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Learnings from a Future17 LinkedIn Webinar with Elena Sabry (Part 2)

About the author: Albert Andemir’irenge Gubanja is the President of QS ImpACT DRC. He is also a software engineer and a Masters student in Information System Security at Strathmore University. He is a social and community leader, who believes that “if I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”. 

Albert attended the LinkedIn for Young Professionals Webinar for Future17 students and alumni last March 29, 2023. Future17 is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary program for undergraduate & postgraduate students that focused on developing 21st-century skills and addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about the program here.

How many points did you get on the LinkedIn Profile Evaluation in Part 1? In this blog, I will share more on how to leverage LinkedIn to gain more opportunities. 

First,  let us look at some LinkedIn Facts first. What can we find on LinkedIn?

  • More than 830M users and 24 languages
  • 23,000 universities, 40M students, alumni
  • 94% of recruiters use AI and more than 90% recruiters use it to find employees.
  • Every minute, 3 people find a job.
  • 40% of recruiters approach candidates if they find them online.
  • 55M companies and 14M jobs
  • 90% CEOs of top 500 companies
  • 8.2M Chief Executives
  • 4 out of 5 employees are decision makers
  • 100M vacancies every month
  • 1B recruiters’ searches daily

Knowing this, what can we do to really leverage LinkedIn? 

There are three things to make our LinkedIn powerful: Optimized profile, Connections and Comments (LinkedIn loves dialogues and comments), Content (this is king). There are many sections to improve our LinkedIn profile. The most important are headline, headshot, banner, about, experiences, skills, volunteering, education, license & certification, recommendation, publications.

  • Headline: Create a strong Headline with optimized keywords.
  • Professional Headshot: select your best headshot, look approachable and professional, use a background that is not distracting, dress for the job you want, choose the face expression (smile and have a friendly expression).
  • Banner: This is our brand, what we stand for. It is like a magazine cover. The branding should be relevant to our career target. These are some questions that can help to design our brand: What is your unique promise and value? What value do I deliver? What accomplishments or ROI can I show potential employers? 
  • About:  Be expressive, clear and concise without being too long.
  • Skills: List your skills according to your career target. 
  • Experiences: Bring out your top results and be proud of where you have worked or where you are working, your projects (personal and work projects), highlight the details about what you have done through every project and what you have gained through every experience.
  • Volunteering: volunteering means leadership, taking responsibility for something. 
  • Education: If you have professional certification (coach, mentor), add them here and upload the certificates so people can view them. In this section, you can write about what you did as a student, your academic activities and societies, etc.
  • License and certifications: Try to find free certifications or learning programs to enhance your interest and your skills. Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, etc. can help more to improve your skills.
  • Recommendations: recommendations can be different, not only academic but also from companies. Request recommendations that are relevant to the job you are applying for from your ex-colleagues, ex-bosses, HR, subordinates, professors, teachers, happy clients, business partners.
  • Publications: list all your publications, research, blogs, YouTube tutorials, etc.
  • Honors and awards: All your distinctions, awards earned or special recognition can be mentioned in this section. 

Content Strategies and Tactics

Here are a few things to keep in mind while leveraging your LinkedIn Profile:

  • Know your audience: To know your audience means knowing what is important for them.  
  • Choose type of story:  it can be relevant to your mission, your insights, why you do what you do, your vision for the future, your inspiration, your milestones or accomplishments.
  • Share your academic/professional life:  mention what relationships would you like to share and nurture.
  • Share pictures: It helps people relate to you! 
  • Comment on other posts: write comments that add value, especially when people celebrate their achievements and innovations. Do this two to three times a week.
  • Share your favorite quotes regularly and use hashtags. It can be motivational quotes, or quotes related to your personal story. Ensure that you optimally use hashtags to get higher traction. 
  • Weekly activities: try to share or to post your activities following a weekly program. Do not be absent for long periods. 
  • More contacts are power: The more you are known the more you are valuable. Try to connect to the people you meet during your meetings, travels, and work. 

Overall, LinkedIn is an extremely  valuable tool for professionals looking to build their network, advance their career, and stay up-to-date on industry news and trends. To leverage LinkedIn, the first thing to consider is to know how to use it and how to market ourselves. It is a best tool recommended to young professionals who are seeking new opportunities.

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