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LinkedIn for Educators

I created a LinkedIn account in 2007 and didn’t think much of it then. It seemed a convenient way to have my resume online. Like many people, I spent years never looking at my LinkedIn profile again. I’ve become modestly active in the last couple of years, and wanted to share with you some information in hopes that it helps you think creatively about LinkedIn as an educator.

To give you some ideas, here are a few profiles in case any inspire you to enhance or simplify your LinkedIn profile.

Here’s the top profile section (banner, title, summary) for a school psychologist and published author, Dwayne Williams. (Log on to LinkedIn to view his profile)

Dr. Kaia Niambi Shiver was an adjunct instructor from 2009—2016 and wrote extensively about the challenges of being a part-time instructor. Her LinkedIn articles caught the attention of many readers.

Dr. John Hernandez is president of a California community college, Santiago Canyon College.

The key to a successful LinkedIn profile is to understand what you want out of it.

Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn doesn’t have to be the outline of your resume. For example, in my situation, LinkedIn serves as a brief summary for potential clients who would benefit from my help. Almost 100% of my project-based work is derived from word-of-mouth. When people visit my profile, it’s because someone recommended me or met me at a training or conference. Potential clients who have viewed my profile said they were content with checking off key profile items:
- Academic credentials, check
- Brief summary of services and background, check
- Approach and helpfulness (via authored articles and link to my blog), check

Of all of the above items, people shared with me that the articles were the most important because it provides them a window into my thinking, approach to education, and how I work with people. Based on feedback, I don’t  presently need (or want) a long list of jobs and projects on my profile. Depending on the client and the need (facilitation, grantsmanship, training, evaluation, project management), I use a separate document that I tailor to the needs of the potential client and send it via email.

In short, understand what you want out of LinkedIn and adjust your profile accordingly. I hope that the above profile examples are helpful.

(A. Solano)

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