Comstock's magazine 0219 - February 2019 - Page 64

n CAREER 5 TIPS FOR LINKEDIN SUCCESS Looking to give your LinkedIn profile a face-lift without hiring a pro? Here are five tips experts say anyone can follow to improve their presence on the platform. 1. DO BE SELECTIVE ABOUT YOUR PHOTO: The most common mistake? Poorly lit and unprofessional head- shots — or no picture at all. “When I find profiles that don’t have photos, I’ll still reach out to them, but I’m not as confident that it’s a legitimate profile,” Malmstrom says. She suggests avoiding shots that show you “in the front seat of the car with a seatbelt or in athleisure or your high-school cheerleading uniform,” but do say cheese before snapping. “Smiling reflects personality and at- titude coming into the company vs. coming unhappy.” Shaver and other experts also suggest adding a cover photo to draw users in. 2. DON’T COPY AND PASTE YOUR RESUME: Adding a job title and description to the top of your profile might seem obvious and simple. But it’s one of the most important and difficult sections of the profile, experts say. Utilize that space to say both what you do and what you want people to know about you (Malmstrom, for example, includes that she’s looking for hires in her description). Much like a cover letter, this initial sec- tion is an opportunity to tell your story — and show off your voice — for your audience. “I’m looking for people who can be adding something different to our culture and company that we don’t al- ready have,” Malmstrom says. “I appreciate diversity and unique- ness of thought.” 3. DO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: What your profile should communicate about you will vary based on how you are using the site. A job seeker, for example, is go- ing to customize that summary to play up strengths related to the industry or company they are looking to join, while a sales- person might want to appeal to potential customers more than employers. “If you’re on LinkedIn for prospecting and sales and you put down on your profile you’re a great closer who can sell snow to an Eskimo well, who is your target audience? They’ll be turned off by that. No one is going to want to work with you,” Serdula says. “You really do need to cater your message to your target audience.” 4. DON’T BE SHY ABOUT EXPRESSING INTEREST: Spruced up your profile but still aren’t getting bites from recruit- ers? Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn allows you to (qui- etly) tell prospective employers that you’re on the hunt or open to new opportunities. So be sure to check your settings and click the box to let them know you’re on the market. Many recruiters, including Malmstrom, seek to cut through the noise by searching only for prospects who have selected that option. 64 | February 2019 5. DO USE ALL THE FUNCTIONS AVAILABLE: LinkedIn has grown to be about far more than just job updates. The platform now offers blogging, link-sharing, and other tools to help you grow and nurture your professional network. Share and comment using the newsfeed, join groups of like-minded industry peers, and connect with (and recommend) current and former col- leagues to make the most of your digital network. And don’t forget to ask former bosses, clients or colleagues to recommend or en- dorse you back. “It’s like Yelp reviews for individuals,” Goodman says. “The more clout they bring, the better chance you have of getting business.” n (continued from p. 63) industry. “Not everyone is on LinkedIn for job search. A lot are for sales and prospecting. Some are there for thought leader- ship, others for reputation management.” Different reasons require different approaches in customizing a profile, she says. Demand for such services has increased. Serdula launched her business, LinkedIn Makeover, in 2009 after writing the book “LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Dummies.” Today, she has a staff of 30 profile editors to meet demand. The company has overhauled more than 5,000 profiles to date, including for cli- ents in the Capital Region. Goodman, the Sacramento-based coach, has also seen a big uptick. In addition to offering LinkedIn consulting as part of his individual coaching packag- es, Goodman hosts workshops for companies and colleges. While the price tag for profile makeovers, which can range from $400 to thousands of dollars, may seem high, clients say the investment can make a difference. Scott Loy, who worked with Goodman over several years, credits the service with boosting his connections and helping him land jobs at tech startups in Silicon Valley. “Not only did I gain a significant amount of connections, but I think just building the network in a specific industry and posting updates on the profile made a difference,” Loy says. “Someone should have an ability to get to know you before con- necting, so having that strong bio is a must.” A BOOMING BUSINESS FOR BUSINESSES TOO It’s not just individual job seekers looking to ramp up their presence and popularity on LinkedIn. In fact, a lot of the rise in makeovers comes from companies looking to grow their pres- ence and branding on the site. “We’re getting more and more companies that come in and say, ‘We need help,’” Serdula says. Given the popularity of the platform and its high rank in search engines, employee profiles have, in a way, become an extension of the company’s website and online presence. Ac- cording to one survey released recently by LinkedIn, nearly two-thirds of users will search for a person on the platform