I attended the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in San Francisco this week, an annual gathering filled with learning, sharing and networking opportunities for a couple of thousand communication educators. As always at these events, I learned a lot.
AEJMC’s Public Relations Division sponsored an on-site visit to LinkedIn, where we heard from two experts on how professionals and students can get the most benefit from their use of the platform. LinkedIn now has 380 million members worldwide, and is surprisingly international with only about a third of its users from the U.S. The platform also has a monthly average of 97 million unique visitors and they’re not all there to find jobs. “Our shared content has become more popular than job listings,” according to Yumi Wilson, an educator and corporate communication manager at the firm. Wilson, along with Hoffman Agency CEO Lou Hoffman presented usable advice for maximizing LinkedIn profiles:
— Add your photo if it’s not there already. When you do, your profile gets 14 times the amount of views than those without one.
— Write an attention-grabbing headline instead of just using your title. Use this space strategically to promote yourself and your background.
— Profile summaries should be at least 40 words; Hoffman recommends 150-200 words.
— Write your profile summary in first person.
— Avoid cliches and stiff language.
— Adding a second position under “Experience” fills out your profile and helps SEO by adding key words.
— Include at least three letters of recommendation.
— Post your resume but don’t use it as your summary.
— Add “rich media” to your profile. Publications, presentations, photos, and video serve to create an online portfolio of your work and also enhances search engine optimization. If you have content with a URL that promotes who you are and what you can do, add it.”Show, don’t tell,” recommended Hoffman.
LinkedIn is an extraordinarily powerful tool for finding jobs and highlighting professional experience and abilities. There are ways to use it to its fullest potential, so when it comes to promoting yourself, this is one tool you want to use effectively. Your thoughts?