LINKEDIN: Your ‘Digital Footprint’

Social media is a great place to learn about and create a digital conversation with your market. Potential employers do not want to be talked-to, or worse yet sold-to on these platforms. Your followers want to know they have a place to come learn, to ask questions about things THEY care about, and to know they are being heard.

Here are some things we’ve learned from listening to those we’ve served since the advent of LinkedIn, the preferred place for professional level job seekers to leave their “digital footprint.”

What’ll IT BE, Push or Pull?

In “PUSH Marketing,” you need to take a low-key approach and offer 90% of insights and education to your market, with only 10% of things that would be seen as a sales pitch. Of course, ALL your social media content is “selling” in one way or another, but your market will be turned off if it comes across as a hard sell.

On the other side, don’t just post silly photos or motivation quotes. Position yourself as a subject matter expert and a source of real help to your followers, by sharing valuable information your market cares about (using UPDATES to post white papers…or sprinkle them in to your Profile).

PULL Marketing,” on the other hand, requires a concerted effort to optimize your keyword concentration (SEO) to attain high page ranking in keyword searches.  This is where most beginners start as they learn and gain confidence with the various functionalities offered by LinkedIn

The challenge is that either approach, when taken to an extreme, could be viewed as manipulative or ‘gaming the system’ (extreme pull)… or just too much narrative fluff (extreme push).  So in this brief handout we will be taking a down the middle approach which will give both beginning and intermediate users of LinkedIn the ‘best of both worlds’ in LinkedIn utility.

In-Sync, NOT Duplicate Personal Marketing Collaterals

While one’s resume is all about wise use of two pages worth of ‘vertical space,’ your LinkedIn Profile has no such limitation, but contains the very same elements of content: A clear positioning statement, a concise qualification summary, evidence of your supportive experience, and your education/ training.

TASK #!: A Dynamic Profile

When employed, your HEADLINE might present you as the <<Billing Manager at LSC Communications (formerly RR Donnelley>>.  However, when seeking your next right employment opportunity you have some choices.  Using “Pull Marketing” tactics, you could present yourself as…

OFFICE MANAGEMENT: Financial Analysis | Operations Accounting | Customer Service | Database Administration

-or-

Using the more narrative “Push Marketing” tactics, you could present yourself as…

Resourceful OFFICE MANAGER, skilled in Financial Analysis, Operations Accounting, Customer Service, and Database Administration

You’ll want to use all the space available to you in your headline if possible as this is where search engines ‘look’ first, leaving  your “digital footprints” throughout your usage of LinkedIn’s functionality.  Your ‘editing window’ will stop you at the maximum character level. 

SUMMARY

The summary is one of the most important parts of the jigsaw and usually the first thing people will read on your profile. While there’s no strict template to stick to, there are certain approaches and techniques that have proved successful.

1. Think about what and who you’re writing it for
How you approach your summary will really depend on your objectives, who you’re writing it for and the situation or industry you find yourself in.


• A mission-based approach may suit those actively marketing to potential employers or clients. State what you want to achieve and make sure to include a call to action – for example, instructions on how to get in touch.

• Less is often more in technical professions such as IT or engineering, where what people really want to see is evidence of your skills and training.

• However, in other cases you’ll be looking to produce something that’s quite unique to you and that allows your personality to shine through.

2. Have a clear structure
The best LinkedIn summaries have a clear narrative, engaging the reader in the ‘story’ of that individual’s career so far: where they started out, their current situation and where they’re aiming to get to.

Starting with the qualification summary at the top of your resume, this can provide a solid outline into which you can feed information on your skills and attributes and how you approach your work.

Allow a separate paragraph for each topic; you have 2,000 characters to play with, but it’s best to keep things short and sweet with a line or two for each point. You can allow more weighting to certain areas if need be.

A SAMPLE Office Manager’s SUMMARY

I am a resourceful and productive Business Management professional with over twenty years of diverse and progressively responsible experience in a fast paced dynamic environment. My proven strengths lie within the areas of accounting and administrative assistance. I am used to the dynamic demand of operations accounting, customer service, database management, data collections and analysis, and prioritizing workload.

Managers value me as a detail-oriented, critical thinker who thrives in a team environment with diversified stakeholders and clientele, focused on personal development and process improvement. Proficient within proprietary and other systems, as well as Microsoft Excel.

OPERATIONS ACCOUNTING: I was promoted to continue previous retail billing duties with the addition of commercial billing duties for comercial and retail platform. I coordinate with customer service, manufacturing and pricing to obtain information related to customers account and orders.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATION: I’ve prepared detailed invoices per customer contract for commercial accounts, including credit allowances to customer as required by account contract. I have also assisted with individual accounting budgets, providing data input of pricing, cost and VAR information.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: I prepare detailed invoiced including credit allowances to customer as required by account contract. This requires knowledge of customer contracts, pricing list, invoice discounts and rebated and accrual percentages when applicable. In an earlier role, have interpreted data, evaluated trends, and made recommendations to improve manufacturing performance.

I can be reached at: Phone# and email address

**NOTE the tie in to the defining KEYWORDS of the HEADLINE, your clear and concise positioning statement or digital “branding.”

So, what do you want your ‘ABOUT’ section to look and read like?

Over thirty years of experience as a Career Services Consultant. Projects have included: classic, corporate-sponsored outplacement activities, including career transition centers; internal career development centers; talent management services; and strategic recruitment programs. He also offers direct pay services to professional individuals, including: assessment and branding development (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, etc), job search skill training and job search coaching.

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