LinkedIn is a vast universe of opportunity and has experienced rapid growth year over year since its launch in 2003. When I first began coaching professionals to use LinkedIn in 2013, there were 130 million people on the social media platform. As of today, there are over 850 million people in over 200 countries using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a tremendous asset for you regardless if you are just launching your career or are a seasoned professional in a job search.
An even greater asset…LinkedIn is something you should use each week when you are gainfully employed.
Because professional networking is and always will be important for you to make an impact. LinkedIn helps you do this at a faster pace and with a greater degree of influence due to the reach LinkedIn has throughout the world. Below, I share how you can lean into LinkedIn and use it to advance your career, including using some hidden gems within the LinkedIn platform.
God and LinkedIn
I must admit, it felt a little funny to write God and LinkedIn in the same heading, but they do work together. Think about it….
Yet, as believers, we have a tremendous asset, with LinkedIn, to share the gospel. There are a few scriptures that come to mind for me when I think about how I can glorify God. Work is Worship and if I am using LinkedIn for work, well then, LinkedIn is a place to glorify God. But how can we best do that? Let’s go to the word of God to instruct and direct us.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NLT
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 NLT
Earlier I mentioned how much LinkedIn has grown and how it has been used in over 200 countries. To serve more people, to make a difference, and to glorify God in the marketplace using your LinkedIn profile consider maximizing these LinkedIn sections.
Maximizing LinkedIn Sections
Your headline describes how you add value to individuals and organizations. Consider this as your professional tagline. Think about it as a statement you would make when you are sharing a networking or elevator pitch. For a strong headline, succinctly answer questions like:
What do I do best?
Who needs it the most?
How do I add value?
What industries do I help?
Your About Section
The about section is one of the most opportunistic sections in LinkedIn because it gives you about 600 words (2600 characters) to describe what you do best to those who need it the most. Consider it like a summary section on your resume but with the ability for you to add bullet points.
Some of my favorite things to have in the about section are results from assessments, words that others have used to describe you and the all-important call-to-action like an email or phone number where a prospective employer, client, or partner can reach you immediately.
Your Experience Section
This section is vital for you sharing the work that God has allowed you to do as well as setting yourself up for your next work! It may be what people think most about when they use LinkedIn; however, I want to encourage you to not simply list your roles, but to add detail to each role. Use this detail to help you demonstrate how you serve and add value to the marketplace.
Share what you did, who you collaborated with, what obstacles you faced and what specific results you achieved. Consider words like teamwork, sacrifice, collaborated, served, led, partnered, etc.
Use qualitative and quantitative details, where appropriate, without writing a novel! I love what Brian Ray, founder of Crossroads simply calls it… “share a story and a stat”!
LinkedIn Hidden Gems
These opportunities, while not immediately displayed when you launch your profile, should not be overlooked.
The Featured Section is the part of your profile allowing to display your best work through the addition of multimedia. Here you can upload or link to videos, websites, documents, and other multimedia to demonstrate your willingness and ability to serve. You can add this section by clicking on the “Add Profile Section” button underneath your headline.
30-second Profile Video
To add this, go to your smart phone’s LinkedIn app and pull up your personal profile. Then click on your profile picture. Using your phone’s camera, you can record a 30-second video. Keep in mind that you can record to your heart’s content until you are ready to publish the one you like.
Here’s a 30-second profile video best practice…
Introduce yourself and simply record yourself sharing your headline and what next steps you would like for the person viewing it to take (call-to-action). Next steps could include sharing a website, your phone number or email, or direct them to the Featured Section where they can find your resume or specific work you want to highlight.
Be encouraged that, like your career, your LinkedIn profile is a work in progress. It’s never done because as you go and grow in your career development, so does your profile.
Remember, this is all digital so nothing on your profile is final. Explore, play around, and ultimately, have fun while getting it done! God wants you to partner with and experience him in your work. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to help you!
For more tips, I would invite you to checkout a free Crossroads Career webinar that I had the privilege to host called, The Super-Secret Strategies Every LinkedIn User Should Know. In the 50-minute training session, I share how you can put the seek-to-serve strategies to work for you.
Brian Horvath is an energizing, informative, and encouraging speaker, consultant, and coach. He is President and CEO of The Horvath Training Institute, helping people to know, live, and love the purpose for their career and finances. His book, “Your Purpose: How to Know it. Live it. Love it!” shares practical, emotional, and spiritual lessons learned in life, ministry, and business. His digital course, The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile, helps people to optimize their profile, enabling them to make the right connections on LinkedIn.