How can you leverage LinkedIn to enhance your professional brand? This was the topic of the recent webinar by NTU NBS Alumni Association in collaboration with LinkedIn where our guest speakers shared how professionals can build their profile, leverage their network, apply for jobs and use their voice on the platform.
“More than just a job application tool, your LinkedIn profile is your entry into your professional network”, explained Aarthi Thapar, Talent Leader and Director of Customer Success at LinkedIn. She kicked off the session by taking participants through the foundations of what makes a great LinkedIn profile – the profile photo, headline and summary.
According to Aarti, people with profile photos get many more views and connection requests. When choosing a profile photo, Aarti’s advice was to make sure it is realistic and current. “Photos are our first opportunity to build trust with people you may not know. The photo does not have to be professionally taken, it just has to be authentic and tell your professional community who you are.”
Aarti also talked about the headline, which is the text under your name on your LinkedIn profile. She advised, “It should represent your professional brand and should capture both your passion and your profession. It’s important to get this right as it determines whether someone will reach out to you and whether you show up in searches on the LinkedIn search algorithm.”
“Talk about the breadth and depth of who you are in a concise and impactful way, and most importantly, give it personality,” was Aarti’s advice on crafting the summary section. She added, “A summary of 40 words or more makes your profile more likely to turn up in a future employer’s search.”
The next speaker, Adam Bawany, Social Impact Leader at LinkedIn, shared how professionals can use their profile to connect to opportunities. “Reach out to people you have something in common with. Also, reaching out to people with jobs you want, or to companies you want to work for is a great way to understand if that job or company is the best fit for you.”
On searching and applying for jobs, Adam encouraged participants to use keywords and typical job titles to narrow down job searches and create alerts for specific roles or companies. “Before applying for a job, see if you have connections in that company and reach out to them for a referral. Importantly, follow companies that you are interested in and would like to work for. Recruiters are able to filter specifically for candidates who follow their company page as this indicates interest in the company,” he added.
Lastly, Aarti shared how professionals can use their voice on LinkedIn. “Posting helps you reinforce your professional brand with a big network of people. It creates conversation in the community, helps you seek ideas and inspire others with your experiences.”
Aarti’s tips and tricks to get the most traction for your posts: “Posts with images grab more attention, the timing of your posts matters, weekdays are better than weekends and use hashtags to allow your posts to reach a wider audience.”
Moderated by Feon Ang, VP APAC Talent & Learning Solutions at LinkedIn as well as the VP for continuous learning in the NBS Alumni Association, this webinar was the first of a four-part series called “The Impact of Business Unusual” organised by the Alumni Association.