Have you updated your LinkedIn profile recently?
With more than 875 million members worldwide, the platform is an invaluable resource for journalists. Every week, 52 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs, and every minute, eight people are hired, LinkedIn says.
So how can journalists stand out, whether or not they’re actively seeking a new role?
The simplest way to capture attention is by uploading a profile picture that clearly shows your face.
“You get 20 to 21 times more views and nine times more connections just by adding a photo,” said Yumi Wilson, journalism educator, personal brand expert, and former corporate communications manager for LinkedIn, at a Journalism Institute career workshop.
But don’t stop there: Here are three ways journalists can improve their LinkedIn presence.
Include a punchy, solutions-oriented headline that goes beyond your job title
The LinkedIn headline, which appears directly underneath your name, plays as important a role in your profile as it does in any news article. It should (concisely) tell the story of your professional life.
Many members will simply copy/paste their job title into this section, but because that information will appear in other places on your profile — most often in the work or education sections — it does nothing to help your visibility.
Instead, try using a combination of keywords that represent who you are, what you do, and who you aspire to be. Then those keywords will go into the LinkedIn algorithm and improve your chances of being found.
Draft a detailed summary to describe how you work and to share your goals
The summary section is located under your name, contact information, and headline. This is your opportunity to take control of your professional story — to create (or recreate) your narrative for potential employers.
Try to showcase your writing skills and unique personality rather than regurgitating a job description: Add in career highlights by sharing moments in which you solved a problem. You can also include your professional goals.
Add relevant skills and join groups to boost your profile visibility
The skills section resides underneath your work and education history. It is keyword-based and allows for other users to endorse you at a particular skill.
After you add several skills for yourself, start endorsing your colleagues’ skills. LinkedIn is a social media platform, so take advantage of any chance to engage with other members.
To expand your network, join LinkedIn groups. A good place to start is an alumni group from your university. You can also find several focused on common interests. The more you join, the more you’ll connect with other like-minded peers.
Want more tips? Watch Wilson on how to leverage LinkedIn in your journalism job search: