Using LinkedIn to get that journalism job

LinkedInThere are plenty of reasons for journalists to get on LinkedIn, but its not often mentioned as a place to create a broadcast journalism portfolio — until now.  Yumi Wilson is a manager for corporate communications at LinkedIn, and she also teaches journalism at San Francisco State.  She says the networking site’s relatively new option for embedding videos has made it much more relevant to broadcast journalists.

“As long as you have the link to the video, you can embed it right into your profile,” said Wilson.  You can use URLs from either YouTube or Vimeo.

Of course, you’ll want to use LinkedIn as just one tool in your job hunting toolbox, but Wilson says it can be particularly effective.

“I’m like a lot of people,” says Wilson.  “When I have extra time, I’ll spend it with personal networks like Facebook.  When people are investing time, they’re more likely to use LinkedIn.”

Wilson says there are about 331 million LinkedIn members worldwide, with about 100 million of those here in the United States.

In addition to adding your reel, here are more simple things you can do to improve your chances of getting your portfolio noticed.

  • Be sure to use the name you plan to use in your profession.  So, for example, if your friends call you “Skeeter” but you plan to be “Stuart” on the job, use the latter.  You’ll also want to go into the “Edit Profile” mode and customize your public profile URL.  Mine is, for example, which should make it easier for people to find me.
  • The headline under your name should string key words together to show the job you want, too, not necessarily the job you have.  So, if you are looking for a newscast producing job, put those key words in that headline.
  • Join groups.  Something like LinkedIn for Journalists can help you in several ways.  You may find some great advice in the posts, but you can also send InMail to other members for free.  Plus, Wilson says that people who post in groups have their content viewed four times more often than those who don’t.
  • Be sure to include your photo and make it professional.  For the most part, it should be a head and shoulders shot with you dressed in the attire you’ll wear on the job.  Wilson says profiles with photos get 14 times the views of those that don’t.
  • Write your summary in first person says Wilson, and make sure it is at least 40 words long.  Wilson says people want to know who you are and first person narratives make that easier.
  • Give people multiple ways to contact you.  Since InMail isn’t always free, you’ll want to give prospective employers other ways to reach you.  Add your Twitter name or an email address for an account you check often.

Wilson says that 90 percent of recruiters use social media and they will typically use key word searches, so make sure your profile is loaded with the words people will use when looking for the position you want to have.  And be sure to keep your profile updated.

“Posting about a job change will increase your views by 12 times,” said Wilson.