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Tell Your Professional Story on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to tell your professional story. This is valuable in the job you are in, as it lets customers and potential customers understand your value. It is also helpful if you are looking to change jobs, as recruiters use LinkedIn heavily to look for and vet potential candidates.

Your profile should change as you reach milestones in your career. It should also change as your list of key accomplishments grows. At every stage, you need to make sure your profile is forward thinking and builds the case for the next job you want to have.

Following are some thoughts for each stage of your career. Note that if you have 30 years as a plumber and are working to build a career in fashion, you should create your profile using the guidance for the years of experience in the field you want to be in.

Before you dive in, you will want to refresh your list of the keywords that are most relevant to your profession and your immediate goals. The words and phrases that represent the most important skills do change over time.

1–3 Years of Experience

At this point in your career, highlight your enthusiasm for the work you want to do, your engagement within that field, and your abilities to organize, problem-solve, create, execute, etc.

Include pictures of yourself at industry events. Include any relevant projects, presentations, and other items related to your interests and industry of choice.

Share and comment on current articles or conversations related to the field. Follow relevant companies and influencers.

4–7 Years of Experience

Now it is time to remove details about your schooling and work experience that is not directly related to the work you want to be doing. It is no longer relevant that you flipped burgers to help pay for college, unless being a fast food manager is your career aspiration.

Focus on your experience, work products, and proven skills. Highlight these in your profile headline and summary, as well as in the most recent role in your professional experiences section.

Keep in mind that past positions are hidden away with a “see more” option and most people won’t bother to click this. Your current job description is central to your profile so make sure it communicates loud and clear about who you are and your value.

Keep it all short and easy to scan. Lengthy paragraphs won’t get read on LinkedIn or anywhere online.

8–15 Years of Experience

Tell your professional story in terms of your leadership ability and your specialized skills. Promotions and job offers come to people at this level who won’t need a lot of training and who have a healthy, relevant professional network.

Drop old work samples in favor of fresh items that show what you are doing today and reflect the next level that you want to achieve. Keep building connections with influencers.

Publish articles on LinkedIn that are relevant to your field and demonstrate your thinking as a subject matter expert.

Ask for recommendations for people in your focus industry or field. Recommendations speak to your professional value, but they also demonstrate that you are active and connected. Take time to identify the best people to make recommendations and ask them personally, either by phone or email.

16 and More Years of Experience

Make sure your profile tells a cohesive, compelling story about your skills, experience, and professional passion. Drop items that are not central to who you are and what you do now.

Focus on sharing your thought leadership in posts to groups, in comments on posts created by others, and in long form articles on LinkedIn. Be the leader that you are.

Want more ideas about marketing yourself and your business on LinkedIn? Read my post with marketing tips on LinkedIn.

Marketing Tips on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is gaining momentum. With fewer ways to build professional networks in person, professionals increasingly turn to the platform to build networks and more. For marketers, this means that more users than ever are actively engaged on LinkedIn.

According to Social Media Examiner, almost 700 million people are on LinkedIn, and 45% of internet users who make more than $75,000 a year use LinkedIn. Four out of five LinkedIn users drive business decisions at their companies. That’s a marketing opportunity not to ignore.

LinkedIn Is the Professional’s Social Network

LinkedIn is the platform people use for their professional lives. While most people spend time on Facebook and Instagram to reconnect with friends and family, people come to LinkedIn for professional development. In 2020, people also turned to LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and teams.

Authenticity Comes to LinkedIn

The professional focus hasn’t changed, but today’s users understand that authenticity is important. Posts now go beyond awards, promotions and company news. People are sharing their career challenges, personal success stories, and reflecting on the role of business as global citizens. It is supporting the human connections that help us feel like we are not alone in our challenges.

Less Curating, More Originality

Once it was a good LinkedIn strategy to serve as a curator for a subject or area of expertise. The people who gathered and shared information around a topic were highly valued.

Now, people are more likely to engage with original content from posters than shared articles and links. People are looking for content that reflects a person individually. Likes and shares are most often earned on this original content.

Using LinkedIn Polls and Questions to Get Input

One way the platform supports discussions is with polling options. LinkedIn polls are available via profiles, company pages, and LinkedIn Events, and allow you to provide multiple response options to a question.

Polls are especially useful for creating engagement because people like sharing their opinions. Asking open-ended questions rather than yes/no questions engage your audience and let them share their opinions. Asking questions is a good way to open conversations that build a sense of connection and trust.

Everyone Is an Expert

LinkedIn now lets every user author long-form articles. This is a great way to reflect expertise and to share information and resources. Articles are creating a deep database of content around millions of professional topics, adding value for all users.

LinkedIn Live for Pages

LinkedIn Live is available by application for use on personal profiles and company pages. The key is to decide what your goal is, and then plan the length and content of your live video around the goal.

To improve your chances of approval, be sure to have two-factor authentication enabled on your account before you apply and ensure that your page admins and account are in good standing.

When you apply for access, LinkedIn will assess your page’s video and content creation history and engagement history. You should have a few hundred followers who consistently engage with your content; brand-new pages with no history are unlikely to be approved.

Once approved, you’ll need to use a third-party tool to broadcast via LinkedIn Live.

3 Essential Ways to Establish Yourself as an Expert

Every business is an expert at something. Sharing that expertise online is a crucial component of marketing success. Your expertise matched to customer needs is the groundwork for business development.

There are three great ways to establish your expertise online: social media, LinkedIn and forums. In this post I look at each.

Social Media

All social channels are great platforms to share your knowledge and insight. Among your options, you can leverage the short format of Twitter, the visual format of Instagram, and the longer posts allowed by Facebook.

People use social media to learn things and to connect. When they find content of value, they can read, engage and follow for the longer term. All of these actions are a win for your brand marketing.

Be most effective by sharing a variety of content. You can offer your own words and images as well as share and engage with content from others. In everything you do, be sure to highlight your expertise and the key value of your brand.

LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn is the social platform for professionals, but it deserves separate mention as a means to establish your subject matter expertise. Like other social channels, LinkedIn allows you to post regular updates. Added to that is the option to post articles.

LinkedIn articles allow you to do a deeper dive into a topic. The platforms’ tagging system exposes your content to everyone interested in the topics you choose. This is a great opportunity to expand your influence.

Forums

There was a time when most interaction online happened in discussion forums. Social media has eclipsed most of these, but there are still very strong discussion communities online. Quora and Reddit are two examples. There are also countless discussion forums supported by industry groups and professional organizations.

Forums allow you to ask questions and to offer answers. Both activities position you as an expert in your topic area. Taking time to make valuable contributions will earn you a following. When someone needs your expertise, they will know who to tap.