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LinkedIn provides an excellent social networking platform for people who are serious about sustainability. Your LinkedIn profile is your first option for finding other professionals who are as knowledgeable in and committed to sustainability as you are. Whilst many social networking platforms are for friends and family to share a wide variety of content.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, was designed specifically to open opportunities for business-oriented professionals. Your profile lets you boost your career, share expertise, gain knowledge, and scout for talent. In this digital age, you may already have a LinkedIn account or perhaps you’re about to create one. Here are some simple tips for enhancing your LinkedIn experience and making the most out of it.

1. KEEP YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE UPDATED

Job in Clean Energy
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An outdated LinkedIn profile tells potential professional connections and talent acquisition managers that you’re not active on LinkedIn. That or you’re not taking your professional profile seriously. Either way, these people may not bother connecting with you, making you miss your chance at what might have been productive encounters.

Invest as much time and care in creating and updating your LinkedIn profile as you do with your resume. Think of it as your “online resume.” It doesn’t take much to update it as your career progresses.

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Upload a Good Profile Photo

Don’t use your favourite Facebook or Instagram selfie for your LinkedIn profile photo. Your professional portrait picture has to be exactly that — professional. The goal at LinkedIn is to attract the attention of professionals, not friends, dates, or people who like dogs as much as you do.

Your LinkedIn profile photo doesn’t have to look like a stiff ID photo but it shouldn’t be too informal. Don’t leave it blank. Leaving it blank makes your profile seem unfinished or worse, like a spam account.

Choose a photo that fits how you package yourself. Let people see your face clearly, especially your eyes. Skip photos of you wearing sunglasses, caps, or anything that hides most of your facial features. Avoid photos of you that feature other people or your pet, or of you wearing a holiday jumper or a swimsuit. Also, avoid using photos that are badly cropped or not high-resolution.

Remember, your profile photo is one of the first things that potential connections will see about you. According to LinkedIn, profiles with photos are 21 times more likely to be visited and nine times more likely to get connection invites. And some LinkedIn group owners and managers, like myself,  only let people into a group who have a good photo. 

Make Your LinkedIn Headline Stand Out

Besides your name and profile photo, your LinkedIn Headline is one of the first things that will make an impact on viewers. It’s like a one-line summary of your professional brand. By default, your LinkedIn Headline is set as your current job title at work. That’s fine, but why not take this short opportunity to make yourself stand out and attract the attention of potential connections?

If you are a multi-talented person and you wish to highlight this, your LinkedIn Headline can be a chain of your various titles. A great example would be “Sustainability Education Lecturer | Motivational Speaker | Digital Marketing Specialist”. If you’re involved in several advocacies, list them in your LinkedIn Headline. For example, “Human Rights Activist, Mental Health Advocate, and Eco-Warrior”.

You can also write your LinkedIn Headline as a full-sentence description of your professional background if it fits your brand more. Just make sure to write it well. It shouldn’t be harder to read than a simple list, chain of titles, or a phrase. Use keywords that are specific or at least related to your field. This makes your profile search engine friendly and easy for people in the same field to find you.

Avoid using your favourite quotations or motto because these rarely present a clear picture of your professional profile. You have 120 characters at your disposal for your LinkedIn Headline. Use them well.

Highlight jobs in sustainability

Now you’ve attracted the attention of potential connections enough for them to visit your profile. They’ll start with your job title and workplace as well as your job history. If you have been in the industry for years, you don’t have to list all of your older roles. Just choose the ones that are relevant to your career in sustainability.

If you’ve done work in fields of renewable and sustainable energy, list those under the Experience area of your profile. List your job history in reverse chronological order so that people can see your most recent work first. LinkedIn provides a description box for each job title that you list.

More than describing what your specific job duties are, describe what you actually did and use strong, active verbs. For example, let’s say that you “oversaw a new recycling initiative”. It would be better if you “launched” a new recycling initiative or “established a team” for the new recycling initiative.

Include Your Educational Background

Including your educational background in your LinkedIn profile helps talent acquisition managers and former classmates or schoolmates identify you easily. In fact, according to LinkedIn, profiles that include information about educational background are 17 times more likely to receive messages from hiring managers.

That’s because hiring managers often know which schools excel at producing quality graduates in certain areas, like engineering or law. If this is the case, they might type in a particular school or university in their searches. If you didn’t include your school or university in your profile, then you will not turn up in these searches.

Create a Customised URL

A customised URL might seem like a minor and unimportant detail, which is why most people don’t even bother setting it. However, using one makes it easier to share your profile with others when they ask for it to view your profile. It’s much better than providing the random string of numbers and letters that LinkedIn set by default.

The ideal form for a personalised URL is <linkedin.com/yourname>. There are times, though, when that will have already been taken if you have a common name. In this case, you may have to use your initials or add one or two numbers to your name. Your personalised URL should have 3-100 letters or numbers and should not contain special characters. You’ll find the option to edit it on the upper right corner of your profile.

2. HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS AND ACHIEVEMENTS FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND CLEAN ENERGY

 Two Man Holding White Paper
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Ideally, you want at least five but no more than ten skills on your LinkedIn profile. Skills get added to your profile in three ways. You can add them yourself, others can endorse you for these skills, or you can earn a badge for passing a skill quiz. When listing skills, keep in mind that these don’t all have to be hard skills. You should also include soft skills that you are confident you possess, such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and change management.

List the licenses and certifications you’ve obtained in the fields of sustainability, renewable  energy, sustainable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, etc. They can be traditional licenses and certifications from learning institutions where you physically attended classes. They can also come from micro-credentialing platforms that granted you digital badges for these credentials.

In the Accomplishments section, LinkedIn allows you to put in even more details to help you showcase your achievements. You can include periodicals where your papers or articles were published, patents you obtained, and courses you attended. Describe projects you launched and spearheaded, honours and awards that you received, and organizations to which you belong.

You can showcase some of your digital achievements in the Featured section. Whenever you publish or post an article on LinkedIn, these will be included and managed in the Featured section of your LinkedIn profile.

Add a link to your website! Share documents, photos, videos, or presentations publicly available on other platforms like SlideShare, Scribd, or YouTube. Choose the Media option If you would upload specific files directly to your profile rather than putting in a link.

3. USE CLEAN ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY KEYWORDS

As you are creating or updating your LinkedIn profile, do include keywords such as “clean energy”, “renewable energy”, and “sustainability”. Doing so will make your profile more

search engine- friendly and increase your chances of being visible online. Hiring managers use predictable keywords for searches. The search engine’s algorithm will include you in the results for those keyword searches if you match them closely enough.

Use a sufficient number of related keywords in your profile to help algorithms detect that your profile is relevant to clean and sustainable energy. However, be careful not to overdo it and risk being tagged as “spammy.” Years ago, Seach Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques mainly involved peppering a web page with specific keywords to ensure its online visibility and increase its SEO ranking.

Algorithms have got a little more sophisticated since then. They still count the number of times a specific keyword appears on a web page. But modern algorithms now take context, relevance, and content quality into account. Don’t sacrifice the latter for the sake of filling your profile or web page with keywords.

Use a specific keyword like “clean energy” or “renewable energy” naturally and link it to other related words like “sustainability”. This enhances the content quality, reinforces the context, and highlights the relevance of your profile.

4. MANAGE YOUR LINKEDIN RECOMMENDATIONS

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Recommendations from third-parties will reinforce your claims about your skills and accomplishments. Existing LinkedIn connections like colleagues, friends, or former classmates can provide them. You should have at least one recommendation for your recent job positions.

You can actively ask people for recommendations, especially if they have been vocal about your outstanding contributions to the field. Suggest that they can help you better demonstrate your skills by being more specific about the content of their recommendations. Ask them to choose a specific skill over others that the LinkedIn system identified as related to your professional background.

Sometimes, connections give you recommendations without being asked. People can be nice that way. Not all of them will be well-written or relevant to your chosen career path in renewable and sustainable energy, though.

This is why LinkedIn gives you the option to filter through the recommendations you receive. You can choose to add them to your profile, remove them, or leave them in pending status. You can also re-arrange your recommendations so that your preferred skill recommendations are at the top of the list.

5. MAKE IT PERSONAL

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Photo by Elevate Digital from Pexels

Although LinkedIn is designed for professional use, it is still a social networking site that allows for interaction among its users. You are not defined by your job history, educational background, or accomplishments alone.

Tell people about the things you are enthusiastic about and the things you value the most. Describe your experiences and what you’ve learned. Tell them how you got involved in the movement towards clean energy and why you are so passionate about it.

You can do this by posting your articles, sharing links to other resources, and commenting on other people’s posts on LinkedIn. These posts will automatically be linked to your account and will appear on the Featured or Activity section of your profile. This makes it easy for other people to keep track of your content contributions to the LinkedIn community. It helps you grow your following and connect to the right people.

CONNECT YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE WITH SUSTEMY

There’s another excellent way to enhance your LinkedIn profile and reinforce its relevance to the clean energy movement. Connect it to Sustainability Education Academy (SUSTEMY). Professionals worldwide are becoming increasingly aware that we have a positive obligation to address climate change. That we must fight or mitigate it and the negative effects of other human activity. Many do want to learn more, to better understand and to get involved. Sadly, most don’t even know where or how to begin.

More people need to fully understand what sustainability is and why it’s an essential concept in our move towards rehabilitating the world. This benefits not only us but future generations too. This is where we come in.

At Sustemy, our primary purpose is to make learning easy for both those already working sustainability and those wanting to work in sustainability. We help others quickly learn and get better at transforming our economy to one with zero emissions and zero environmental harm.

How do we plan to do this? By partnering with passionate professionals with deep domain expertise in developing quality courses on sustainability education and making these accessible to a global audience. Experts like you. Connect with us now and find out how we can collaborate on making a more sustainable future.

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