On October 24th, Matt Chong took BCITMA members through the dos and don’ts of LinkedIn and online branding. If Matt stressed one thing during his presentation, it was that “everyone is the CEO of their own personal services organization”. This can easily be forgotten in the thick of midterms, but LinkedIn is the most important portal for your personal professional brand.
So here it is, 7.5 tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile and personal online brand:
1) Build a Personal Brand
Your LinkedIn profile acts as snapshot of your professional and personal image. So it’s time to get creative and tell your story. Don’t be afraid to emphasize your accomplishments, by links to past projects.
2) Get a Headshot
As we start to move into the “Real World”, your LinkedIn profile, photo included, make a first impression to potential employers. It’s worth taking the time to get all dolled up for a professional headshot.
3) Update your Profile Regularly
BCIT provides students with a lot of great opportunities, so why not highlight them all? Weed out any irrelevant information and highlight the information that industry professionals will want to see and engage with online.
4) Participate in Groups
Take a look around LinkedIn and find two or three groups that align with your career aspirations. This is a great way to learn more about industry and engage with potential mentors or employers. Matt believes that initiating a conversation is the best way to get on the radar of the individuals that you want to connect with.
Beyond the groups, take advantage of everything that LinkedIn has to offer. This includes following companies, sharing informative articles and congratulating connections on new positions. Don’t be afraid to ask connections for recommendations or introductions; it’s only going to add to your profile.
6) Add Connections
You’re a student, and you’re busy, but take the time to personalize each LinkedIn invitation. This will give your new industry connection something to remember you by when he or she receives the notification. Also, try not to add people whom you don’t know. Since you’re engaging with these people online, you want to know them.
7) Expand Your Brand
Take your professional brand to the social sphere by starting a blog with relevant content. Matt encourages the use of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to cross-promote your content because this will only help your online personality.
7.5) One Last Thought
The last word of advice the Matt has for students as they embark into the world of online networking is the importance of taking networking offline. By attending events and interacting with industry professionals in a face-to-face setting, you have the best opportunity to create a truly lasting impression.
Matt’s LinkedIn workshop was a great way for students to optimize their profile, while creating an online brand. But between LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and all the other networks we manage, it can get overwhelming. Luckily the BCITMA is here to help, we have a Hootsuite workshop coming up on November 7th at 5:30PM! Hootsuite’s own social media coach, Kristina Cisnero is leading the workshop. Stay tuned for details.