“I am active on LinkedIn, but it does not seem to be doing anything for me professionally to advance my career”
LinkedIn, like many things you use as a professional, is a tool. Many of us use only the basic features of LinkedIn and expect it to do the work for us! But we have to use this tool to its fullest potential, and this includes optimizing your content with multimedia and hashtags. Even these simple additions can make your content stand out and get discovered!
“LinkedIn’s suggested connections are not very helpful in finding the type of people I want to connect with”
Ladies, you know more people than you think, and LinkedIn knows that! It may not be the best at showing you the right connections, but with a few clicks, you’ll be the one behind the wheel! Start in the search bar, but just press the search key without an entry. This will show thousands of your 1st, 2nd, and Group connections. From there, narrow down to just 2nd degree and go from there! You can be more specific to location, industry and more! Now you are connecting with the right people in the right place.
“Do I really need to have all the sections filled out on my LinkedIn profile?”
Do we have to go the extra mile in our careers to be successful? No, not necessarily, but when you do more, you get more. If you want the opportunity to sit at the table as a board member, you have to be willing to do more to get there! When your LinkedIn profile is completed, you receive All-Star status, and this is not a meaningless distinction. Did you know having a profile photo can get you 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests? Or that adding your current position can lead to 8x the profile views, and your education will earn your 17x more messages from recruiters? These are not just numbers, they’re chances and opportunities! So the real question is: Why aren’t you filling out all the sections in your profile?
“Is the summary section of my profile different than my normal elevator pitch?”
This is a great question! And it will vary depending on what you are looking to gain from LinkedIn as a professional. At the top of your page, it is going to be many viewers’ first impression of you. So perfect it as you would with your elevator pitch! This is an opportunity to review your professional abilities and explain your experience and expertise that you bring to the table. Make sure it captures who you are, your value, and something personal about you to make your profile come alive.
“How often should I post on LinkedIn?”
Many LinkedIn experts say that it is beneficial to post once per day on LinkedIn. But all you powerful, busy women understand that posting on any platform that often is going to be difficult! Especially when you need to be thoughtful with what you say. Try posting at least once a week instead. That way, you engage your network in a manageable way. Also, switch up your posts, mixing it up between long-form posts, sharing company news, relevant industry articles, and questions to your network. Then you have a balance between showing your knowledge and personality and establishing yourself as an informed member of your industry.
“I want people to see me as an expert and leader in my industry.”
So you’ve made some new connections on LinkedIn and spiced up your profile, but opportunities aren’t exactly knocking at your door. LinkedIn and other sites are not a direct line to a corporate board seat, but you can establish yourself as a leader and talented individual . For example, stay up to date with industry news and influencers. Follow your company, your dream companies, and even your competitors because the more you are reading and sharing your own thoughts/perspectives, the better position you put yourself in to be the expert in conversations with potential contacts related to your industry. Even better, join groups in your industry or one you may have a future in. This way, you can pick up on the dialogue and language that are used in that industry.
“I found people on LinkedIn to connect with, but will people find me?”
It is one thing for us to know how to connect with others, but wouldn’t it be nice if occasionally it was your name that appeared in someone else’s search? If you know how other people are finding (or not finding) you, then you know how to improve. So get to know how other people are finding YOU! Your LinkedIn Profile page should show you how many people have found you through search and maybe even who they work for and their title. This is a signal to the types of companies that are eyeing you! Want to change that? Then change your profile to be more appealing to the companies you want to find you.
“Are there keywords that will make me stand out on LinkedIn?”
The easy answer to this question is yes! You can make yourself easier to find on LinkedIn when you use specific words. But, the difficult answer is that it will be different for everyone. So based on what you do– what keywords would people searching for you like to see? Fortune 500 Execs have words like Leader, Strategic, Solution, Innovative, and ROI. Then, choose where to put those words in places like your professional headline, summary, and experience sections.
“Is there anything I should be careful not to include on my profile?”
As you work to improve your LinkedIn profile and make them stand out above the rest, it is worth mentioning things to lookout for. LinkedIn does not like to see personal/brand promotion, manipulating your experience or education, and keyword “stuffing” (meaning your repetitively use the same words or phrases). So be cautious, be strategic, and be real with who you are!
I am Sheila Ronning, founder and CEO of Women in the Boardroom. I am a leadership & networking expert and board strategist and I get women into corporate boardrooms. Learn how at www.womenintheboardroom.com.