Social Media Success
Building a strong LinkedIn presence
The moment you leave the comfort of University and step into the world of Corporate, almost everyone you meet will offer you the same piece of advice – “Network, network, network”! However, networking – no matter what your age or qualifications – still remains quite a daunting task for some and meeting people and attempting to establish rapport with them within a short period of time is quite difficult.
If you are serious about finding a great job or successfully continuing on your present career path, a visible online professional profile is essential. This is where LinkedIn comes in. Truth be told, as a professional and an ambitious woman, you need to make LinkedIn your best mate! LinkedIn allows employers and recruiters to find you easily, exposes you to a myriad of opportunities and provides valuable information that you can apply in your personal and professional life. When it comes to LinkedIn, aim for attaining “All-Star” Profile Strength. This can be done by:
- Use a professional photo: This is absolutely non-negotiable! Avoid selfies, photos with pets, friends and even your significant other. Endeavour to have a high quality, high resolution shoulder-length image of yourself, preferably against a clean or blurred background. In the event that you don’t possess an image that fits this criteria, arrange for a friend with a professional camera to take a few snaps of you. Today’s cellphone cameras are certainly capable of capturing images of a high quality too – so should you not have access to a professional camera, an image taken on your phone will do. Simply ensure that your photo reflects a professional business image.
- Create an informative and succinct headline: Your headline merely needs to state your position or title, the institution you work for and the current city which you work in. Where you are self-employed, the same applies in respect to the name of your business. If you are a business owner of a business that employs less than 50 people, rather state your title as “Founder” rather than “CEO”. And lastly, if you are a student, state the title of your prospective degree in your headline, for example “Bachelor of Business Sciences Student/Candidate”.
- Complete the summary section of your profile: This is actually the most difficult part, as talking about yourself can be especially difficult. If you are unsure of what to state, rather ask a close friend or colleague with great writing skills to assist you and ensure he/she describes who you are, what you do, what you have done and what you are passionate about in the summary. Keep your summary personal and conversational, yet still professional – and endeavour to make it as comprehensive as possible. The number one rule? Check your spelling and grammar!
- Add your skills, expertise, education history, certificates obtained and awards received: LinkedIn is a wonderful platform that allows you to add documents, images, links to publications you’ve written and significant presentations you have made in the past. Utilize as many of those media forms as you possibly can to build a strong profile and to allow recruiters to see what you are capable of. On LinkedIn, there is no shame in ‘showing off’ so don’t hesitate to upload your pristine resume/CV, any certifications that you hold and powerful presentations you’ve created.
- Get connected: Stay as active as you possibly can by adding connections on a weekly basis, liking updates posted by others, endorsing your colleagues for their skills, following companies that you are interested in working for and posting links to articles dealing with topics you are particularly passionate about. Establishing yourself as a Thought Leader on LinkedIn is probably one of the best things you can do.
When used effectively, social media can be a great means to a successful career or a thriving business. Ensure to keep your online profile fresh, pristine and robust to extend your personal brand and secure exposure to opportunities.
Written By: Zimasa Qolohle
Founder & Editor – The Corporate Canvas