COVID-19 It’s time for a LinkedIn refresh

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant disruption in all areas of business and life. To help you to find some order in the chaos and adjust to new ways of doing and being, Doctor Digital has put together a series of COVID-19 blogs with tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for how digital and e-commerce tools can support you and your business.

Doctor Digital Says

COVID-19 is going to have a major impact on our jobs, businesses and workplaces. For all of us. We are already seeing big companies like Qantas do mass stand downs, and small companies in frontline affected sectors like arts, events, hospitality, catering and tourism be significantly impacted. It’s devastating, unsettling and undeniably disruptive. What can you do amidst all of this chaos to support an environment none of us have ever encountered before?

In the weird anxious times like these, it’s the small things that cumulatively make a difference to how you feel. Getting your LinkedIn profile refreshed, or creating one if you don’t have one can be an action that will help you to reconnect with your skills and experience. Think of it as a life audit and take the opportunity to think about where what you do is transferrable, where there will be opportunities for you to use your skills and passion, where you might want to upskill and how you’ll do it.

The great thing about LinkedIn is that completed profiles rank highly in Google, usually within the top three hits. This means that having a complete, compelling profile is a great way to get seen when people search for you or your business/brand online. Here are five ways to approach razzing up your LinkedIn profile and connecting with the local and global business community:

  1. Your profile: If you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, there is no better time than now. As a professional and career oriented social network with 300 million users, this is where so much recruiting, networking, sharing and brand building is done. In the current COVID-19 crisis, it is a place where a lot of key information is being shared, especially about job opportunities and where there is latency that needs to be filled. The set-up process is pretty simple, and a top tip is to have at hand a good, clear professional looking head and shoulders photo, a cover image (like you have for Facebook) and accurate chronological details of your last few jobs, educational qualifications, plus any board and volunteer roles. Put aside the time to complete this - probably a couple of hours to get it ready to go live. Once you have published your profile, look for peers, friends, peers and friends you haven’t met yet, people and companies you admire, and request to connect with them. If you already have a profile, give yourself a comprehensive update, make sure you have as much in there as you can to give a strong impression of who you are.
  2. Your personal brand: Who are you, what do you stand for, what are your core values, what can you offer an employer, what can you bring to a culture? These are the questions that your profile should be able to answer in tangible and intangible ways. Having a clear view of who you are will attract enquiries from companies that you would want to work for that share you values. The majority of your work actually involves figuring out what your brand is first. While there’s a lot of advice out there on how to develop a personal brand, the golden rule is to be authentic. Think about what really matters to you: your vision, purpose, value, and passion. Know what you have in common with your peers and competitors, but also what makes you stand out. Then, get external feedback: What do other people know about you? What do they think makes you unique among others they’ve worked and interacted with? This initial groundwork can take time, but once you’ve done it, see how you can connect your self-perception, the perceptions of others, what makes you compelling, and your promise of value together. Then figure out how to roll it all up in one sentence—a pithy, one-line, statement that sums up your personal brand.
  3. Build community: Like all social networks, LinkedIn is a community, and you will get more from it when you give generously and support others. How do you do that? Publish articles, write posts that value add – you absolutely know something of interest and value from your profession, no matter how trivial you think it is, share it with the world. If only one person finds it useful that is enough. Like and comment on people’s posts that you find interesting or moving or informative – tell them how their engagement has impacted you. Share posts and articles on your feed. Offer support, there is a lot of need right now in all sectors, how could you help? Virtual networks like LinkedIn will come into their own in a world where we are socially distanced and there are a lot of smart, passionate people on there who are looking for solutions to the wicked problem we are all enmeshed in. Be one of those people. There is nothing like community contribution to get our heads out of churning anxiety and into being connected.
  4. Ask for help: Your established or newly established community is a great place to ask for help and harness the collective hive mind. Being authentic and vulnerable is a strong currency in business, and if you are clear on what you want and need, it will be easier to get support. Especially if you are transitioning a small business to a different business model, or a totally new business model (a la Shane Warne’s gin to hand sanitiser business) seek input from others. If you have latency you can offer to other businesses, tell them what you can do for them. These types of actions will help you move from feeling helpless to feeling that you are doing something, however small.
  5. Endorse others: One of LinkedIn’s great features is endorsement and recommendations. This is where you can recommend someone you know and have worked with in some capacity which is then posted to their profile. Recommendations are highly reciprocal and give you the opportunity to reach out and say some positive and affirming things about your colleagues and peers. Everyone needs a bit of that right now, and by simply making time to celebrate the achievement of others, you have the potential to really brighten someone else’s day. Like reviews, recommendations allow people to look at your third-party endorsements, and because they are public, there is a degree of trust that people will be being mindful of their own personal brands and truthfully endorsing you and your skills.

Small steps, but a positive way for you to engage in a socially distant manner and get support, advice and hope by seeing the warmth and generosity that people can muster when we are thrown into a global crisis.

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