How To Use LinkedIn to Set You Up For Success

Wow, this post is so relevant right now: how to make your LinkedIn profile shine.

Back on the blog today we have Sam Heapps. You might remember her posts on how to write a badass resume and tips for nailing a job interview. You guys loved her posts, so I invited her to come back on The Skinny Confidential to provide even more value.

A little refresh for ya: Sam works in our office & is the Marketing Director for Woo. She helps curate content, do the newsletter & run the brand. She’s savvy, sweet & knows her shit when it comes to getting a job. I am thoroughly impressed with her work ethic- she’s professional, self-aware & just gets it. Sam lived in NY where she worked at VaynerMedia, so she knows what it takes to standout.

Anyway, in this post you’ll learn how to build a killer LinkedIn profile. Sam goes through every aspect of LinkedIn and shares her tips and tricks.

Let’s welcome Sam back the blog.

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Hey guys! Sam again, back to talk about what I find to be one of the most underrated platforms to date – LINKEDIN.

Gary V is a long-time advocate of this digital network, so there’s something to it. It’s such a great way to put yourself out there, & beyond that, gain insight into the industry you work in – from potential clients to your next DREAM job! It’s an asset that we are lucky to have these days, & it can totally be used to our advantage.

First, a quick back story…

So, the other night, I was out to dinner with a family friend & her colleagues – mostly women, varying in ages & all HIGHLY successful in the financial space. Someone at the end of the dining table mentioned something about LinkedIn, to which the woman next to me turned to my ear & said, “I mean, I’m under 40… who has one of those, am I right?”

PSA: No, she wasn’t right LOL.

If you feel that having a LinkedIn isn’t for you, keep doing you. But if you’re ready to take your biz profile up a notch, read below on my 6 tips for curating your LinkedIn to reflect the badass candidate you are for the job you deserve, regardless of what industry you work in. From the top, shall we?

Tips For Curating Your LinkedIn Profile:

♡ The perfect profile picture.

If you take away anything, let it be this: LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is not Instagram. And despite the comical title of this post, it is not your [ insert preferred dating app here. ] The perfect shot would ideally be 2/3 body & up, shoulder height, or something similar to your graduation photo – but NOT YOUR GRADUATION PHOTO.

Getting your degree is definitely something to be proud of, but this profile isn’t the place for it. & just because this platform is professional, doesn’t mean you have to spend a million dollars on getting the perfect “business pic.” Brush your hair, wear something that makes you feel good & have your friend take a picture of you in the corner of your local coffee shop. VSCO should cover the rest. & P.S. No sunglasses PLZ, unless the look you’re going for is hungover LOL.

♡ Your experience.

Here’s the deal: Your potential employer, recruiter, business partner or industry competitor wants to see what you’ve done, but not EVERYTHING you’ve done. There is a difference. Internships & work experience is always a YES, babysitting between the ages of 12 & 15 is a NO. ( Unless you are in the caregiving or teaching profession, in which case by all means include relative work experience! )

The idea behind showcasing your experience, is to ACCURATELY show where you have worked, & within what time frames. A future employer wants to see where your journey started & where you decided to go next. That way, when they contact you for this new & shiny role, they have an idea of what your background is in & what your track record is like.

♡ Education.

If you got it, flaunt it. It doesn’t have to be Vanderbilt. If it is, props to you. If it’s 2 semesters at your local community college, that’s just as cool. You would be surprised who you know, & who- knows-who that build these amazing connections based on education. ( I once bonded on a job interview due to my freshman year of undergrad at the University of Vermont. ) Seriously, you never know what bad skiing & Birkenstocks will get you.

♡ Extra sh*t.

This takes me back to my college application days, & it should. Think: volunteerism, awards, extracurriculars, clubs, teams & foreign languages you speak- BLOGS, side hustles, businesses you’re working on. Basically, all of the stuff that you don’t do from 9-5 that you LOVE, or that you’ve tried to. The shit that makes you, you. Don’t leave it out!

♡ Interests.

You can tell a lot about a person based on what their honest interests are ( & that’s the point ). One of the awesome tools on LinkedIn is the ability to follow influencers in the space, publications, & companies across the board. DO THIS STEP! Not only will it populate your news feed with content that pertains to your career, it enhances your engagement on the platform & integrates you with like-minded individuals. Ah, the beauty of networking from your couch.

♡ Engagement posts, w/o the ring.

The SECRET to getting involved on LinkedIn is not to cold-request people you don’t know, or message random professionals with questions. Just like any social platform, engaging with VALUE is key!!! It will always come down to value – what are you bringing to the table? What can you double-down on?

LinkedIn offers you the ability to write your own posts ( !!! ) tag others in the industry, & comment on related topics, ask questions, & straight up GET INVOLVED in the conversations that one day, you hope to be leading. Are you in the beauty space? Great. Follow those brands / agencies / individuals. Insert yourself into the equation, offer an opinion, or ask for someone else’s. Valuable engagement is the most powerful aspect of this platform – and it’s all up to you! BUT DON’T FORGET… LinkedIn is a place of biz. Even Gary V says that he tones down the shit’s and fuck’s for his LinkedIn posts. Not because he’s embarrassed of who he is, but because he is SELF AWARE and understands the audience he’s communicating with. See the difference?

There you have it – an intro guide to building your LinkedIn from the ground up, and creating your own success on the networking platform. Have a questions we didn’t cover? Email or DM! xo

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There you have it. Do you guys have a LinkedIn profile? Share any tips and tricks you’ve picked up below. Oh, and be sure to follow Sam on Instagram @samantha_nik.

x, lauryn

+ check out this post if you’ve lost your job. 

++ should you ask a biz owner to coffee? More on that here.

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