This is a guest post by Sam Lee (pseudonym) who attended one of Project Displaced’s complimentary coaching sessions on optimising your LinkedIn profile. Here’s what he had to say.
I chose to reach out to Project Displaced and book a session on optimising my LinkedIn profile with the aim of presenting a better representation of me, my experience and my strengths. As I was unemployed at the time, I also hoped to raise my visibility on LinkedIn and stand out to recruiters and employers.
While my profile was okay, I felt that it could be better. Although I had researched various ways of improving LinkedIn profiles on the internet, some of the advice was either very basic, not current, or in some cases, contradictory to other information found on the web.
What the session uncovered for me
I learned better ways to present myself online.
This included better ways to showcase my strengths – not only in the About section – but to carry through these key themes throughout my entire profile.
The session also encouraged me to go beyond making the occasional comment or like on other people’s posts and to be confident in publishing a few articles and writing posts after attending events to demonstrate my knowledge and build connections.
Quite apart from having a LinkedIn profile that is up-to-date, the most important thing to know is that you are creating a profile for others to read and for others to learn more about you.
Were there ways the session could be improved on? The session I had was fantastic and we covered so much in that short hour. I recall making several pages of notes from the feedback and I was quick to implement.
I think that the only way the session could have been improved was having my profile reviewed sooner! While I had made modifications and updated my LinkedIn profile throughout my career, it was some time before I sought an external perspective such as this.
After having the session, my profile views grew quickly and I had much more confidence in what my profile looked like and how it represented me.
What I enjoyed most about the session
The depth of experience and skill in understanding by the coach, Rowena Morais, on what makes LinkedIn profiles great, was fantastic. My coach knew exactly what areas to focus on first, the small changes that make a big impact as well as how I could reshape what I had in my profile and take it to the next level.
I really liked how my profile was reviewed beforehand so that the session could focus on specific improvements with examples.
I also really appreciated that my profile was reviewed after I had made the changes and further suggestions were made.
What I now consider the most important thing about having a LinkedIn profile
After undergoing a LinkedIn profile optimisation session, I know this. Quite apart from having a LinkedIn profile that is up-to-date, the most important thing to know is that you are creating a profile for others to read and for others to learn more about you.
This means having a clear value proposition that represents who you are and the value that you can bring.
This is reinforced and consistent throughout all the sections on the LinkedIn profile. Even if you have had numerous roles across a variety of industries, bringing out the value proposition with consistent themes aligned to strengths needs to be easily seen across the entire profile and balanced with what you seek in the future or from the person looking at your profile.
Relevance of this session to new LinkedIn users or intermediate users
I think the session is useful to all LinkedIn users – new, intermediate and advanced.
For beginners to get the most out of the session, my suggestion is to have a really good start of it. If you go to the session with a blank profile, you might get enough to get you started. But with a reasonable base upon which to work from, the benefits will be accelerated in the session.
For those with an intermediate profile, having an outside view can really show you how your profile is seen by someone who looks at profiles every day and knows what can be presented better.
My suggestion to intermediate or advanced users is to be open to the suggestions from the session. While I had what I thought were some good elements, the session helped me present the information better than I ever thought.
Incorporating improvements – what’s happened since
I am much happier with my profile now. I have continued to add, modify and make changes to my profile, adding new experiences, new courses/qualifications on a regular basis and I continue to frequently post and be more active on LinkedIn.
The session was also helpful in pushing me to post more and more often – something I have continued to do. The session gave me the confidence to not only post but also to publish several articles which received a large number of views.
Since my profile session and making the suggested changes, I have received many more views as well as messages from recruiters which have led to several discussions.
Is there something I wish I could go back to and change or something I might have done differently in my career?
A learning over my career that I will now do differently is to continually build outside connections. After spending many years in the same company, my network became very internally focused. When my time ended at that organisation, I realised that the majority of my connections that I interacted with were those colleagues at that company, suppliers and customers.
I have learnt that it is really important to continue building outside connections.
Since realising this, I now make the effort to connect with others by networking. I do this online via LinkedIn, virtual events, webinars and online classes. I also do this face to face at networking events, classes, volunteering and mentoring activities.
Project Displaced is here to help. We provide free personal job coaching to anyone over 18 who is unemployed in Australia. A registered not-for-profit organisation, we can connect you to some of Australia’s best career coaches. We offer 1 on 1 coaching, mental health coaching, online seminars and resume writing. We’d love to hear from you.