Using LinkedIn for Networking and Visibility

By Mridula Allani, WiBD Silicon Valley Chapter Member & Design Engineer at Intel Xeon Server Group

Continuing with social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Women in Big Data in Silicon Valley hosted a virtual workshop on June 9th, 2020, which is a continuation of career development series, Your Professional Brand and Career Strategy with Robert (Bob) G. Loftis. This interactive workshop focused on Using LinkedIn for Networking and Visibility. Previous sessions in this series included Communicating your accomplishments and personal brand and a workshop to up-level your resume. Links to previous blogs are here and here.

This event was organized by WiBD volunteers Regina Karson, Stella Mashkevitch, Mridula Allani and Tina Tang. Thank you all for continuing to deliver valuable development opportunities for our community during these tough times.

This workshop covered key aspects of a Linkedin Profile, recommendations to increase profile visibility to recruiters and how to expand your network on LinkedIn. Key elements of a LinkedIn profile are user photo, a background picture, profile headline, public profile URL, about section, experience, recommendations, skills which can be endorsed by others. Bob covered Dos & Don’ts for each of these elements.

Bob is an executive coach and founder of NowForward coaching. He shared sample LinkedIn profiles of some of his clients to demonstrate a strong profile that would show up at the top of a search or gives all the relevant information to a hiring manager. A best profile picture is a photo that is recent, support positioning of the person, and has a professional appearance. This will help a potential manager or colleague to picture the candidate in the job already and be comfortable with it. Responding to an audience question, Bob mentioned that a friendly business expression in the profile picture will work well for most people.

Something that most LinkedIn users ignore is setting a meaningful background picture. Bob emphasized that having a background picture is quite important. Make sure the background photo communicates something about the work you do. Choose a picture that supports your field of expertise, like a university backdrop for an academician. Best example for a background picture that Bob shared was one of his clients who had a picture of himself writing on whiteboard possibly in an engineering meeting was apt for a technical expert.

A strong ‘About’ section includes a skills inventory of keywords, first person intro to your brand, core strengths, value you bring and your expertise. Use descriptive, engaging action words to describe your key accomplishments instead of using labels. LinkedIn publishes a list of overused buzzwords, refer to it and avoid using these words in your profile. You can come up with other terms or show your strengths in the description of your accomplishments. You can also summarize your brand description in the headline.

Besides these key elements, this workshop covered in-depth discussion on skills endorsements and recommendation. Bob also shared best ways to update your LinkedIn profile in case you have a period of unemployment in your career, how to increase your visibility by commenting/linking on someone’s posts, using hashtags, post an update, or join LinkedIn groups.

The audience were quite engaged and asked several questions, shared their profiles for review during the workshop. Bob gracefully offered feedback and answered all the of the audience questions. There are many more relevant topics covered in this informative workshop. So, to get your best profile forward, please view the recording of this session!

 

 

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