What do we know about LinkedIn?
We know that LinkedIn is quickly replacing the paper resume and rightfully so. There is so much more functionality available for the user to make their work history come to life. If you are like most people, you probably have a LinkedIn account, but perhaps you are looking for a few tips on how to take your presence on LinkedIn to the next level. Today I had the opportunity to present to my colleagues in HR about this subject. Below is the presentation, as well as the three key takeaways.
#1 Narrow Your Skills on LinkedIn Down to a Top 10
People often make the mistake of trying to list out 30 skills on LinkedIn. This is actually working against you. Let’s say you have the ability to earn 300 endorsements total for all your skills listed. If 300 is split 30 ways you only have an average of 10 endorsements on each skill. And most likely, you’ll find that 10 of them get 12-15 endorsements and then the rest have an average of 4-5. Instead you want to have a solid top 10 skills with an average of 30 endorsements. Also, this helps you simplify your brand and position you as an expert as opposed to a generalist like everyone else. It is tough to do, trust me I did it, but if you have more than 10 skills listed, get in there and delete the ones with the least amount of endorsements.
#2 Add Portfolio Items to Your LinkedIn Profile
My portfolio items have proven to be excellent conversation starters in my interviews with a future employer. Nine times out of ten your hiring manager is looking you up on LinkedIn. They don’t want to just re-read your resume, they want to look at the work you’ve done. Here are a few ideas of what you could put up as portfolio items:
- A program description of presentation you delivered at a national conference
- Your one page overview of the initiative you just launched
- The website of the conference you just co-chaired
- A PDF of the article you co-authored in a trade journal
- A graphic design project you worked on (ie. logo, brochure, website design)
Always be mindful of your company’s confidentiality policy before posting a portfolio item. Reach out to legal counsel if you have any questions about what is appropriate to share publicly.
#3 Use Posts to Tell Your Story
I have had a very positive response to my recent posts that have included photos showing a behind the scenes look into my job. See one featured here about a recent assessment initiative. While most people are using LinkedIn to post articles and links, stand out by sharing a look into the work you are doing and you’re proud of. Be sure to give context. It shouldn’t look like a Facebook post. Meaning, avoid posting a picture of you and your staff and saying something like, “great day with my team.” Instead, post that same picture with something like, “Working collaboratively to get things done at XYZ company is how I like to spend my Mondays!” Just the subtle difference actually makes it much more appropriate for the LinkedIn audience.
Moving Forward on LinkedIn
As you think about all these new ways to build up your presence on LinkedIn, try to take a slow and steady approach. Make it a habit to do these things, and not just a one and done type of thing. There is nothing worse on social media than a profile that has not posted in over 6 months. I know I am guilty of this, as it is not easy to keep up with all the social networks, but it is worth the effort on LinkedIn. Build your brand before you need it, and you will be in a much better position to network, follow a lead, or apply for a job.