Victoria Taylor of LinkedIn on Thought Leadership
Victoria Taylor, senior editor at LinkedIn News, shares her tips for making your profile and your thought leadership stand out above the scroll.
LinkedIn is an essential platform for any working professional to define their personal brand. How can new and pre-existing LinkedIn users enhance their profiles so they go beyond a traditional resume and demonstrate their unique perspective and skillsets? Can you share what are the 3 most important things every member should do to improve their profile?
Absolutely! Your LinkedIn profile serves as your first impression to your network and potential employers, so putting your best foot forward with a strong, updated profile is key, with special attention paid to your photo, skills, and summary.
- Add a profile headshot. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good photo. Profiles with photos receive more profile views, connection requests, and more messages, so help your network visualize who you are by adding a profile photo. Make sure it’s clear and professional by using a simple white background, keeping it cropped with mostly your face featured, and using filters to enhance the final image.
- Spotlight your skills. Almost 90% of recruiters agree the skills a candidate lists are crucial as they vet them, so use your profile as a chance to showcase what you’ve learned in your career. Including five or more skills can help you get more profile views and messages from recruiters and others who can help you get ahead, and you can validate your hard skills by taking LinkedIn Skill Assessments, which we’ve seen increases your chances of getting hired by 30%. Soft skills are just as important, so be sure to list things like creativity and collaboration too. If you’re feeling rusty or want to beef up your skills, LinkedIn Learning has 16,000 courses to help you upskill as you prepare your next move.
- Your Summary is one of the top things people are looking at, so it should represent your most authentic self. It's the perfect place to concisely share your passions, motivations, goals, and what makes you unique as a professional – spotlighting what you’re “in it” for and what drives you to go to work every day. As you set out to write your summary, filter everything through this lens, and keep it on message. Think of your summary as your elevator pitch, keep it around 40 words, and ensure it includes the keywords you want to be known for.
There’s also a feature on your LinkedIn profile that lets you signal to recruiters that you’re open to job opportunities. You can specify the type of jobs and locations you want, and your profile will appear in search results when recruiters are looking for those roles. Be sure to include your location, education, and experience so you’ll appear in recruiter searches and so they have the full picture once they’ve found you.
"Your LinkedIn profile serves as your first impression to your network and potential employers."
You have access to a lot of “What’s Working on LinkedIn” data and insights. What are the “All-Star” LinkedIn members that are getting the most value from the platform doing that others overlook?
I think any LinkedIn member can be an all-star. The first step in that journey can be as simple as joining in a conversation on the site, and a great example and source of inspiration for this is our annual “Top Voices” list that we publish towards the end of each year. This is a list of the people whose conversations are most moving the platform forward across multiple verticals, regions, and backgrounds. Each one of them started by posting something – an essay, a comment, an idea – that helped them begin building their voice on the platform. If you’re curious about creating content on LinkedIn, you can start with this site as a great resource: LinkedIn for Creators.
You’re responsible for highlighting LinkedIn’s best thought leaders and amplifying their voices on the platform. What makes someone a thought leader and, more specifically, one worthy of a community-wide promotion? What can senior executives do to differentiate themselves from the other executives in their field and become respected thought leaders?
Our editorial team is always looking for amazing voices to highlight – whether from business leaders or community contributors! I’d say that being consistent in posting, finding areas of strength where you can build your niche, and honing your brand are all helpful in this regard. You can follow topics via hashtags, or learn more through subscribing to incredible newsletters by creators on LinkedIn. I’ve just started a newsletter to help members find and subscribe to top picks from across our newsletter community, but you can also join various professional groups on the platform, follow inspiring Influencers, and more.
"I’d say that being consistent in posting, finding areas of strength where you can build your niche, and honing your brand are all helpful in this regard."
Recently, LinkedIn has shifted from strictly being a platform for networking to being a source of news both industry-specific and general. What was the impetus for this change and what kind of stories are performing best? Going forward, how do you anticipate LinkedIn will fit into the media/marketing landscape?
We first started editorial and news eight years ago. As the team has grown to more than 65+ editors internationally, so has the value our members get out of the platform and the news we curate. For example, our Daily Rundown is one of the most widely read business newsletters, read by 46 million professionals daily, distributed to 96 countries and in nine languages. We’ve also seen more sharing on LinkedIn with articles and posts jumping 60% compared to last year, as more people are sharing their perspectives and offering advice.
Additionally, we’re seeing a really strong performance with LinkedIn Live. This is where organizations and individuals can connect remotely with their communities in real-time on video. Since February, LinkedIn Live has seen a 158% increase in streams, and Live videos are seeing 23X more comments per post and 6X reactions per post than native video. We’ve also seen more people engage in Newsletters and videos on LinkedIn, and we’re excited to see early results of Stories from our test in Brazil.
Since your time at Reddit, you’ve fostered community growth and connection. What is LinkedIn doing to promote interaction between its users beyond the superficial connection requests and follows? How can marketing leaders harness the platform’s potential to reach new audiences in a meaningful and effective way?
The real power of LinkedIn lies in its ability to help connect and interact one-on-one with employees and customers where the opportunity may not have traditionally existed. LinkedIn offers members a vital opportunity to deeply connect with and influence a global community of industry peers, employees, and customers — and to see first-hand the impact their voice can have. Marketing leaders use LinkedIn to connect with their employees on a personal level to celebrate their hard work and contributions. They are also able to recognize customer milestones and successes and lead and join relevant industry conversations. It's possible to reach targeted audiences through the use of @ mentions and hashtags.
Beyond helping facilitate workshops to help empower groups to learn more about how to maximize their LinkedIn presence, or supporting individual creators who reach out to ask me questions, I believe that there’s tremendous impact possible from connecting with each other. For example, I got a message from a LinkedIn community member this morning who shared how another user following his updates encouraged them to connect and helped support his business during a really crucial time. That’s exactly what we hope to nurture and support.
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