- LinkedIn Relationship Building: Foster professional relationships through supportive interactions, clear communication in your profile, and regular content creation.
- LinkedIn Engagement Dos and Don’ts: Actively engage with others’ content and avoid using LinkedIn solely for personal gain or without reciprocating the engagement.
- Maximizing LinkedIn’s Analytics: Use LinkedIn’s analytics to identify and connect with interested professionals, turning profile views into meaningful connections.
- Content Strategy for LinkedIn: Craft content that is visually appealing and narratively engaging, focusing on storytelling and problem-solving to attract a specific audience.
- Tailoring Content for Specific Audiences: Understand and address the needs of your target audience, creating content that resonates with their interests and professional challenges.
- Building and Evolving a Career Portfolio: Develop a career portfolio that showcases your skills and achievements, adapting its contents as your experience grows, and leveraging digital tools for enhanced presentation.
LinkedIn as a Career Development Tool
How can LinkedIn transform your career trajectory? In this insightful Q&A, Katelyn Richards, founder of A Crafted Career, shares her expertise on leveraging LinkedIn for professional advancement. She discusses strategies for building meaningful relationships, crafting engaging content, and effectively using LinkedIn’s unique features. Katelyn’s guidance is invaluable for anyone looking to enhance their network, create targeted content, and develop a dynamic career portfolio.
Could you share some tips on how to use LinkedIn to boost your career?
“The magic of LinkedIn lies in the way you use it ultimately to build relationships. It’s in the being known and being thought of that the doors for new opportunities – whether a new job, a promotion, a side hustle, new clients – will arise.
Here are the 3 best ways to build relationships on LinkedIn:
- Support others regularly! Maybe that’s through commenting on their content, maybe it’s through endorsing their skills, maybe it’s through celebrating their career wins, or even through writing them a surprise recommendation- showing that support goes such a long way with building meaningful relationships.
- Use your profile to invite others into a deeper relationship with you! You can do this by making your profile clearly written for those you want to connect with (your target audience) or by even giving them a clear call to action in your About section by inviting them to message you or email you to talk more.
- Create content! Putting yourself out there in a meaningful way will curate more visibility for those who have the potential to impact your career and also gives people an organic way to engage with you through commenting on your posts.”
What are the no-nos when using LinkedIn for career development?
“Here are two of the big ones:
1. Don’t take without giving.
What you put into LinkedIn will come back around tenfold. You can’t expect the platform to simply act as a slot machine for your career. Don’t only show up on it when you’re job searching or need something from people, stick around in between in the career seasons you *don’t* need anything and give, give, give to others!
2. Don’t post and ghost.
If you take the time to create content, stick around on the platform after you hit “post” and engage with others’ content and anyone who comments on your post in real time! This creates a positive experience for your community and makes you accessible (and therefore more endeared!) to them.”
Are there any LinkedIn features that people don’t use enough but should for career growth?
“YES! The analytics tool is one of the most underutilized features. Pay attention to who is showing up and viewing your profile (even if you have the free version and can only see the last 5!). You’ll learn so much from this AND these people are “warm” relational leads because they’ve taken the time to get curious about who you are. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and say “Hi! Thanks for stopping by my profile. I’d love to connect with you!”.”
Content Creation Strategies for LinkedIn
What kind of content really grabs attention on LinkedIn?
- The content that is formatted in a way that is easily digestible for people (and keeps in mind that this is social media). This means using a “hook” to grab people’s attention and get them to click “see more” on your content. It also means using lots of white space, not writing in paragraph form and is written in short snippets. This type of content really reels people in from a visual stand point.
- The kind of content that involves quality storytelling and pulling back the curtain on your own expertise, journey, and experience also grabs people’s attention. People love to be able to see themselves in your own story, and the content that provides valuable advice, wisdom, opinions, resources, and story always performs well on LinkedIn.
These two things together will really help you to stand out and build a meaningful community of followers on LinkedIn.”
How do you know if your LinkedIn content is actually making a difference?
“You’ll absolutely get the DMs from people that tell you so!
But even if you don’t, it’s simply keeping this mindset: even if only ONE person learns something, is challenged by it, or takes action as a result of your post….that is making a huge difference in someone’s life!”
Building a Career Portfolio
Can you explain what a career portfolio is and what should definitely be in it?
“A career portfolio is a meaningful way to show tangible examples of your work to potential future employers or clients. Your career portfolio should consist of proof of your skills through specific samples, certification & licensure proof, awards, testimonials, reviews, etc. For industries such as writing, graphic design, software development, photography, etc these are absolutely crucial to have on hand as proof of your skillset and potential impact.”
How should a career portfolio change from someone just starting out to a more experienced professional?
“Initially, your portfolio is going to be centered around your training and education and experiences you had prior to starting your career (think examples from internships, jobs held while finishing your degree, etc).
As your career progresses and your skillset increases, it should be replaced by examples of current and recent work and recommendations or referrals from recent work experiences. Make sure your portfolio is in line with communicating your value for the roles you are looking to land, not simply the past roles you’ve held- especially when you’re looking to advance in your career.”
What are some cool ways to use technology or digital tools to spruce up a traditional career portfolio?
“As an ambitious professional working with equally driven clients, my approach to career stagnation is straightforward yet strategic. The simplest solution might seem to be landing a promotion at a new company, but true career growth requires a more personal and proactive approach. After all, no one is more invested in your career than you are. For those determined to break free from stagnation, it’s crucial to start with self-reflection. Understand where you are, where you want to be, and what’s holding you back. Seeking feedback is also vital – it provides external perspectives on your strengths, areas for growth, and corporate politics you might not be aware of.
Interactive links always go such a long way! It’s the easiest way to embed or include video (think: using Loom to walk a hiring manager or future client through a writing a sample, for example). When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, utilize the Featured Section as an interactive portfolio to embed links to articles where you were featured, podcasts you guest spoke on, or even to include a link to your personal website.”