Utilizing LinkedIn (Sept 2017)

“Utilizing LinkedIn”

by Sherry Hunter and Terri Dady

Should an Executive Assistant be on LinkedIn? If you don’t have the time to read this full article, let me just answer that for you – yes, yes, and yes!

Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand. True, it also presents you as a representative of your particular company, but other than listing your current employer (and even your job), the remainder of the profile is all about you and your brand. You are the mastermind of the office. The central hub of all communications coming and going. The organizer of meetings, phone calls, schedules and the occasional luncheon. The administrator of special projects. LinkedIn, if used correctly, is an excellent tool to promote yourself.

So, what is the correct way?

Name and Title. Fellow LinkedIn users (and recruiters) will look at your profile photo, name and headline no more than 5 seconds at the most. Make it count!

Typical: Doralee Rhodes, CAP-OM
Executive Assistant

Better: Doralee Rhones, CAP-OM
Executive Assistant to CEO | Team Leader | Project Specialist | Executive Support

Custom URL. It is recommended to create a custom URL using a variation of your name and/or professional brand since you’ll share this URL with people and future connections. (Some job applications also ask for your LinkedIn profile URL.)

Example: linkedin.com/in/DoraleeRhodesCAPOM

Profile Photo. Use a current, professional profile image. Preferably a headshot. (Do not use photos with your pets, children or significant other. Do not use the photo from Cousin Jenny’s wedding.)

Headline. Your headline is the first thing someone will see after your name and photo. It is the billboard for your personal brand. Make it memorable. You only have 120 characters to clearly identify your role, highlight what you do and what you are known for. Use key words important to your profession. Ask yourself if your headline shares enough information to make someone want to click-through for more information?

Consider using the 4-part headline formula:

Add your job or position level
Add your primary industry or job function
List your strongest areas of expertise
Add a signature achievement

Example: Executive Assistant | Healthcare Administration | Event Planning & Special Projects |
Mentor to the Next Generation of Administrative Professionals

Don’t use the word “Professional.” It is too broad and no one will ever search using it.
Don’t post “Seeking next opportunity.”

Research Keywords on LinkedIn. Find out what other members in similar positions are using to describe themselves. (LinkedIn offers the ability to search profiles by keyword. If you are in the market for a career change, use keywords specific to the role you are seeking.)

Provide Complete Contact Information. Nothing is more frustrating than finding someone you want to contact and they haven’t provided their phone and/or email address. Make it easy for people who are not connected to contact you. (It is suggested to double-up on contact information and post at the end of your Summary, especially if you are searching for a new job opportunity.)

Summary. This section is comparative to a mini-bio. Highlight the very best of your background, experience and skills. Possibly even include your leadership style, personality, values and long-term goals. Make it thorough, but keep it concise. Write in short paragraphs to keep the reader’s attention.

Work Experience. Include all significant work history and use plenty of keywords in your descriptions and accomplishments under each position. Your work experience should be the same as that listed on your resume. (You can even upload your resume as an attachment in the Summary section.)

Skills and Expertise. List all the skills and areas of expertise most important to your career goals. Add or update any special projects.

Update Your Connections. Reach out and network with your existing contacts. Make new connections. Request recommendations and offer to provide recommendations. (A written recommendation from a supervisor adds a level of credibility to your profile and skills.)

Status Updates. Regularly update your status so your network can see what you are up to. Ask a question about an upcoming project and request feedback from your network. Publicize your plans to attend the MHCEA conference next spring. Share a link for an article you found especially helpful and informative.

Regularly Publish Posts. Read, like, and comment on others’ posts.

Review Group Memberships. Be an active participant in your groups. Join college alumni groups, professional associations, and industry related groups. MHCEA has a LinkedIn group. Make sure you join the conversations!

The above guidelines are provided to you as a means of helping polish your professional image and executive presence. You are a unique individual and your LinkedIn profile will vary from your peers. You do not want your profile to be typical nor look like every other assistant. Don’t be afraid to show your personality! Remember, your personal brand is what you want it to be.