A complete LinkedIn profile makes all the difference when journalists are looking for work, says social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer, author of Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success

By Diana Pereira

A complete LinkedIn profile makes all the difference when journalists are looking for work, said social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer, author of Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success. Schaffer explained how a well-developed LinkedIn profile acts as your resume and portfolio all in one. 

“Get connected,” Schaffer said. “You never know what people you met 20 years ago are doing and you may uncover hidden connections. Multiply your age by 10… that’s how many contacts you should have.”

And how do you do that? Think of your profile as if it’s an online article with some basic story components. 

Here are Schaffer’s top five tips:

1. Engage regularlyit’s your story’s comment/social media section.

Update your page and share content and links. “When people do it only when looking for work, it almost makes them look desperate, as if they are not taking it seriously,” Schaffer said.

2. Write a professional headline—it’s your story’s headline.

“If you’re a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, say so,” Schaffer said. Differentiate yourself and capture attention. 

3. Write a smart summary it’s your story’s nut graph.

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“This is the section where you want to get people to have a deeper interest in you,” he said. It can be in the first person, as long as you are speaking to your audience. 

4. Get a few impressive recommendationsit’s your three sources—and quote them throughout your story.

This gives your profile credibility for people who don’t know you and are looking at it. The journalism world is a small industry so it’s best to get some recommendations. Schaffer suggested getting a few recommendations. “Some [contacts] look at them right away,” he added. 

5. Fill in your projects/publications sectionit’s your related content section.

Samples of writing can go into this section of your LinkedIn profile, and there is also a visuals section where you can upload documents such as PDFs, images, links and Scribd documents.

 

Diana Pereira is the digital news editor for 680News and CityNews and teaches journalism at Ryerson University.

 

 


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.