Making LinkedIn work for you

By Linda Bloom, New York Chapter President

Kevin Ryan at NYC meeting

Kevin Ryan, left, led a Nov. 5 LinkedIn workshop for the New York RCC chapter. Participants, second from left to right, included Rachel Barlow, Hanna Hansen and Ryan Koch, all of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

Kevin S. Ryan (, a former journalist for the New York Times and Newsday and expert on social marketing for business, offered some helpful tips to the New York Chapter of Religion Communicators Council Nov. 5.

More than 20 participants brought laptops, tablets and smartphones to the workshop setting at the Church World Service conference room in the Interchurch Center.

Ryan offered practical advice on how to craft a LinkedIn profile which, he said, should read like a conversation rather than a résumé.

Use a clear, effective headline of 4-6 words linked to your job or your brand on a summary of 3-5 sentences. “Your summary is your elevator pitch, your introduction,” he advised.

Send and accept connection requests from people you know, people who would be in your rolodex, Ryan said. Once you link with someone, you can see that person’s rolodex and expand your links – for business connections, for news sources, for job hunting – through that second-tier network.

“Anyone you would put in Rolodex as a journalist you can connect with on LinkedIn,” Ryan said. “It's a way to maintain up-to-date information on anyone you want to interact with in your professional life.”

“Groups” is an under-used tool on LinkedIn. But group participation can provide a way to message someone you are not connected to, increase your exposure and drive traffic to other things, he explained.

And what about those possibly annoying “endorsements?” You can turn that feature off, but Ryan likes it as a marketing tool.

In short, to get traction on LinkedIn:

  • Tell a story
  • Add a photo
  • Market your url
  • Connect wisely
  • Make endorsements work
  • Participate
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