Building an awesome LinkedIN Profile

Part 1: How to build an awesome LinkedIN Profile:

Part 2: How to use LinkedIn to build network

What is a LinkedIN profile used for anyway? And is it a waste of time to build a profile? Let me make the case of its usefulness:

  • To showcase your unique story, your passion and your visions. This is where you tell the world your professional identity. Today most people would not even eat at a restaurant without checking out on Yelp for the reviews. You can be certain that recruiters are also checking out your profile after you have turned in a job application. If you don’t have a profile that is uniquely yours, it is a wasted opportunity to make a good impression from the start. Also, recruiters typically spend seconds scanning profiles. As such, it is important to build a profile that is unique and concise to stand out from the rest of your peers.
  • To showcase your recommendations. Please ask your teachers, colleagues, classmates, managers to write recommendations for you. Having powerful recommendation helps to build a first positive impression.
  • To connect to people all over the world. Twenty years ago, if I ask you to get in touch with Bill Gates, you probably need to jump through many hoops to make this happen. Thanks to LinkedIN and its instant access to knock down doors, you now can find Bill Gates on LinkedIN in 10 second. With the right message, he might even response to your connection request. For me, LinkedIN truly holds the power to level out of the playing field and give me instant access to 400,000,000 people across the world.
  • For advance users: you can truly showcase your visions by writing and publishing your own posts. In my experience of writing posts, I get to meet so many cool people. My two cents on this is — write something that is close to your heart and keep it simple.

If you would like me to review your LinkedIN profile, please message me on LinkedIn. I won’t be able to review everyone’s profiles. But will do what I can. Please watch the video and edit your profile first before you contact me. Have fun. 

Examples of powerful LinkedIn profile:

  • Fresh grad: Darren Tng. Great profile because you can tell that he has a clear vision for what he wants to pursue for this future. He shares what he believes in, which make it easier for other professionals who share the same beliefs to feel connected to him.
  • Senior Executive: Sanjoy Guha. Great profile because you get a sense that he is a capable and humble leader and who cares deeply about his team, operations, and company.

5 simple steps in building a powerful and unique LinkedIn profile:

  1. Have a clear and engaging picture. If possible, go to a studio and take a professional picture. It makes all the difference. Also, share a sincere bright smile.
  2. Tell your story in the summary section. The summary section is one of the most important and often most overlooked part on the LinkedIn profile. Here, you can share your own unique story. On how to build your unique story, read here. Don’t make the mistake of simply listing : “A marketing professional with 9 years of experience in digital marketing.” That is what you do and not who you are. The summary part is for you to take a step back and share about who you are, what motivate you, what you are passionate about. A personal story will also be much more memorable for recruiters who have to scan through many profiles per day.
  3. Concise and powerful work accomplishments. Under the Experience section, write concise information about the task and results that you are proud of. Briefly described the task in one sentence and then the result of that task. Example of task + result: “Managed all operations in Vietnam for Total during an economic crisis. Implemented a restructure that  resulted in exceptional growth and profitability with year on year growth of 20%.”
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask your former/ current professors and colleagues for recommendations. This is important because when a recruiter is checking out your profile, you are setting a positive impression even before she meets you. Doing so can boost your chance of getting an interview. To ask for recommendation>>  In asking for recommendation, make sure that you are very polite and thoughtful in your message.  Explain what their help mean to you. Also always offer help in return. An example: “Dear Roger, Congrats on your recent promotion and transfer back home. Wish you all the best success in your new exciting journey. I am currently applying for a job that I love at Khan Academy. Would it be possible if you can write a brief recommendation on LinkedIn about our time working together? You are someone that I highly respect and would love to have your recommendation for this important role. When you come to California, happy to show you around. Cheers. Lily”
  5. Add connections from your personal mail. I suggest that you should have at least 300 connections. This is because when you are searching for jobs on LinkedIn, LinkedIn will automatically map out which connections you know who are currently working at the companies you are interested in. For example, you are applying to IBM in Singapore. You have a former university friend that is currently working in IBM in the US but you don’t know this important piece of information. If you are connected with this friend on LinkedIn, LinkedIn will automatically notify you. Once you have done step 1-4 above, then you can use requests for connection using your personal mail like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, ect. How to send out request through personal mail, read here.
  6. Extra step for advanced users: Publish posts to share useful info. If you have things that you are passionate about, consider writing a post. For me, I love writing post because sharing useful information I know. It makes my day if the post brings a smile to even one person’s face. If you write post about your industry, it is a powerful way to show that your domain expertise in the industry. This sets an impressive impression for recruiters viewing your profile. Tips on writing post: keep it simple and write from the heart. Use personal stories. Don’t try to be fancy instead focus on what did you learn and how to share these lessons in the most simple way.