LinkedIn Profile – Part 2

Today we will be continuing from our last podcast where we covered the LinkedIn basics.  Our focus will be on more advanced features available in your LinkedIn profile like:

  1. Awards
  2. Interests
  3. Groups
  4. Following Other People
  5. Skills
  6. Testimonials

The idea here is to make sure that your profile is as attractive and engaging as possible to make people interested in being a part of who you are and what you represent.  My last two jobs came to me.  I did not have to go looking.  I suspect my next 3-4 jobs will be the same as I get contacted by recruiters and hiring managers nearly every week.  I also don’t classify myself as having something superbly different to offer compared to the next person.

[00:00:01] This is the set up for success series LinkedIn profile part two. Hi ladies, Alvern here,

[00:00:09] This is part two of the series called Setting Up For Success. If you didn’t listen to LinkedIn Part One you can access it with the link I’ve included in the article. Today we will be delivering deeper information to your LinkedIn profile, where we will be covering groups, awards, interest, following other people, skills and testimonials or recommendations. Let me start with groups.

Groups

[00:00:39] Depending on your LinkedIn experience you are probably already part of a group or some groups. But I encourage you to join as many as possible. You may or may not be aware of this but each person who has an account with LinkedIn has the ability to connect up to 50 groups, technically speaking I know I’m part of more than 50 but 50 is sort of the accepted limit that LinkedIn has put on everyone.

[00:01:17] So just be aware of that when you’re joining groups and groups are important because it allows you to focus on areas or people or potential prospects or potential employers that you can sort of hone in on and be a part of what they are interested in. So, each group is based or even centered on a specific topic or niche.

[00:01:49] For example there’s a group of people for social media marketing. One that is for past employees or alumni of any university or college another one that can be alumni from a past job for example. We have all different kinds for example I’m part of one where we have Women in photography. If it is you are interested in photography you can join a group based on that hobby or if that is what you do full time you can join a particular group as well.

[00:02:24] Others still that are a part of for example in the physical world there are all of these corporate type groups for example I’ll give you a typical one. There’s one called the Yorkshire Mafia and what they do you is they have all these people or businesses in Yorkshire who are part of this let’s call it a business network. And because that business network actually exists in the physical world you can actually have a group on LinkedIn related to that particular interest. So, people who belong to that network can join it online and then keep up with each other there.

[00:03:10] I think there’s about other things like people who are interested in jobs in Canada for example or jobs in Asia or APAC jobs in China or people want to do business in China for example not necessarily jobs only. So, there are all a lot of specific groups, niche groups like there are groups on growth hacking for example and groups around Facebook marketing, groups about people in LinkedIn wanting to connect with each other or there are so many of them.

[00:03:46] All I can advise it to do is choose wisely, because whatever is posted in those groups would appear in your news feed. And if it is something that you really don’t like what I’m interested in is no point joining a group. And of course you could sort of leave the group but what’s the point joining in first place.

[00:04:06] But if it is that you have no interest and you find it annoying then don’t join the group especially with stuff that you have no interests in and it doesn’t inspire you in any way. Some of the groups you can just click join and you are added automatically but the vast majority of them you have to ask to join the actual moderator or owner of the group will then decide whether or not to include you in that group.

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[00:04:39] So one of the key things about joining a group like I mentioned a little bit earlier is being able to communicate with your peer’s people who have similar interests in that particular area. So for example if it is you interested in doing business in China you can join that group and you’ll see other people who have interest in that particular topic and what I would advise to you when you were asked to join and accept you into a group is put a pause and say thank you for what you know be kind thank you for joining us. Sorry thank you for allowing me into the group or connecting me to the group, then you can start engaging.

[00:05:20] If you’re an expert in that particular topic for example you can start contributing to that join in discussions or even if it is something that you want to learn because couldn’t be an expert in 50 different niches or different topics. You can also ask questions to people who may be experts in that area and they will answer them for you in the group.

