Pallas Hupe´ Cotter | Are you on Linkedin?


Guest Post by Pallas Hupe Cotter

Are you on LinkedIn? I mean really on it?

Do you post, interact and position yourself on the professional social media site?

Or have you just uploaded a profile and then walked away from it?

Believe me, you’re not alone. Far too many people admit that’s what they’ve done.

But that's like shutting the door on opportunity.

In our virtually connected world, if you want to position yourself for a new job, LinkedIn is where people get to know not just what you do, but also who you are.

And as we now know, we need to be found online if we want to be remembered.

Today there are more than 2 million people in New Zealand on LinkedIn. Out of our team of 5 million (and many of those not yet in the workforce), that’s significant.

People go to LinkedIn to network and add professional value by sharing content.

They also go on LinkedIn to make sure they’re seen.

LinkedIn is one of the first stops on the background check that potential employers do, because it’s one of the first sites that pop up on a Google search.

Just try Googling yourself to see what they see.

Because of the power of LinkedIn, when I work with clients on their “Defining Words” (or Personal Brand if you prefer) we use them first in their LinkedIn Summary.

So what does your summary say about you?

  • Does it accurately reflect not just your skills, but also your passion and values?
  • Is it clear not just what you’ve accomplished, but also how you help others?
  • Would it give potential employers an idea of how it would be to work with you?

Often potential employers want an idea of how you would fit into their company culture. Seeing what you post and how you interact with others who post, is one facet of the kaleidoscope of factors (including your CV) that they look through.

To help you polish your LinkedIn summary, here are a few tips that have worked for me:

  • Before you make changes to your profile, make sure your privacy setting is set to “off” next to: “Share job changes, education changes and work anniversaries on your profile”. You can switch that back to “on” when you make a final edit on your shiny new profile and you want and need your connections to check it out.
  • Don’t just list your accomplishments, but also talk about what you’re passionate about, what your values are. Say what you do, as well as how and why you do it.
  • Make sure your profile has good visuals: a professional profile photo and customised banner. People are exponentially more likely (some say 35x as likely) to peruse your profile if you post a polished professional profile photo.
  • Make sure you write in first person. Third person just doesn’t suggest openness and transparency. It also feels impersonal. And again, people want to get to know you.
  • Include a clear “Call to Action” at the end of the summary. Make it easy for someone to connect with you, over coffee or via email. For example: Let me know how I can help you. Coffee is my shout! Contact me at (email/phone).

When I help people define who they are, and find the words to express that clearly and comfortably, I make sure their words are specific, authentic, and chosen strategically.

Here’s the thing. People form opinions quickly about you, based on what they see.

Some research suggests first impressions are made in seven seconds or less!

If someone saw only your LinkedIn profile, would they form an opinion that matches who you really are? Does yours make clear the value you add or how you help others?

You have the power to guide potential employers to see what you want them to see about you. And you can make it easy or hard for them to recognise your value.

You make it hard by making them guess who you really are: just setting up a profile then walking away, and not putting yourself out there with strategic authenticity.

Make it easy for potential employers

You can make it easy by following the ideas above.

You will attract new connections, and build a community.

It’s happened for me and for my clients. And exciting things have happened next.

When people get a clear idea of your value via LinkedIn, it leads not only to recognition but it also opens the door to opportunity.

Article by: Pallas Hupe´ Cotter