LinkedIn! Tips from my recent article and from class

I recently published an article in the Globe and Mail on Perfecting your LinkedIn page, with tips from the mothership itself, recruiters, and trainers.

Advice included paying particular attention to your headline and summary blurb, telling a story about yourself, updating your profile regularly. Then also using the profile actively to follow colleagues and get recommendations.

LinkedIn Lessons

I also teach LinkedIn as the first assignments to new students in my writing course, because it allows them to get out there right away and start networking even as they start their professional lives (I’m always surprised by how few people have them when we start! These days I’d create one from first year university if not earlier).

I suppose I should share mine as long as I’m writing about it.

Here are some  notes from my PowerPoint on the topic:

Include a professional picture

This is a top tip from the pros, with crazy statistics on how many more views your page will get if you include a photo. That is, a professional smiling headshot wearing business attire. No pets or low cut tops.

Pay attention to the summary

The pros tell you that here’s where you can tell your story, and I agree – I try to make my text an approachable summary of where my work life has been and where I’d like to go with it. I tell my writing students that theirs needs to feature copy that’s extra tight and snappy.

Work experience

I like to see consistency through these sections, with detail on the tasks invovled in each role, and a similar length paragraph for each. Use active verbs!

Be active with your profile

Joining groups in your profession, following organizations where you want to work, inviting everyone in your real life circle are all good steps.

It should go without saying

Be honest: LinkedIn is like a resume that everyone sees – former coworkers can verify your truth. Be confident but don’t embellish. Translate features into skills.