event, I would add people I had met afterward. It felt much more professional than adding them as a friend on Facebook or following their Instagram accounts.
I've since had some amazing opportunities through connections I've made on LinkedIn. Plus, it's become a wonderful resource to direct people to if they want to learn a little more about my experience.
So, now what do I say when people ask me about LinkedIn? Make sure you have a profile, and make sure it's complete! Here's how.
This awesome article outlines the many reasons it's such a useful tool, including the fact that it's an amazing job board, it gives you the opportunity to brand yourself, and it helps people find your name through a Google search.
What makes a great LinkedIn profile?
You can have a LinkedIn account, but if your profile is not optimized, it won't do much good. It's important to ensure your profile is:
- Complete – content, photos, headline, summary, links, recommendations, media
- Easy to navigate
- Simple to read – point form is always awesome
How do I make authentic connections through LinkedIn?
- Connect with current colleagues, friends, etc.
- You can "cold call," as long as you make an introduction that explains why you want to make the connection. Sample message:
I noticed we have some connections through ____, so I thought I'd reach out and introduce myself. I am a marketing professional and I see you are too. Perhaps we'll have the opportunity to meet in the near future at ____.
Take care! Allison
- Follow companies you're interested in
- Join professional groups
- Join your college alumni group
- Be active
- Visit the "Discover More" section
Beyond LinkedIn - How to manage your online reputation through social media
Now that teens grow up using social media, their accounts follow them throughout their lives. In knowing this, it's important to be mindful of everything you post because there's a good chance that someone may find it years later.
In short, nothing private is really private. Just because you have a private Facebook or Instagram account doesn't mean that someone can't screenshot one of your posts. Think about who could potentially see your profile, posts, comments, photos, videos, etc., before you post.
I'm not saying you have to censor yourself; simply consider.
Good luck with your job search! •