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First and foremost, you want to complete your LinkedIn profile to 100%. Besides showing all of your experience and capabilities, complete profiles ensure that your profile has a lot of what I call “touchpoints” – information that people can notice that makes them want to reach out and connect with you. So include all of your experience, education, organizational affiliations and more.
According to LinkedIn research, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.What makes your profile complete?Your industry and locationAn up-to-date current position (with a description)Two past positionsYour educationYour skills (minimum of 3)A profile photoAt least 50 connections
It’s also important to create a custom public profile address for your LinkedIn profile. You can customize this at the bottom of the grey summary box of your profile. As you can see in this example, your best bet is to create a profile with your name or a version of it.
Once you have this public profile, you can use your LinkedIn profile as your website link on other social media sites like Twitter or anywhere that asks you for a website featuring your information, including the signature line of your email or even your resume if you are job hunting.
The next important step in building a strong LinkedIn profile is incorporating keywords everywhere. An important place to do this is right in your LinkedIn profile headline. By default, LinkedIn will put your job title as your headline, but you can easily go in and change your headline to anything you’d like. On your screen you can see two keyword-rich examples.When you incorporate keywords right in your headline, you ensure that someone who may know your role or may be looking for someone with your expertise can find your profile even if they don’t know or can’t remember your name. headline keywords also stand out to people like conference planners and the media who may be looking for someone with your skillset.
You should also incorporate keywords in your Summary statement.On your screen is a strong Summary statement for an Alumni Career Services Director. You can see how he incorporates the word alumni multiple times along with other keywords like career.This is also a strong summary because it quantifies the accomplishments of this person. He talks about the number of alumni, students and volunteers he is responsible for.Also note the layout of this Summary. The paragraphs are short, which makes for easy reading on a computer screen or mobile device. Remember that this is a Summary and not an autobiography. I recommend no more than 200 or 300 words max.
The Skills & Expertise section of your profile is the final place to incorporate keywords. Again, this helps your profile to be found in searches and it also helps anyone who visits your profile to quickly get a sense of what you do and who you are professionally.
Step 3 is to go beyond the basics and add more personality and accomplishments to your profile.Explore the “Add Sections” option, which is highlighted in yellow just beneath the summary box at the top of your LinkedIn profile.As you can see, you can add sections such as… [read list]
One of my favorite section additions is Volunteer Experience & Causes. Many of us in the higher ed space are active in our communities. LinkedIn provides you with space to share your community service and to describe how your volunteer work has built your skills as well.
Many of you have been honored with awards and other recognitions. Don’t be shy about adding those to your profile, particularly departmental honors.
If you write about higher ed issues, you can include links to your written work.In the example on your screen, the first link is a self-published article and the second link was an article published in an alumni magazine.
A final way to show your depth is to ask people to write recommendations for your profile. In higher ed you have many constituents – colleagues, students, faculty, parents, donors and others – I recommend requesting recommendations from each of these audiences.
Onto Step 4. You can use your personal LinkedIn profile to support your institution.For example, GarthMotschenbacher of Michigan State includes links to various university websites and the twitter feeds of two MSU programs.Note how much more the customized website names (MSU Engineering Career Website) stands out compared to the standard “Company Website.” I recommend customizing any website link you include.
Another way to promote your institution is to join various groups related to it. Show your support for the people who are running groups that support your school.
Finally, I’d like to address a common question I receive from higher education professionals: should you connect with students. This is a personal choice, for sure, but I have noticed that many higher ed professionals address this issue directly on their LinkedIn profiles, which I think is a wise choice. Here is an example that I particularly like because it provides an alternative way for a student to interact with you on LinkedIn.
That brings us to the end of today’s topic, how to build a strong LinkedIn profile. If you have further questions or want to dig even deeper into this topic, here are two helpful resources, the LinkedIn Learning Center and the LinkedIn Help Center.Thank you for watching this video. Good luck and we look forward to seeing you on LinkedIn!
How to Build a Strong Higher Ed LinkedIn Profile (PPT)
How to Build aStrong LinkedIn PromoteProfile yourin Higher Ed personal brand!
Topics 1 Build a 100% Complete Profile 2 Incorporate Keywords 3 Show Your Depth 4 Promote Your Institution 5 Learn More
Elements of a 100% Complete Profile Industry and location Up-to-date current position with description Profile photo At least 2 past positions Education At least 3 skills At least 50 connections