Loving LinkedIn

Are you maximizing your LinkedIn potential?

By Michelle Valigursky

Story Photo

LinkedIn profiles are a powerful tool. Make sure your profile tells your professional story – like Danny Shoy’s 95C does - in the best possible way.

Most people understand the power of professional connections to enhance business operations or advance a career. “LinkedIn is an often under-utilized resource,” says Carolyn Bregman, director of alumni career services at the Emory Alumni Association. “Master it and you’ll feel the impact.”

So how does one get a grip on the many capabilities of “the world’s largest professional network?” Bregman offers these suggestions:

Understand your goals. “Why are you using LinkedIn? Is it to document your credentials? To engage with other industry professionals? To identify a new career? To establish a new business venture?” Bregman asks. “Your goals should drive your approach.”

Use a title that expresses who you are as a professional.  “In just a few words, tell people what you do.” Julie Fleming 93L defines her role succinctly: “I help lawyers create and implement innovative business development strategies. Consultant, speaker, and author.”

Write a compelling profile. “Create a summary of your expertise and reference your specific talents,” Bregman says. “This snapshot offers others the first glimpse of who you are.”

Use a professional picture. “Don’t go too casual. LinkedIn represents your professional persona.”

Gain recommendations. “Enhance your work reputation by requesting recommendations from people with whom you’ve done business.” To view how effective recommendations can complement your profile, please visit Jeremy Goldman’s 00C page.

Add work samples and portfolio pieces, if appropriate. “If you are a business thought leader, writer, graphic designer, or other artisan, sharing samples of your recent work will highlight your talents.” Visit the profile for Gregory Galant 05C to review an early Venture Voice podcast interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.

Maximize connections. “Make connections that will broaden your professional arena,” Bregman advises. “Reach out to those individuals and engage in professional conversation. If you are trying to connect with someone who does not know you, go beyond the form invitation. Show how you are connected or why you would like to connect to increase the odds of a successful connection.”

Enhance your basic profile. “Round out your profile by including sections about community service, causes, and additional skills such as languages,” she recommends.

Join a group. “Groups are a wonderful way to connect with people who share your affinities and interests. Whether your alma mater, professional associations, or other shared interests, you’ll enhance your connections and opportunities and stay abreast of trends and information.”

“The Emory Alumni Association manages 40 global LinkedIn groups that allow you to network by city, industry, school, work function, or general interest,” says Stacey Gall, associate director of communications and technology for the association. “With more than 44,000 Emory students and alumni in the network, it’s a smart career move to take an active role in making your LinkedIn presence more robust.” 

Related material:

To learn how to build your brand with social media, visit this EmoryWire article about Jeremy Goldman 00C.

Learn more about Gregory Galant 05C and Sawhorse Media’s Muck Rack for journalists, an online portfolio-sharing tool.

Watch the video podcast of the Coach Chat with Julie Fleming 93L on “Invigorating the Reluctant Rainmaker.”

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Michelle Valigursky