Brief Takeaways from “The Language of LinkedIn”

by Vael Gates

The Beyond Academia 2018 Conference is happening today and tomorrow at Clark Kerr Campus, Berkeley! I’m attending “The Language of LinkedIn“, a presentation by career sociolinguist Anna Marie Trester. Here are some takeaways:

  • LinkedIn is for the long run; by commenting (even if you don’t get a response) you’re now in the poster’s orbit
  • If you’re interested in a job posting on LinkedIn, everyone else who comments is now a person who you know is passionate in your field, and worth checking out!
  • Asking “why” questions–  “Why did you pursue…?”–  is a great way to help you surface dormant connections (discovering shared interests you didn’t know you had!)
  • LinkedIn is a self-updating Rolodex… a few hours before you go to a new city, you can see who lives there, and for example host a happy hour for the people you know
  • You can include keywords in your title line on LinkedIn, and the algorithm will return other people who are also using those keywords. You can then see how those people are presenting themselves, and also connect with them
  • Make sure to reset your privacy settings when you’re making changes to your LinkedIn profile so that your connections don’t receive 40 emails about your 40 changes… be strategic about how you’re showing up on people’s radar
  • Connecting with a small amount of people eventually leads to amplification and dynamism of connections… through these diverse connections you can realize other opportunities for careers that wouldn’t have occurred to you before
  • What to do with LinkedIn: 1) set up your professional self-presentation (profile), 2) connect with people who you know, then all of the people who you want to be connecting with, 3) do things with LinkedIn!
  • In your tagline, include keywords, especially your expertise. Content that speaks about you: your headline, summary, education, work, links out (companies you follow, endorsements you have, your groups, your connections…)
  • In your summary, you can have three paragraphs that say: who you are, how you can help someone, and all of your searchable skills / buzzwords
  • If you’re searching for a job, and aren’t doing informational interviews, start doing them! This is going to be how you do the work about figuring out what you want to do, by talking to people who are doing the job and learning about  opportunities
  • Spend some time being generous on LinkedIn—sit down and think about connecting two people who you think would enjoy knowing each other, paying it forward
  • Do not just “invite someone to connect”—rather, take the time to write out why you’re connecting, showing up as a person. If you’re looking for something, include concrete details so that people can help you
  • LinkedIn is set up for asking for things—asking is how the generosity engine works!