by Shenoj Kuruvilla
On 9th March, BAC's newly formed SKILLS Club held their second online session, a talk entitled "Stand OUT, Fire UP with LinkedIn." Speaking in this session was Ms. Kayatthri Krishnasamy, a Digital Media and Marketing Consultant who has co-founded two companies in this area. She is currently a trainer for Social Media Marketing and is part of industry expert teaching programmes.
Ms. Kayatthri started off the session by asking a very important question: How many of the participants have a LinkedIn presence? From there, she probed further about how active the participants were on LinkedIn, and why they were not active. Many of them held the opinion that LinkedIn is just like Facebook but for businesses, or they just use it when they are looking for a job.
Ms. Kayatthri explained that this was not true, and that LinkedIn is unlike any other social media for the reason that it is an active and interactive resume, as well as the result you want employers to see when they Google you. It is a tool that can help you build your personal brand.
She then moved on to the highlight of the session: her 10 tips on how to build up your LinkedIn. The first was to develop a strategy. Ms. Kayatthri shared a list of questions that one should answer to develop a strategy. She went through each question, explaining the significance.
Ms. Kayatthri's second tip was to make a good first impression. She emphasised that the profile and background photo were both extremely important. According to Ms. Kayatthri, your LinkedIn photo should look professional, but not too serious. The demeanor of the photo should be approachable and friendly. Other than that, the photo should have you alone, with a background that isn't distracting. She also shared the recommended size of the photo.
The third tip from Ms. Kayatthri was to sell yourself in a line. This is in regards to your headline on LinkedIn. Your headline is very important, and the more key words you include, the better your chances are of appearing in an employer's Google search. You can make your intention clear in the headline with just a few words. She even shared some good examples.
From the headline, Ms. Kayatthri then moved on to the 'About you' section. In there, you can be more detailed. Ms. Kayatthri recommended using the AIDA model to write this part: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. She emphasised that your 'About' section must include a call to action, such as your phone number, email, or a prompt to send a direct message on LinkedIn. She also explained the 'Featured' section, where you can attach media such as presentations, links to blogs, and showcases of any work you've been in.
The next point touched on experience. Ms. Kayatthri explained that whatever experience you have, you can add that to your profile. Whether it may be a part time job as a promoter or an online business you've started, it all shows that you are enterprising. She emphasised being detailed about what you have done, what you have achieved and your responsibilities in the role. Once you have completed this area, your profile has 11 times more of a chance to be viewed.
After that, the next important section is academic background. You should include your major qualifications from most to least recent. Ms. Kayatthri also encouraged being specific about your modules and dissertation, talking about what subjects you have done.
Ms. Kayatthri then explained about skills and achievements. She suggested including 5-10 skills you think are worth highlighting, such as languages you can speak, important skills from your sector or even certifications you've received! Recommendations from former employers are also very important, so you can get connected with them on LinkedIn and ask.
After these 8 tips, Ms. Kayatthri showed her own LinkedIn profile as an example, indicating where exactly she used the 8 tips. After that, Ms. Kayatthri showed her next tip, which was about creating content. Her four content pillars are to connect, educate, inspire and demonstrate. The last tip was to constantly connect and interact with people.
In the end, Ms. Kayatthri opened the floor for any questions the participants might have had. This allowed them to clarify any issues they might have had with LinkedIn. All in all, it was an informative session, which allowed participants to develop their LinkedIn profile in a professional manner. If you are interested to learn more, keep an eye out for more events from SKILLS Club!