LinkedIn – My Way – Part 2

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Building up the profile – Section 2:
Go back to your notepad and jot all your academic qualifications, your GPA/Grades, also list you’re most important courses and professional organizations that you were a member of.

Note: Remember that you have a special section for certifications so keep your them aside for now.

With this in hand, go ahead and open your LinkedIn profile>add education section. Add the name of your school/university. Fill up the name of the course and the dates. That done list the activities and societies you were member of or participated in. Separate each one of them by a comma that helps LinkedIn make them searchable links. Once that’s in place, work on the additional Notes section, you can include the following:

1. Your major/minor/concentration
2. A small description of the course (only if it’s non traditional, i.e. B.Sc. Math doesn’t require a description, but a Masters in Global Financial Management would).
3. Your GPA (Debatable, but you want it to stand out, then put it in)
4. Selected Courses (List only those which you find relevant to your career path)
5. Projects (If your course consisted of projects, which you think, will help define you better, then list them using the format Project name, Place/company where you worked, year, concise description/results of the project – for this use the tips given in the professional experience section)

Again how extensively you will fill your educational background is a point of debate. If you are a young professional, then begin using the educational background section to sell yourself. If you’re a seasoned professional with years of work ex, then just listing the school, course and graduation year will suffice.

Also, list, but avoid detailing, very early educational degrees like high school. Actually many professionals don’t want to list their school, but I feel its important as it helps one network with one’s high school contacts as well. This rule also applies to some qualifications which were not perused to completion, or were not a primary degree or were not critical.

Skills are things that you learned from you educational and professional experience. They are much more important for a software/IT guy than others, but everybody can use it. If you are in IT, list the software/programming languages that you’re familiar with, how many years you have used them and how proficient you think you are (judge yourself fairly). For others, skills can include, software, specific models like (Six sigma DMAIC, lean manufacturing, 5S), General skills (negotiation, communication). Be precise. It’s sometimes better to classify skills like follows;
Objected oriented programming, Java, C#, C and C++ or
Communication: Mass media, public speaking, anchoring, etc.

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LinkedIn – My Way – Part 1

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LinkedIn is a social networking tool oriented at business users. Its main focus is professional networking. This has become especially important in today’s world with global professionals. That being said, not many upcoming professionals leverage LinkedIn to its fullest potential. What I am going to do in a series of 4 articles is help you write a good LinkedIn profile and leverage it to your advantage. It is to be noted here, that I myself am not the expert’s expert on LinkedIn. Actually, I am quite new to it. It is also true that many a book have been written on this subject. I personally have read three of them, but quite frankly, I didn’t find any coherence in their advocacies. Hence, I am going to write this based solely on my experience and how I dealt with the issue. This may not be a magic formula to a perfect profile, but hopefully it will help get you started.

Registering for LinkedIn is simple enough. Once registered the tough part starts–Building up the profile. I will divide this topic into 2 articles, or else its going to be too voluminous.

1. Building up the profile – Section 1
2. Building up the profile – Section 2

Building up the profile – Section 1:
The Basics
LinkedIn is not your resume. Yes it imitates it, but is very different. One of the primary reasons why this is so, is because LinkedIn is a web based personal branding solution. Therefore, remember the two words “web-based” and “personal branding”, when you work on your profile.

When you build your LinkedIn profile, it’s good to have your detailed resume besides you for reference. A notepad and a pencil to jot down points and a printer to take drafts of your profile helps.

Display Name
Your display name need not be your full name; it should be what people call you or the name you are most comfortable with. Because LinkedIn works on the internet, when people search for you (by what they call you) on Google, your profile pops up. This basically means, you need to recognize what people call/know you as and key that in.

If people call you Chuck Johnson rather than Charles Johnson, then please write Chuck Johnson. Again it’s not advised to shorten your first/last name to an initial for example C. Johnson or Chuck J. is limiting the scope of the search.

Your profile headline should be a reflection of you in general, if you think you are a young dynamic supply chain professional then that should be your headline. Remember if left to the default setting, the headline will be set to your current work title. Do change that. Also it’s very unprofessional to write your email id/phone number as a part of your display name or heading. It sounds desperate. Also remember that the headline is the second way people find you, while it needs to be about you, it should additionally contain a few key words, which can be searched for example: manufacturing engineer, design professional, etc.

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