Awards

[00:05:49] OK so let’s look at awards. So, if you ever received an award in your lifetime you would like to include it on your LinkedIn profile, please do. Just make sure it’s relevant and actually adds value to your particular profile. And you know some of you will be raising your eyebrows and thinking or even going back in your head. I doubt there is anybody never ever in their won an award but, you know you can go back in your mind and think okay go through for example your primary school, secondary school and college education, then your first job, second job, third job etc.

[00:06:34] I know for a fact I was doing a bit of decluttering recently and I found a lot of the certificates and awards that I had put together securely, obviously moving house I couldn’t find them but I found them there recently and it’s surprising because you know once you keep these things to hand. I used to at one point include them in my CV and I have now stopped I think for what reason I guess it is on advice from someone else. Anyway, so you can actually include those and for example give you an example or a few of them have come across.

[00:07:12] You could be the top performer in a particular area. You could have won scholarships to colleges or secondary school or whatever it is. You could have won a gold, silver or bronze award for something you know from a past experience. I did win a bronze award for customer experience activity. You can have received a student of the year award which I know for fact I got the trophy. I’ve never posted it anywhere online I was just thinking about it. It just never occurred to me to do it.

[00:07:42] But you know it’s something I can actually do and put or post on my LinkedIn profile. You could have received a top contributor award and the most all-rounder award I got all of those during my primary and secondary schools I remember those very well. You could’ve been a part of the sorority club. So especially if you’re a 4.0 GPA or got first class honours in any particular field or subject or whatever it is you did some sort of a sort of informal or formal education, don’t forget to include those.

[00:08:18] Sports awards so if it is apart from you know education or work you are for example a rower and your team won an event or even if you’re a runner in the Olympics or marathon runner or whatever it is to include those awards because it speaks volumes to people who you would be asking to connect into your network.

[00:08:42] And finally, last but not least, are world records. If it is you along with friends have participated in our world record events where you’ve won. The most people in this particular area wearing flat caps for example. It just goes to show potential employers or people we do want to do joint ventures with that you are a go-getter and you are willing to go the extra mile to get stuff done. That obviously list is not exhaustive. You can probably think of many, many others that I haven’t actually mentioned herein that list that I’ve given you there.

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Interests

[00:09:31] Now next up we have on the list, interests. So, I mentioned about an interest in terms of groups but there is another section of LinkedIn called Interests.

[00:09:46] You can follow companies or follow different, what do you call those, influencers, network influencers that you know who you would admire. For example, the likes of Bill Gates or Richard Branson. I follow them because they want to see what’s happening what it is you know what’s happening in the world, what they are talking about and what they’re doing next. What people are interested in, what other people like for example what are people who would follow the likes of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Well, not necessarily Steve Jobs anymore.

[00:10:26] Richard Branson you can think of lots of others, Garyvee you can think of many other people who inspire you. There are also companies because on LinkedIn there are groups, there are companies, there are people. So, don’t be afraid to follow companies if you’re interested in the company, for example, Slack.com is one company I admire. Unsure about their future prospects but you can follow them and anything that they post, any news updates you would see appear on your news feed.

[00:11:05] Don’t underestimate the power and the importance of following companies, people, influencers that you find interesting or those that inspire you so you can also do things like causes, include causes, our hobbies, sometimes you have hobbies on there that you can have hobbies, for example, I mentioned photography. You see someone who is really good at photography and you admire, you can follow them. Anything that they post then would show up there. Artists, people who make a difference, People who are inspiring, you have also the likes of people who you admire, their management style.

[00:11:54] For example Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, he has an interesting managing style for me so I follow him. People who are one to watch, up and coming people who or companies who you think would be very successful because of their business idea and/or their innovation. We also have trendsetters and the people who set trends and they don’t not only give up and coming they are probably in the industry for 10 years but they continue to innovate and be a leader in this particular vertical. So, he can follow them as well.

