Personalizing Your LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn, or any professional networking for that matter, is all about selling yourself. You have to convince people that you are the right fit for the job or internship opening.

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Marketing yourself as a desirable product is really what you’re trying to accomplish on LinkedIn. Every marketing major knows the four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Those 4 elements are at  the core of successfully selling any product. However, there is a now a fifth P: Personalization. Personalization requires a connection between the marketer (you) and the consumer (the prospective employer). Personalizing your LinkedIn account is easy! Here are three easy steps to achieving personalization perfection on LinkedIn.

1. Send personal messages.

When you click to connect with someone on LinkedIn, an automatic message is included with your request to connect. Do not fall victim to sending the standard message. First, make sure to delete the automated message. Next, write a short (only a few sentences) message to the person you want to connect with. If you’ve met them in person, bring up something unique the two of you chatted about. If you haven’t met them in person, tell them why you want to connect. Are they in the field you’re interested in? Do you have a strong mutual connection? Make sure to let them know you aren’t serial adding people on LinkedIn to get more connections. They need to feel like their connection means something to you.

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2. Add your interests and hobbies to your profile.

While LinkedIn is a professional network, you should also share some personal things about yourself. I don’t advocate sharing deeply personal things about yourself, like how much money you make or the details of your relationships. Reveal the personal things about yourself that speak about your character and who you really are. There’s an “additional info” section where you can slip in a few personal details about yourself. Include hobbies that  you genuinely enjoy (e.g. blogging, running, crafting, hiking, etc.). Adding these personal touches can help a recruiter learn a little more about what kind of person you are. It can also lead to a great connection! Recruiters like hiring people who are like them, so if you share a common hobby they may be more apt to hire you.

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3. Be active on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social networking site, so be social! It’s important that you not only make an awesome LinkedIn page, but that you also interact with people on it. Post industry-relevant information, say congrats on people’s new jobs or accomplishments, and endorse your connection’s skill sets. Staying active on LinkedIn will help your connections stay fresh. If your connections see you posting information, or if you endorse their skills, they’ll be more likely to look at your page. If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can take it a step further and write a recommendation for someone. Maybe they’ll return the favor!

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Photos by Marco Ghitti and UWW Career.