Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anatomy of a LinkedIn Profile

I’ve been meaning to update my LinkedIn profile. I’ve started working with some international colleagues and it’s helpful for them to get as much info as they can about who I am, and vice-versa.

Also – it’s a good idea to update your profile every 12 months or so. It can even help with your current role as opportunities may open up that are aligned with, and can build on, your previous experience. Businesses might also approach you with products that are better aligned to your needs. 

I’ve also been a bit overwhelmed when I look at optimising my profile – so I thought it would be helpful to break it down into smaller pieces. 

In fact, 14 smaller pieces . . . I present to you my ‘Anatomy of a LinkedIn Profile’:

1.    Photo – self explanatory.

2.    Headline – Describes you, not nessecarily your position. 

3.    Contact info – include as many channels as possible so that people you’re available through their preferred channel. 

4.    Activity – This is where your LinkedIn posts are listed. It’s a way to remind your connections that you are there, and to position you as an expert (or at the very least – a professional who is passionate about their chosen field of work!). 

5.    Summary – Here’s a chance for people to get a sense of your ‘voice’ from the way you talk about yourself. Include lots of keywords. Include contact details here too so that people who are not in your network can still contact you regarding the business you’re currently in. This can also be helpful to potential new clients who want to reach you but don’t nessecarily want to share all their info by becoming a connection. Be sure to include media: examples of your work. Even better if they have some images as it will help break up the page. 

6.    Experience - A chronological listing of your work history. Don’t be afraid to include a lot of detail, so long as it is relevant and you include keywords, sub headings and lists.

7.    Projects – here’s where you can go into detail about specific projects. This helps highlight your capabilities and that of your employers (past and present). 

8.    Skills and Expertise - This is where others can endorse you for skills and experience. It only works if you have lots of people who endorse you – which usually happens when you endorse others. The ‘endorse’ function on Linkedin is very ease to use. 

9.    Education - Here’s where you list all your education including short courses

10.    Recommendations - A text-based testimonial from someone who has worked with you, and a richer endorsement of you as a professional. Again – works best if you recommend others and others recommend you. 

11.    Test results – I don’t have any of these on my profile at the moment – but here’s where you can list IQ or personality tests that might help future employers get a sense of the person you are as a team member or manager. Some of the best profiles I’ve seen have included lots of test results. 

12.    Connections - Connect. Connect. Connect. The more you have, the higher your klout rating and the harder you make Linkedin work for you. If we’re all just 6 connections from Kevin Bacon, you want to make sure you have as many feelers out there as possible. I connect with people I meet at BBQs, friends of friends, colleagues, classmates, past colleagues, the list goes on, as it should. If you never know where a connection will lead, you want to be sure to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. 

13.    Groups - A good way to demonstrate your commitment to your craft – but don’t join groups you have no intention of interacting with. 

14.    Following - The groups you follow indicate your personal and professional interests. 

In the coming weeks I will be updating my profile, and compiling a blog post about how to optimise each section of a LinkedIn profile.

The Quitter Chronicle: Life without Facebook - Week 2

I caved. A little.
I went back onto Facebook for a total of 17 minutes last week.
In the first instance it was to post a message on a the page that I set up for a writing group within my Masters at UTS. Just a quick note to let them know where, and when, to meet and details of how to contact me if anyone needed to (ie not through Facebook). Total time: 55 seconds.
Sucked into the vortex
The second instance drew me in a bit deeper. I went online to post a message in a women’s fitness group I am part of. I’d interested in a local gym, but had read some bad reviews. I wanted to see if anyone wanted to sell their membership (so I didn’t have to commit to a 12 month membership). I also wanted to see if I could find a workout buddy – or at least someone to laugh along with as I crashed my way through the first couple of dance classes.
On the way to the Facebook group page I was headed for, I got a bit distracted.
First by '17 things you want to say in Yoga class, but don’t,'
then 'The Golden Globes most GIF-able moments,'
and finally a heart-melting story about a stranger making a 3 year old’s plane ride the best ever. And it involves turtles.
As the clock ticked over past 10 minutes, I realized that I was being sucked into the vortex of the big, beautiful, digitally connected world. I stopped myself from scrolling any further. I hastily made my way to the page, posted my enquiry, then quickly scampered off the site.
If you want the low down on the chow down you gotta hit the f'book
On Tuesday I was interested in the Sydney Festival and wanted to check out what catering and entertainment options were available. The entertainment option research was fine – the Sydney Festival website had pretty much all the info I needed. But the catering options? The website had very little useful information and I found I was redirected a number of times to catering supplier’s facebook pages in order to find out what they were offering. I think that marketers have all become too dependant on the ease with which Facebook can be used as a channel to communicate product details. Certainly if I had to manage a website with as much information, from as many sources, as Sydney Festival, I would probably rather link to supplier’s Facebook pages rather than get the relevant information from them. This comment is less a criticism of the Sydney Festival website, but more an observation of the current way marketers, and general punters, use Facebook to communicate and research.

And that Facebook, for all its time-wasting faults, remains a relevant and contextual channel for connecting with the cities and world we live in.

Meanwhile, I have been checking my emails a lot less, but pinning a lot more in Pinterest.