Are You Making the Most of LinkedIn?
Besides being a public record of your professional existence, LinkedIn is a crucial social media channel for those who work with students and families to provide financial aid and private loans. Are you making the most of this channel? If not, we contend there’s another way to look at things.
Why Your LinkedIn Profile Matters
While it’s hard to stay fluent in a constantly evolving array of social media channels, LinkedIn is clearly a professional platform that matters. Imagine for a moment that your LinkedIn profile and photo are printed in The Chronicle of Higher Education or The Wall Street Journal, splashed on CNN, or searchable in Wikipedia. Still feeling good about your LinkedIn profile? If not, then it may be time to take a look at updating your profile.
When it’s done well, your LinkedIn profile is highly searchable and connects you with people who share interests and experiences. Just as importantly, it may also connect you with qualified new hires you need, new opportunities, and a fresh approach to your career and daily tasks.
Improving Your LinkedIn Profile and Experience
Here are a few tips to improve your profile.
- Complete your profile, using keywords. Be thorough, including a summary of your current and past jobs and carefully using relevant keywords in your headline, job titles, interests, recommendations, and education. Don’t forget to include a photo.
- Link up with colleagues, classmates, bosses, and even people you don’t know but who you would like to because they have expertise you admire.
- Actually connect with others on their new jobs and promotions. Also, take a few minutes each month to endorse and recommend current or former colleagues, and you’ll find it easier to receive the same professional courtesy.
- Post about your experiences so that others can benefit from them, too.
- Join groups of colleagues, and actively participate in those groups. Groups allow you to ask questions or get feedback, network, find new resources, see new job postings and post your own openings, and view the latest research. Doing this makes your page a resource and not a record—and that results in more visits to your page.
LinkedIn and the Financial Aid Community
Those of us who work with students and families to provide financial aid face unique and complex challenges. Our work is cyclical in nature, involves numerous deadlines and critical compliance issues. What we do plays a key role in the development and future of a new generation. Why wouldn’t the support of our professional colleagues be a vital part of our success?
In fact, LinkedIn can help build interest in pursuing financial aid-related careers for students and new professionals. Enter job titles in LinkedIn and you’ll find profiles of people who hold that title, open job postings with that title—and you can easily post your own open positions to find these new professionals.
Here are a few financial aid-related groups you may want to join or follow to find useful connections and meaningful information.
- Financial Aid Best Practices – more than 3,600 members
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators – more than 5,000 followers
- Financial Aid Professionals & Administrators – nearly 6,000 members
- Higher Ed Financial Aid & Enrollment – more than 8,000 members
- College Counselors: Admissions and Financial Aid – more than 26,000 members