Creating Your Professional Story with LinkedIn
Creating Your Professional Story with LinkedInLaura Neidert, University Career ServicesGood evening everyone! My name is Laura Neidert, and Im a career counselor with UCS. Im here to help you get started with online professional networking through LinkedIn, and if youre already a member, to make your experience even more productive. The first part of my presentation will be for people who are just getting started with LinkedIn, and the second part will be for those who already have an account. Im going to be demonstrating a lot of different things, so feel free to ask questions along the way. For those of you with smartphones or tablets handy, Im actually going to ask you to take them out a bit later, so keep those to the side for now.Why should I join?What does LinkedIn say?
What does UCS say?As I mentioned in the promotional materials for this program, youve probably heard a lot about LinkedIn already. People like to call it the professional Facebook, where you put your resume online, and that site of hey, I have one of those but I dont know how to use it. How do you view it?
LinkedIn itself would tell you that its there to help you find and connect to others that share similar professional interests, establish your online presence, and enhance your personal brand. This is all true, and were going to dig further into these reasons. However, I see its value in helping you discover and tell your own story of career interests and experiences, augment your in person networking opportunities, and training you to be prepared for the right opportunity.
LinkedIn is truly for students of all majors and interests. I did a bit of random searching, and came up with profiles of people who are trapeze artists for Cirque Du Soleil, Taxidermists, Crime Scene Cleaners, Organic Farmers, and Taylor Swifts makeup artist. They arent the only ones in their field either!
Who Uses LinkedIn?120 million+ professionalsOver 150 industriesExecutives from every Fortune 500 firm6.5 million+ students9 million+ recent college grads(The FASTEST growing group!)37,000 college and university alumni groupsPeople are joining LinkedIn at a rate faster than 2 new members per second!
3I wanted you to see a visual representation of how diverse the LinkedIn community is in practice. Give yourself a pat on the back, as youre part of the fastest growing group on LinkedIn! Anyone in here looking to start their careers abroad? LinkedIn is a great place to meet and network with natives as well as expats abroad.
It can seem very overwhelming, but Ill show you some powerful tools, like the profile skills section, that can help you focus your LinkedIn experience.1st stop: LinkedIn Learning Center
Instead of just jumping in and trying to figure it out, I wanted to direct you to the LinkedIn Learning Center as the ideal place to start or improve your experience on LinkedIn. BRING IT UP ON SCREEN. The Learning Center equips you with everything you need to know to understand the basic features of LinkedIn, set up a profile, and tailor it to your needs. Let me demonstrate a few thingsand talk about how to use the new user as well as the student guides.
Does anyone have any questions so far? Has anyone ever been here before?
Start with thisAs you begin, your profile could look very much like this. You likely dont have many details in your profile, havent joined a large number of groups, and dont have a picture yet. This is OK, really, and there are many opportunities to complete your profile more fully. Let me go ahead and pass out this handout on what makes a good profile. Even if youre experienced, it doesnt hurt to grab one.
Has anyone done all 5 of these tips?
As you create your profile, you can import content from your resume. But I challenge you to create something new here-something fresh and engaging, like you were discussing your career interests with a person you met at an event. Remember, theres no need to set a World Record for speed in completing a LinkedIn profile. Just like it probably took you a while to create a resume, it will also take some time to gather all of your experiences here. 5
End Up with This!Here is an example of a completed student profile. What Eric has going for him is that hes maximized his available space to discuss his diverse activities, and used the summary space to create an angle of how he wanted viewers to perceive him. Hes also done a nice job of illustrating his specific experiences and skills-more to come with that.
6How to take a good profile photo
Fun, but the sock monkey is bigger than she isSame person, improved, still room to tweak.A clearly professional photoOne consideration that students always have is but I dont have any good/professional/appropriate photos of myself! Oh, the irony of always having cameras around us, yet the difficulty of being able to create an image we want to truly represent us.
You can do this yourself though, with a little help from appropriate technology and friends. The major considerations are:Lighting-choose an outside location to make it easierBackground- a subtle, but complimentary background. Now that its spring, its a great time to consider all of the blooming trees, flowers, and bushes around us as prospective backgrounds. In the examples, the sock monkey and corner of the Christmas tree can take your attention away from the subject, but a nature background ends up highlighting the subject.Attire: choose professional attire that harmonizes with your overall look, and has clean lines. While the intricate stitching or unique detailing may make a shirt a knockout in person, it doesnt translate as well to a photo. Polo shirts, button downs, blouses, sweaters, and the like are all appropriate. Ladies, consider how your neckline will look if you end up severely cropping the photo.Other concerns: If you have a friend whos talented in photography, recruit them to assist you! And if you dont, find someone who does have more than an iPhone for a camera, and agree to help each other out with headshots. Youll both benefit in the end!Building quality connectionsLinkedIn Alumni
Search strategiesAs a follow up strategyHeres a reason why it pays to take your time in building a presence on LinkedIn. As I mentioned earlier, there are millions of users on LinkedIn worldwide, in a surprising number of industries. Each of these strategies will yield slightly different results.
Keep in mind though: the founding ethos of LinkedIn is to connect with people you actually know in real life, and that can speak directly to your abilities. Choose people wisely for connections-remember that they may ask you to speak up for them. If you are already on LinkedIn, you may notice that some people choose to be whats known as an open networker, meaning that theyll accept connections from anyone. That strategy has its value, but not really for students-youll benefit more from connecting with people you really know.
DemonstrateLinkedIn Alumni: the primary way to find others on LinkedIn who currently or in the past have attended UVA. You can use this area to search for alumni by year, or by the dates of your attendance. Whats really nice about this is that you can sort by each category, and discover very specific information-say, people in the creative industry in Washington, DC. Email importing: LinkedIn will urge you to import your address book as the first method of building contacts, and you can if you like. Ill show you what that looks like on the next slide. Once you import them, LinkedIn will display which contacts are already users, and which ones arent, and guide you to invite as many people as possible. When you do this, take care not to invite everyone in your address book in a bulk e-mail-Once you import contacts, you can always return to this area to continue sending out invitations.Search Strategies: How many of you are familiar with the UCAN network as a way to find alumni contact information? Im glad to hear it. Have you ever thought about using LI to corroborate the information you find in UCAN? You can use LinkedIns in house search tools to find people from UVA in much the same way-this is a great way to catch people who dont have their class year on their profile, or people from other colleges and schools.
This is a screenshot showing you one of the things I just mentioned-where you can import your email address book, or search for people individually via email.9
Heres a screenshot of my own LinkedIn Alumni page, showing my alumni network from Bowling Green State University. I can sort by each blue bar that you see here, and continue to add additional criteria, narrowing it down to even criteria from each column.Getting IN the right professional groupsWhich groups to join?
How to find more groups?
Benefits of group membershipDid you know there are over 1 million LinkedIn groups?
Groups on LinkedIn function as a gathering place for people with similar professional interests and job descriptions. They are a key feature of the site, and allow you to observe and interact in the professional conversation. Groups are a place where you can also seek advice about entering the field, learn about new job or internship postings, and find out about professional development events that are relevant in your field.
So, which ones to join?Start with ones close to home at UVA- the University of Virginia Career Networking Community, and use the search tool to find 2-3 others that might have to do with your life at UVA. Then search more broadly for 2-3 more groups based on your career interests, where youd like to live after graduation, and any other organizations that youre a part of-for example, many Greek organiza