10 LinkedIn Tips from Writing Professionals

young professional in a meeting

With spring comes graduation for many, and with it, job searching. Job searching should include professional networking both online and in person, but it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. As writing professionals and consultants, we’ve found networking to be a little overwhelming, especially with social media networking. LinkedIn is a great place to begin your social media professional networking, and according to LinkedIn Corporation in 2017, “LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories.” These numbers mean that there are many people on the site looking to connect with other professionals. They also mean that this site is the place that many recruiters and professionals go to fill an open job position.

Even if you aren’t looking for a job, you never know when you will be—so start networking now. Besides, networking is about more than just finding a job—it’s also important to keep up with trends and events in your field.

Whether you are creating your LinkedIn profile for the first time or looking to update and enhance it (as you should be!), keep these 10 tips in mind to keep from getting overwhelmed.

1. Complete Your Profile 100%

To be professional and put your best foot forward, complete your profile fully, which includes a professional-looking headshot, a summary, recommendations, work experience, and education to name a few.

2. Write a Powerful Summary

The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is perhaps the most writing-intensive part of your profile. This summary showcases your best talents, skills, and accomplishments. First, ensure that you describe yourself in measurable terms. That means share specific statistics about your performance, name actual projects you have worked on, and prove that you are amazing at what you do. For example, it’s better to say: “I worked to create a new training program that saved my company $55,000 in a year” than to say: “Experience creating training.”

3. Choose a Point of View

As you write your profile, choose if you will use the first person (and refer to yourself as “I” throughout) or if you will use third person (and call yourself by name throughout). This style choice is personal, but what is most important is that you stay consistent throughout the profile.

4. Don’t Advertise Unemployment

LinkedIn is a great place to network and find new career opportunities, but you don’t want to come off desperate in your job search. If you are unemployed, begin to network, get engaged with discussions, and keep everything positive. Employers want to hire positive people.

5. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Check that your writing is polished—meaning no grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. And no use of texting styles, such as shortened words or a lack of punctuation or capitalization. A great way to catch errors is to type your post in a Word document so you can run spell check, or better yet, use Grammarly. All students, faculty, and staff at Ashford have access to a free Grammarly account.

6. Use a professional picture

The picture you upload to your profile helps you get noticed. If you are getting noticed, you want it for all the right reasons. Your headshot should look professional. Avoid photos that are informal, seductive in nature, or show personal moments like your wedding or your children.

7. Keep your profile up-to-date

One of the first places employers find you is on LinkedIn. You want to make sure your professional information is current and reflects how you would like to be seen in the public eye. Continue to add new projects, new work experiences, etc.

8. Connect regularly and stay engaged

Each time you meet someone new in your personal and professional life, try to connect with them on LinkedIn. You don’t want to wait until you lose your job to grow your network. Join LinkedIn groups, write articles, and keep in touch with individuals on your network.

9. Don’t use LinkedIn as Facebook

You’ve heard this before, but LinkedIn is a place to show your professionalism and network amongst people in your industry. Avoid placing personal thoughts, opinions, or articles on your LinkedIn profile. Only post items on LinkedIn that you would be okay with your potential employer or boss seeing.

10. Ask for help!

People are on LinkedIn so they can connect. If you are interested in entering a new career field, ask some folks in your network if they would be willing to complete an informational interview with you or be willing to mentor you.

For more information, check out this LinkedIn Profile Checklist.

 

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Written by Tamara Small, Career Services & Alumni Relations Manager; Millie Jones, Writing Center Consultant; and Melissa Sharpe, Writing Center Consultant.

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