By Trizza Tolentino
Last February 21, 2019, 29-year-old entrepreneur Trizza Tolentino attended her first LinkedIn Local Meet-up at Clock-in BGC in Taguig City. Here are some of the neat things she learned.
I’ve always viewed LinkedIn as an intimidating social media platform—only for people with extensive CVs and multiple work experiences, both of which I feel that I don’t have.
After all, the people whose profiles I see on LinkedIn always highlight their past and current work positions or business achievements. And I felt that I don’t have the “qualifications” to make and fill up my own LinkedIn account.
So for me, LinkedIn was mainly for the “bosses and CEOs”, people with whom I felt I could never relate to, and for those climbing the corporate ladder, a far cry from an aspiring female entrepreneur like myself.
But Kassy Parajillo, an independent and international LinkedIn trainer and speaker, debunked all my misconceptions and fears (yes, I really was intimidated!) about LinkedIn. She introduced it as a professional way to get up close and personal with people who can help further my career or with whom I could possibly partner up for potential ventures.
It’s Not About How The Number of Likes And Shares
LinkedIn is hardly anything like Facebook, where what matters are how many likes and shares your post can get, as well as how many followers and friends your account has. On the contrary, Kassy emphasized that making quality LinkedIn connections is more important than having a lot of connections with whom you barely have any interaction online or offline.
This important “quality over quantity” factor for having a LinkedIn account and establishing meaningful relationships online are encouraging to know. As a professional, you are now more motivated to create authentic content to share with your quality connections, thus gaining traction towards your professional goals and not be pressured to curate and create pretentious posts with the intention of gaining likes and shares for you to be noticed.
Kassy Parajillo, independent and international LinkedIn trainer and speaker.[/caption]
Creating A LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out
As a serial entrepreneur, expanding networks and engaging with like-minded individuals are necessary. So to do that via LinkedIn, I have to prioritize fixing my profile, especially my summary section, since it’s one of the first things that people read to get to know more about me, what I do, and what I’m passionate about.
Kassy gave interesting guidelines on writing a concise and engaging summary, such as introducing yourself briefly by explaining what you currently do and what you can do for them. A summary, she said, shouldn’t sound [and read] like a cover letter of your resume. It should be a summary of what you’ve done in general, which encapsulates your desires and experiences.
“What is your intent?” was a question I kept hearing again and again in writing your summary, and though I was a bit at a loss as to how to communicate all this in my own summary, Kassy showed her own profile’s summary as an example on making an effective one. She also showed an evolution of her own LinkedIn summary—from a cover letter-type to a brief yet inviting and impressive one.
Never Forget To Add A Call To Action (How People Should Contact You)
I should never forget the most important yet highly neglected parts of the summary: the call to action (CTA) and how people should reach me. It could be a direct message via LinkedIn, an email address I could dedicate to potential LinkedIn connections, or even a landline or mobile number I’m willing to share for people to contact me directly.
Add Relevant Milestones, Like Completed Projects, Not Just Education
Another guideline I’m definitely applying in my own LinkedIn profile is fixing how people see my results, skills, and achievements, found further below my profile page. Prior to this, I placed the usual, resume-type generic answers in various parts of my profile. But Kassy suggested placing relevant milestones and certifications apart from just my education.
She highlighted that sharing stories would catch people’s attention more instead of just merely “selling” who I was. Publishing good content that added value to others’ feed is a good way to show people of your results instead of just enumerating them on your profile.
Pick 5 to 10 Skills To Highlight
And speaking of enumerating, listing down as much a 50 skills you know isn’t exactly the best idea when it comes to maximizing your LinkedIn profile. Why? Because it might give the impression of you being an all-over-the-place kind of person. It also might confuse potential contacts on what exactly you’re an expert in or proficient with doing. Pick between 5 and 10 skills and focus only on the right kind that you want to be endorsed for, she noted.
You Can Use Emojis
Another interesting note I got from Kassy was the use of emojis in her headline. She used the rainbow emoji in between her headline positions as a way to show people that she is fun and bubbly amidst all her accomplishments and achievements. I initially thought that people wouldn’t take you seriously if you had emojis anywhere in your profile, but Kassy shared that as a [former] kids’ yoga instructor, these emojis helped her get yoga gigs and classes, as well as a statement on her headline that read “I’m a yogaholic!” This is going to be helpful for me as a kids’ contemporary dance teacher, so I’ve already included emojis in my own summary already.
Favorite Part Of LinkedIn Local Meetup
I loved it when Kassy asked us to partner up and make a video on the spot introducing ourselves (and our partners, if we wanted), to be uploaded right away on our LinkedIn profiles.
She emphasized being real and authentic, and less made up and curated. So what better way to do it than making a video right then and there to be uploaded right away?
I hesitated at first in doing it, saying to myself “I can just film this video at home, on my own, by myself” but Kassy wanted the video to have a “right here, right now” kind of statement, with LinkedIn Local as the background venue to our videos. It was the right environment to kick off updating my LinkedIn profile with a personal, selfie video.
One of the most important lessons I learned from Kassy about having (and updating) a LinkedIn account is that employers and potential partners view your LinkedIn as your online resume. Your online presence today is just as important as what they see from you offline. So LinkedIn is the best way to show people your authentic, intelligent, and professional side online.
Edits: Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla | Image and Video Credit: The After Six Club, Trizza Tolentino, Jewel Tapar
Trizza is a 30-year-old Filipina starting her entrepreneurial journey all over again from scratch. She’s passionate about business, partnership, and collaboration, especially those headed and led by women. She co-owns a Moonleaf franchise in Makati and likes to sell things, ranging from items made by other fellow entrepreneurs to business ideas that make sense and can make money. Trizza is also a contemporary dance teacher for kids and dancing is one of the greatest loves of her life, next to my dog, Khuffy.