4 Ways to Optimize LinkedIn Food Grads!
You’ve likely heard that LinkedIn is an important part of the professional world. In fact, if you’ve found this article, there’s a good chance you’re already using LinkedIn!
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The platform is a great way to network, and can be used in a bunch of ways:
- Meet new professionals in the industry and learn about opportunities at their companies
- See other peoples’ career paths
- Job search using the LinkedIn job board
- Showcase your personal brand
I want to focus on the last point there – showcasing your personal brand. In order to maximize your exposure, you want to have a profile that stands out, reflects you and your interests, and shows off what you bring to the table. Here are some ways you can maximize your LinkedIn profile:
1. Banner Photo
In addition to choosing a professional headshot for your profile picture, take advantage of the banner photo. This is a simple way to make your profile pop at first glance, as people will immediately notice you have something different than the standard LinkedIn option. Choose something that reflects your interests, your background, or even a motivational quote, but remember, you still want this to be a professional reflection of you.
2. About Section
The About section appears just below your profile picture, and is your chance to introduce yourself in your own words. I used to have a fairly basic about section, something along the lines of:
“My passion for food science grew from my experiences as a Biochemistry Co-op Student. My educational background was supplemented with placements in Product Development, which further fueled my desire to continue exploring the food industry. I strive to bring commitment and integrity to both my work and community.”
While this isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not eye-catching, and doesn’t make you excited to meet me or learn more about my work experiences. Use the following tips to spice up your About section:
- Eye catching opener – this can be a funny or unexpected first statement, an anecdote, or a strong and concise explanation of what you do. Try to avoid saying things like “Hi I’m Bob and I am a QA technician.” Be sure to hook the reader right away.
- Explain your current role, but keep it simple and concise. You can also frame your current position with a quick story of how you progressed to where they are now, which gives some context.
- Try to use specific words that describe you. “Passionate” is used a LOT, but see if you can come up with other, more descriptive ways to express your personality and work style
- Demonstrate what makes you tick – through your life outside of work, groups you’re involved in – anything that shows who YOU are when you’re not at your desk
- Finish it with a quick invitation to connect – after all, that’s why they’re on your page!
Above all, be creative! You don’t have to follow the order above, or include everything I’ve suggested. The best About sections show some off your personality – whatever that is!
3. Work experience/Education/Volunteer Experience
Similar to a resume, these sections allow you to curate your experience and show off the key skills and experiences that demonstrate you and your brand. Here are some tips for how to maximize this section:
- The employment section of LinkedIn will be a general summary of your position and skills (unlike a resume where you specifically tailor it to a job posting). You don’t need to highlight everything you have done in the role, or get too far into specifics. Keep it high level and concise
- You can use bullet points or paragraph form – unlike a resume, you have the flexibility to format these sections how you choose, so don’t shy away from a short paragraph if that’s more your style
- Use the Media feature to attach documents, pictures, or links to articles or websites. This is a great way to showcase anything you have worked on in your education, volunteer, or career journey.
4. Be Active!
The number one way you can maximize your LinkedIn presence is by being active on the platform. I admit, I don’t love putting myself out there on LinkedIn – I worry about what people will think or if I’m not posting enough. However, actively using LinkedIn is a great way to further develop your personal brand, and help you make those great connections the platform is known for! If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following:
- Interacting with your network and commenting on their posts
- Posting interesting articles related to your field that you have enjoyed, with a quick blurb about your thoughts
- Follow professional organizations that align with your career values to stay up to date on the industry
Try out some of these tips! The key is remembering to reflect your personality in the content. You will be showcasing who you are to your network while making your LinkedIn page much more engaging.
Author: Sonya Turvey
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