If you’re anything like me, people have painstakingly urged you to create a LinkedIn profile (with no success) for a longer time period than you’d like to admit.“I don’t have enough experience,” “I’m too young,” or “I don’t know enough professionals to make any connections,” are some weak but common excuses that I have been caught using in the past. After attending the LinkedIn Workshop with Kelsea Wiggins at PRSSA last Wednesday, I can say that I plan to make a LinkedIn profile now…and I’m not mad about it.
Kelsea kicked off her presentation by advising us to fake it until we make it. She suggests that we focus on what we want to say, write it, and “throw glitter on the ends” for good measure. The next area of focus was profile picture selection. Kelsea says that the best LinkedIn profile picture is one that is head on, well lit, and professional-looking. The picture should make sense for your brand and career path, and selfies, wedding photos, and pictures with other people should be avoided if possible. Confidence is key, and your profile picture is the first aspect of the account that you can showcase it through.
My favorite part of the night came from the next piece of advice that Kelsea had to give us. “No one cares if you’re motivated,” Kelsea said. The word “motivated” is the most frequent and overused word on the site, and it is important that we find more interesting and sophisticated words to exhibit our strengths to potential connections in the headline section. Also, it is pivotal to be intentional and selective with keywords; they can mean the difference between being discovered on the site and being looked over. Kelsea recommends that we be creative and unique in the summary section while keeping the character limit of the mobile version of the app in mind. The goal with the summary, she says, is to get the person viewing your profile to click those magic words: “see more.”
As if this workshop didn’t already feel as though it was constructed just for me, Kelsea then went on to tell us that we all have more experience than we realize or give ourselves credit for. She advises that side hustles, passion projects, and extracurricular activities can count as experience as they are vital in “painting the picture of the professional you want to be seen as.” Simplicity and significance are hallmarks of success on LinkedIn, and #kelseataughtme how to achieve this without looking like the rookie I am.