What is Your LinkedIn Strategy?
Are you surprised that there is even such a thing as a LinkedIn strategy? Well, it doesn’t take long to figure out who DOES NOT have a strategy. All you have to do is scroll through some of the profiles and you can tell immediately who has, and who absolutely has not invested time in a strategy for their LinkedIn presence. Likely they have a very unprofessional-looking photo of themselves, instead of using a professional photographer to take a quality photo. They probably don’t even have a profile section and there career experience looks as if they have copied and pasted from a sub-par resume.
Think you’re a LinkedIn star already? Check this out!
Yeah, having a LinkedIn profile at all is definitely a step in the right direction, but without a little thoughtful tweaking and time investment, it really won’t do you much good. So, the following strategy will help you to get more meaningful connections, and to be taken more seriously by recruiters and employers.
LinkedIn Strategy Part I: Build a Personal Brand
“Brand” is a buzz word in today’s job search world. You are familiar with product brands, but what is your brand? An example of a personal branding heading is, “Certified resume writer with distinctive qualifications in both federal and private sector job search products.” Not bad, right? It’s specific and marketable. While that is not ALL I am, I have chosen to be as specific as possible towards the field I am targeting.
You must be specific. Think of what makes you different than others in your field. Many clients do not want to be specific because they are afraid it limits what they can do. The problem with this thinking is that it muddies the waters. So, I have a background in special education and teaching. If I try to combine my qualifications, what kind of mess is that going to be? No one will know what I’m trying to market myself as….a resume writer for special education teachers? Now that is limiting!
Since I chose resume writing and job search assistance, I build that brand in everything I put “out there”. My LinkedIn profile is focused on career services, for example, my headline focuses on resume writing, my profile explains how and why I became a resume writer, and all of my certifications and professional memberships are listed. I even have recommendations that back up my skill in resume writing. All of this supports my brand.
LinkedIn Strategy Part II: Cultivate the Network
There are some basic tips for building your LinkedIn profile. In the same way you need to use keywords and phrases in your resume, you need to use them in your LinkedIn profile as well. Use keywords in your headline, profile, job experiences, and everywhere you can. You can use the Word Cloud generator to make sure you are on track with the right kinds of vocabulary. Write your profile for other people. Write it in 1st person to make it interesting and engaging.
One you have your profile developed in an engaging and professionally relevant way, it’s time to start connecting to other professionals. Use a personalized request to connect with others.
LinkedIn Strategy Part III: Listen and Observe
Join groups and post questions, comments, and information that is relevant to the group. You can make new connections and ask for leads in the groups. This is where you can really leverage your network. Being active in the groups is a great way to learn new things and be part of the cutting edge in your field. You are limited to the number of groups you join, but you will find out quickly which groups are worth joining and which are rather stagnant.
LinkedIn Strategy Part IV: Post Original Content
If you are blogging in your field, publish it on LinkedIn. LinkedIn loves long content, especially content with video or images. It’s best to publish early in the morning. This can really help to boost your credit as a subject matter expert. You would be surprised at how quickly you get connections as a result of publishing content.
With a strategy, you can use LinkedIn more intentionally to boost your job search or increase your own relevancy within your field. Don’t be afraid of it! Jump in and get started in the conversation!