Skills

[00:12:35] Next up we have skills. I have no idea how long this feature will be available on LinkedIn but skills can be important to let people know what you are good at as well as to show you what areas your strength lie in and where you need to improve because you know you can’t be good at everything and possibly in the future you wanted to change career or get into or specialize in different area.

[00:13:07] You probably see from your skills set that you’ve listed that actually you need to add one or two other skills so that potential employers or people who want to do joint ventures which you can find you on LinkedIn. Again, there’s a maximum limit here of 50. 50 skills I don’t see why you would need more than 50 but as you know in life we go through seasons in different seasons in our life. Just like whole seasons in the world in different parts of the world. You know you have autumn, spring, winter, summer. Our lives we go through different seasons. Time to have children, a time to focus on our career, a time to probably go on a retreat.

[00:13:56] So your life goes through different seasons as lessons to teach you about yourself. So, as you go into different seasons as it were of your life. Don’t forget to check every month or every quarter to make sure that the skills that you have listed on your LinkedIn profile actually represents what it is or how you view, or how you’ve grown over the last year for example.

[00:14:23] So what you were or what your skills were 10 years ago and what you thought was important may not be important 10 years later because you’ve grown and matured in different areas of your life. Emotionally, physically, mentally, you know spiritually for example. And what you view as your skills today may not be the same skills that you had 10 years ago. So constantly look at that and update it.

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[00:14:50] Add the ones you would like to be endorsed for, be true to yourself move them around once a month because the ones that are at the top on are ones that people would find you when you do a search on LinkedIn for someone who was for example good at sales or marketing or whatever it is they’re good at.

[00:15:09] You all come up in the list of people with that skill based on the number of endorsements you have. For example, you can get a hundred and something in people endorsing you for a particular skill like coaching. And that would be rated much higher than someone or the people who rated like five people who rated you for consulting for example. If you get me it is a bit of a stack ranking happening there.

[00:15:38] You appear more if you have more people endorsing you for a particular skill. See who has endorsed you and thank them for it. It is a very good way to stay in contact with people who are connected to you.

Testimonials

[00:15:56] And finally I have testimonials. So, I can probably picture a cringe on your face thinking oh, do I have to? But it really helps your profile. I’m seeing, OK here are all of these things that you said that you’re good at but when other people endorse you, for example in the skills area. And then they actually give a testimonial and say you know, this particular person was good, a good team player or whatever it confirms that you were good at, it speaks volumes. So, people can see, ah well, another person has actually come forward and said this in particular person is really good at what they do in a particular area or skill set.

[00:16:51] And just to get you rolling, start with your friends. Friends that you grew up with, you went to school with, friends at work.

[00:17:02] Start with your current environment so people who you work with right at the moment. Your current manager, colleagues, people who you work within other of departments that you support that kind of thing you know to start with them and then go to previous bosses. So, one of the key things, when you’ve left a company, is not to burn bridges because you need a reference sometime in the future.

[00:17:27] So just ensure that you know, once you haven’t burned the bridges you can go back to those previous bosses and ask them for a testimonial or some sort of recommendation. Then you have coaches and mentors, people who have had a really profound influence in your life, giving you really good advice on taking a job or applying for this or doing that, ask them to give you a recommendation.

[00:17:56] We have obviously colleagues from college and then especially and mostly undergraduate and then postgraduate colleges, ask them for a recommendation. Based on, you know, working with them as a team on a particular project, etc. really take advantage of that and that’s it. We’ve come to me in the that. I hope you’ve found that very useful.

[00:18:38] Hopefully from here on you can be proud of your LinkedIn profile and other people who you’d like in your network would find attractive. Next time we’re going to be looking at growing your network.

[00:18:56] Don’t miss the next episode in this particular series because we’ll be looking at how you can effectively grow your network and get it to be as big as you want it to be. So, I’ll talk to you until next time. Talk to you then. Enjoy the rest of your day and week. Bye for now.

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