Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the Power of Performance: Leadership at the Next Level Conference, presented by the National Black MBA Association and Prospanica. This conference serves as one of the largest expos for minority students and presents engaging speakers of all industries, professional development sessions, networking events and social activities. As my first year attending the conference, I have to say, it will not be my last. It was a great week being around like-minded professionals and experts with one goal in mind, to support and learn from each other.
One of the most meaningful professional development sessions I attended was called, “Build a Better LinkedIn Profile”, presented by Tyrona (Ty) Heath and Jacqueline Jones. I was quickly attracted to this session since I knew my personal LinkedIn profile needed some MAJOR updating and the fact that Linkedin would be a great tool to leverage in helping me build my personal brand and to become an advocate for myself.
I have recorded some notes and suggestions from Tyrona and Jacquline’s presentation, as well as my own research, on how to build a better LinkedIn profile and become a power user.
There are a few basic items that need to be added to your profile, to get to RockStar status and get you noticed on LinkedIn!
- Update Linkedin profile with a professional and approachable photo.
- Add your industry.
- Draft a compelling summary in the first person, listing your career, accomplishments, aspirations, and strengths. Use keywords that recruiters will be looking for. The goal is to get people to feel like they know you, get them to want to know more about you. Use suggested STAR format.
- Detail your relevant work experience.
- Add examples of your work, video or photo presentations can be used.
- Add skills and get endorsed, example skills can include Agile, Leadership, Social Media.
After getting the basic items completed with your profile you can begin to network and take advantage of the LinkedIn platform.
- Thought Leadership
- Gives you the chance to express your brand.
- Reinforce your value and constantly connect with your network.
- Sharing articles and links on industry trends keeps you visible and will help engage with your network.
- Write blog posts about deeply researched topics that interest you and serves your audience.
- Build a Powerful Network
- Add value to your network.
- Keep engaging in your network, not only when you need something.
- Build a “win, win ecosystem”.
- Reach out to contacts at every stage of your career.
- After meetings/conferences connect with people you have talked to on LinkedIn and send a personal note.
- Give and request recommendations.
- Post and comment in groups you have joined.
- Keep Learning
- Demonstrate a passion for your profession.
- Update technical and business skills. Update skills every 6 months.
- Ask mentors what skills I may need to progress in my career.
- Create a vision board to develop a continuous learning plan.
- Take advantage of Lynda.com
- Volunteer for projects that interest you, seek advice, ask managers for high visibility projects, identify what learning is needed.
Key Take Aways
- Schedule time to invest in your brand- work on your profile, learning, etc
- Cultivate your passion, embrace your uniqueness
- Own your narrative
- Build your network – people resources and conversations
Check out the sources below to get more information on building a better LinkedIn profile!