Step Up Your LinkedIn Game: A How-To Guide
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is the most important professional networking site in the world. With 87 percent of job recruiters using it to find or vet candidates, it’s easy to see why having a solid presence on the platform is so important. Keep reading to learn simple and easy ways of leveling up your LinkedIn profile!
Update Your Business Headshot
Many people have strong feelings about getting their photo taken, and I suspect that’s why there are so many smart, highly qualified professionals who still use a grainy phone selfie as their LinkedIn photo. This may work just fine for some people. However, if you’re looking to land your next big job or grow your business, having a more polished profile picture is a simple way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Professional business headshots show recruiters (and/or investors) that you take your career and business seriously, and are mindful of how you represent your company.
If you can, hire a professional photographer to take them—student photographers are a great affordable option if you’re on a budget. Business headshots are a good investment because they’ll last you a long time and serve multiple purposes (social media, company announcements, bio pages, etc). If you balk at the idea of hiring a photographer, at least have a friend take a few decent photos of you wearing business professional attire in an area with good lighting. Feel free to get creative with your environment, too: Stand in your garden, sit at a well-appointed home desk, or use any other surroundings that communicate professionally who you are. There are still too many of you standing bolt upright against a stark white wall, as if you were being arraigned by law enforcement.
Write and Ask For Recommendations
When it comes to my writing, one idea that I live by is “show, don’t tell.” The same principle applies to LinkedIn: It’s good to tell people that you’re an experienced and qualified professional, but it’s even better to show them you are by having your colleagues sing your praises. You’d be a lot more inclined to believe someone was amazing if other people said that about them, rather than them always saying it about themself. That’s why the “Recommendations” section of your profile is important.
To bolster your profile with recommendations, reach out to current and former colleagues and supervisors with whom you have a strong working relationship. Let them know that you’re looking to build your LinkedIn presence and want to exchange recommendations. You’ll get the chance to approve all recommendations before they’re displayed on your profile, so there’s no risk in asking.
Bonus pro tip: Be generous in making recommendations for your friends and colleagues on LinkedIn. The more you give, the more you get.
Interact and Engage
Many of us, myself included, have gone through the trouble of setting up a presentable LinkedIn profile just to forget about it for months. I get it—you’ve got enough on your plate already, and who’s got time for LinkedIn, anyway? Well, the good news is that it only takes a few minutes each day to check in, and there are many good reasons to do it. I like to scroll through LinkedIn every morning when I first sit down at my desk, as I’m still drinking my morning coffee. I take that time to warm up for the day while I browse, like, and comment on things happening in my network. Here’s why:
Professional opportunities. These days, people come across opportunities all the time on LinkedIn. It’s usually in the form of open jobs, but it can also be clients or investors. Who knows—a great opportunity could pass right by you if you’re never checking your LinkedIn messages!
Networking. I like knowing what my former classmates and colleagues are up to. That’s partly because it’s just interesting, and partly because I love to facilitate connections and partnerships wherever I see an opportunity for them. You never know when someone in your network will come along with a great opportunity for you (or you for them).
Community engagement. Being active in your community and professional field is always beneficial to your career, and it’s virtually a necessity if you’re a company executive. Whether you’re looking to land a job, drive more business, or gain clients, putting yourself out there can go a long way in helping you reach your goals. If you’ve established a voice within your industry, people are much more likely to think of you when an opportunity comes along.
Yep, We Do That, Too
If you’re still having trouble navigating the wild world of LinkedIn, or if you just don’t have the time, we’d be happy to help you out. Contact us today at Parklife for all your executive professional needs, from resume building to cover letters to LinkedIn.