How to Transform Your LinkedIn Profile Into an Amazing Career Tool
LinkedIn has quickly become the go-to site for job seekers and career professionals of all stripes to grow their networks, discover new exciting opportunities and be found by employers or recruiters for available jobs.
To take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, first, you need a LinkedIn profile and, second, you need to ensure it is strongly written and filled in correctly to obtain the LinkedIn rating of "all star" status to ensure employers find you.
Too many people create LinkedIn accounts, partially fill them in and then walk away expecting them to work some sort of magic.
It's not that easy!
Your LinkedIn profile can only work for you if you take the time to make sure it is top-notch and worth reading! Display your best work and communicate your value.
Transforming your LinkedIn profile can help you gain a new amazing career tool that will set you apart from the competition.
LinkedIn is incredibly valuable to me, over the years, I have met an abundance of amazing teachers, school administrators, college instructors, university professors, higher education professionals, school counselors, master teachers, instructional coaches, educational consultants, principals, directors of teaching colleges, international head teachers or head of schools. Well, the list of educational titles could go on and on. The enlightening conversations that take place in the LinkedIn groups alone are incredibly informative. I have learned so much by being an active participant.
Communicate Your Professional Brand with a Search Optimized LinkedIn Profile
If you already have a professionally written resume, cover letter, and other career documents, then you are already well on your way to creating a top-notch LinkedIn profile. With some editing and rearranging, everything that is in your professional resume can be used in appropriate sections of your LinkedIn profile. Please understand your LinkedIn profile will be different from your resume or CV. There are sections that will be similar to your resume.
Your profile will need to accomplish the same goals as your paper resume, while also being searchable within LinkedIn's database and Google. So merely throwing together your LinkedIn profile without thinking about your target audience or what you want to accomplish will hurt your efforts.
Just as your resume needs to stand out, so too does your LinkedIn profile. With millions of users on LinkedIn, you need to find a way to stand out among the many other teachers who are also on LinkedIn.
Determine Your Professional Brand
A great way to stand out against the competition is to home in on your 'professional brand'. This is what you do really well. You need to communicate this throughout your LinkedIn profile. For instance, if your specialty is classroom management, this needs to be mentioned in your summary section, your special skills, and under your professional teaching experiences.
If you want to stand out, you need to figure out what makes you different and/or better than your competition.
Next, you need to communicate your value in an interesting and engaging way that will make people want to read your profile and then connect with you.
So, even though you can utilize a lot of the content from your professionally written resume, it will not do you any good to simply plug in your resume to LinkedIn and think you're done. This is a terrible strategy to stand out on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is its own career tool separate from your paper resume, and so you need to treat it as such.
Include These Important LinkedIn Sections/Areas
- Professional SEO (Search Engine Optimized) headline – on LinkedIn, this is essentially your tag line. You are allowed 120 characters, so use them. Your headline goes with you everywhere in LinkedIn, giving viewers a brief snapshot of your profile, so make sure that it packs a punch and has the right keywords to optimize your online presence. It needs to be memorable and differentiate you from everyone else. It needs to effectively describe what it is you do so make sure it contains all the importance descriptors of your job. An example would be "Fifth Grade Language Arts Teacher".
- Headshot Photo – profiles that contain a professional photo are 5 times more likely to be viewed by employers. Your photo is likely the first thing people will see when they glance at your profile; therefore, you need to make sure it is a professional photo and that it is recent. It is recommended that you get a professional head shot if you don't have any professional looking photos.
- Summary Section - this part is incredibly important. This section needs to sum up everything you stand for as an educator. It needs to introduce yourself as an educator by including strong brand statements, listing your relevant achievements and skills, and explaining what you are looking for in teaching opportunities. It also needs to contain powerful keywords related to your area of education that will help you with searches. By having the correct keywords, your profile will show up more often when employers search for teaching candidates.
- Specialties and Featured Skills Section - this is a whole section dedicated to keywords. Make sure you list powerful and relevant keywords that are important to your area of teaching. You can utilize many of the same types of keywords that are displayed in the 'core competencies' section of your resume.
Specialty examples for a teacher could include classroom management, lesson planning, curriculum development, common core, student-centered learning, student motivation, behavior modification, technology integration, and guided reading.
Examples of specialties for a school administrator could include School Operations & Administration, Curriculum Planning & Improvements, Classroom Evaluation Methods, Standardized Testing & Scores, Educational Program Development, Learning Materials Evaluation, Teacher Mentoring & Development, Workshop & Seminar Presentations, and Academic Policies & Programs.
- Recommendations – The recommendation section is a very powerful selling tool. Nothing speaks louder than when others vouch for you. Try to get recommendations from each job you've held, to help show your unique value proposition better.
- Additional Information to Include – You should also make sure to list awards and honors that you've earned in additional sections. List your professional associations and affiliations, making sure to include any contributions you've made. When people search for these organizations your name will again show up.
Remember to break up dense chunks of information into shorter, brand-focused statements that are surrounded by plenty of white space to make them stand out. You want your profile to be easily readable so that employers will continue to read your information and not get bored or overwhelmed by the amount of text.
Once you've completed your LinkedIn Profile, make it even more appealing by utilizing LinkedIn's special applications such as slide share presentations, Google presentations, and blog link.
By completing all of these steps, your LinkedIn profile will be able to grow your network, really work for you and your job search by creating a strong online presence that will impress potential schools or organizations.
Don't leave this site without reading the in-depth blog post:
22 Tips to Unlock the Power of LinkedIn for Your Next Career Move
You can benefit from my expertise in writing profiles that get noticed by recruiters and hiring authorities. Get the help you you need to take advantage of the professional LinkedIn platform or any other social media channel by inquiring about our consulting/coaching. Learn how to use this incredible platform to ROCK your career.