LinkedIn: Up your professional game

By Lisa Dalla Vecchia

Image by Esther Vargas.

Despite stats, articles and personal testimonials that prove that LinkedIn works, you’d be amazed at how many professionals (at all levels) still aren’t sure why they need to create and regularly maintain their LinkedIn profile. They’re missing out!

Your professional life exists online. It takes no time at all to learn more about who you are through a quick Google search. Take a moment to Google your name. What shows up? I hope you like what you see.

Use your LinkedIn profile to rise to the top

According to LinkedIn, the more robust your profile (that is, the more you complete as many of the relevant sections as possible), and the more you reach out and connect with others, the more likely your profile will show up on top of Google search results. Therefore, by having a strong LinkedIn profile, you’re controlling—to an extent—what others read about you. 

LinkedIn has now made it easier than ever to flesh out who you are. And remember, you’re much more than your current position at your current employer. While there are sections similar to the résumé, like Experience and Education, there are so many more that go beyond the 9 to 5. Starting with the Summary, you can infuse some of your personality and creatively share with the professional world how you do what you do, what your goals (and professional dreams) are, and why they should reach out to you. And you don’t need to have a text-heavy profile. LinkedIn now makes it easier for you to show your talents by uploading links, files and video.

Share your professional story

The bottom line: LinkedIn is much more than an online résumé or address book. The professional social network was designed for people just like you, so that you can share your professional story in order to be discovered (who doesn’t dream of being contacted by a Google recruiter?) or position yourself as an industry expert (fancy having a reporter reach out and ask your opinion?), and much more. Whatever your professional goals are, a well-laid out profile can help you reach them.

Do you use LinkedIn? Has it helped you? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Lisa works at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. Her focus is on engaging key stakeholders by creating and facilitating involvement opportunities, and connecting employers and their career opportunities to business students. Recognized for her expertise in social media, she regularly helps academic and professional audiences understand how to use various social platforms to reach their business and career goals. Dalla Vecchia has a mini MBA in social media marketing from Rutgers University.