by Pamela Berns
After hearing John Crant’s presentation at DORMA Design Center last month, I decided it was time to exceed the 500+ mark on my LinkedIn connections, which I proudly achieved last night. David, another participant at the August 11, 2015 GreenHomeNYC Green Career Transitions event, went home that very night and edited his narrative-style LinkedIn page into a concise bulleted list, in response to John’s conviction that we “live in a world where no one likes to read walls of text.” According to John, who is an Author, Speaker and Recruiter at Self-Recruter.com, “Perception is reality. You need to TELL people how to think of you professionally.” And there’s probably no better place than LinkedIn to do so.
John returned to GreenHomeNYC for the second year in a row to advise green careerists on how to make the marketing most of their LinkedIn listing to “champion your mojo.” In the spirit of John’s belief that people want to access information quickly, we’re recapping his talk in a bulleted list of powerful, yet easy-to-implement, tips that will empower you to take advantage of LinkedIn’s FREE features to create a dynamite profile and reach the greatest number of potential employers or clients.
Create Your Professional Brand
Stand out. “Look carefully at your competition. Make a laundry list–what do they have that you don’t have?” Then find a way to differentiate yourself in your marketplace.
Share your history. “Don’t throw your old career under the bus.” Where you were before you came to your current career may add some spice to your profile.
Become an expert. Start a blog, write articles (even a book or two!), capture your speeches, presentations, and webinars on video, and post them on your page.
Add the right profile photo. Consider an action shot rather than a head shot. Remember, the goal is to “get people to bond with you personally.”
Build a Marketing Campaign
Be a “content curator.” Share relevant material from others (even your competitors), and preface it with a short comment describing your take on it; “comments on what you post are your marketing message.” Collect URLs ( you can shorten these using bitty.com).
Implement a share strategy. Create a list of 25 things to share, and share four to six times a week. Connect your LinkedIn listing with your Twitter account and “let your stuff flow.”
“Link, link, Link!”
Build the largest pool of connections possible. Co-workers, fellow alumni, “everyone you ever worked with in the past,” and, yes, your competitors. “It’s never about the connect; it’s about the pool,” and the resulting “three levels of network.”
Join groups, or better yet, start your own. Use groups “as a magnet to draw in all the people that would make a difference in how you manage your career.” “Populate the group with share activity” and invite other target groups to join. Remember, “every member of the groups you belong to is in your network.”
Take Advantage of the Tools
Use the unified search box. Fill it in with “invite me” (include the quotes), and LION (stands for LinkedIn Open Networker–no quotes needed for this) to let people know you’re open to new connections.
Insert a key-word block. Include words and names of people from your field. That way “you’ll come up in searches for people who are like you.”
Populate the summary section. It’s an underutilized feature with lots of room for posting, and a great place to include content that doesn’t logically fit in elsewhere, including photos.
Get recommended. Just ASK people whom you want to recommend you. “Ask them to write what they genuinely feel; don’t orchestrate it. Be shameless!”
Check your settings.Public, private, and semi-private determine just who will have access. (And “don’t post anything you want to keep completely private.”)
Leverage The Power of Research
LinkedIn is a font of information. You can learn about industries, and companies and their people. It helps you do your homework, so you can “walk in transformed about how you can talk about the position.”
Parting Words: Get Noticed!
Take John Crant’s advice and make the most of social networking to “get every ounce of the credit” you deserve, and be recognized for it. That may be the best path to the green or sustainability career you’re after. Want to learn more? Go to John’s LinkedIn page and see how he does it: www.linkedin.com/in/johncrant