While I do not have a Facebook, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on LinkedIn (thanks to the encouragement of our wonderful Suitts Graduate and Alumni Career Center). If your New Year’s resolution is to spruce up your profile, here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years!
1. Upload a picture of yourself. This is very helpful when you send invitations to “Connect” with people like me, who remember faces but who may not remember names.
2. Use your “Summary” section to tell a story about yourself, your career history, and your professional aspirations. This will help prospective employers visualize how they fit into your personal narrative — and how you fit into theirs.
3. Don’t underestimate the “Skills & Expertise” section. Endorsing someone for their Skills & Expertise is very easy to do, so you’ll likely rack up endorsements quickly (especially if you endorse others). Every time someone endorses you, or you endorse someone else, you’ll appear in the Updates feed of all of your connections. Research has proven that familiarity increases liking — endorsements are a quick and painless way to get your face out there!
4. “Connect” with everyone you meet. Upon my return from any event or activity, I “Connect” with all of my new contacts. This way, I can keep in touch with them, even long after our initial meeting. I can also introduce them to people who they might find helpful (or potential clients who could use their services).
5. Ensure that there is consistency throughout your profile. For example, if you describe one of your jobs by using bullet points, don’t use a paragraph to talk about your next job. Choose a format and stick to it.
6. Do not list every job you have ever had. Your LinkedIn connections are interested in reading about job history that is connected to what you are doing now and where you want your MBA to take you. You can include the full list on your resume and/or background check with prospective employers.
7. Shine! Use your LinkedIn profile to highlight your accomplishments. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people don’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do … As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Please share your favorite LinkedIn tips in the “Comments” section below!