What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for the business community. The site allows you to establish a large network of people you know professionally. For business students at the Eccles School, it is very important to build your personal brand. Personal branding is basically the process of defining your image or impression in the mind of others about you. By using LinkedIn, you can begin your personal brand building process.
There are essentially 6 important aspects of building your personal brand on LinkedIn.
- Add a professional portrait with an appropriate background. Oftentimes, many people are posting “selfies” of themselves in LinkedIn. Selfies should only be used for Facebook, Instagram or other informal social media platforms. My advice is to obtain a professional portrait is to hire a professional photographer. But considering the high expense of photographers these day, an alternative is to dress up professionally and have a friend simply take your picture for you. Please keep in mind, don’t have any distractions in the background. The focus should be on you.
- Write an informative and punchy headline. This can be a short, memorable professional slogan describing you. This is the line you want to be remembered for by recruiters, hiring managers and other people in your network. An example could be “Honors student seeking marketing positions.” Avoid clichés such as “SEO guru.”
- Construct a concise summary about who you are. Some questions you can ask are “What are you passionate about?” “What are your strengths?” “What are a few fun facts about you?” You can also write a concise summary about your experiences, qualifications, goals and more. This summary is what you make of it. Be creative.
- Fill in your education, experiences, courses, languages and volunteer experience. This is a place where you can showcase your talents and experiences. This part is essentially a long version of your resume. By filling out these sections, it gives others the ability to see what you have been involved in. It also helps recruiters and hiring managers find you more easily because you have experiences and requirements they are actively searching for. In LinkedIn, there is a tool for you to apply to jobs so if your profile is filled out, you can apply to jobs at a “click of a button.” This makes the job search so much quicker and simpler.
- Make connections to build a strong professional network. After your profile is complete, begin building your network. Explore other’s profiles and request to be connected with them. When adding people you may not know, you can personalize your invitation for a higher rate of acceptance. Making connections is very important. You can learn a lot from others because you can emulate the paths they have taken to get to the career you want.
- Add skills and ask for recommendations. By adding skills on your profile, it helps showcase your brand and what you are good at. In addition, asking for recommendations allows others to speak about you instead of you constantly speaking about yourself. This gives recruiters and hiring managers a new perspective on you since they will be reading other’s perception of who you are and what you can do.
Now, you know. Go and create a LinkedIn profile and build a powerful brand image.