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Snippet of The Touch MBA Admissions Podcast: #112 LinkedIn tips for MBA Applicants

From Audio: #112 LinkedIn Tips for MBA Applicants

Duration: 20:15
Your LinkedIn profile could be the first thing business schools see. So listen to a snippet of 7 tips to make a good impression, reinforce your story, and highlight qualities.
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Your LinkedIn profile could be the first thing business schools see. Darren draws on his admissions experience and shares 7 tips to make a good first impression, reinforce your MBA story, and highlight additional qualities not in your application. MBA programs are looking at your social media, especially your LinkedIn profile. Take 15 minutes to follow these guidelines, optimize your LinkedIn presence, and represent yourself well to b-schools, MBA students & alumni, and future employers. Episode summary, show notes and more at: http://touchmba.com/linkedin-tips-mba-applicants
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What's up Touch MBA Family. Welcome to the show. Great to have you here. As always, it's been a while since I've recorded a solo episode. We've had, Ah, lot of great interviews in the last 10, 10 15 episodes, but I wanted to do kind of an instructional tutorial like episode. Keep it short and quick about getting in with linked in I want to give you guys seven tips that you can use to, you know, really polish up and optimize your LinkedIn profile. But before I get into that, just a couple quick announcements as always, I hope all of you know by now that you can get free school selection help at touch MBA dot com Go check that out. Also, we've been working really hard on our Ambassadors forum, which is basically having student representatives from the top 30 business schools from around the world share their experience. You know, Post pictures we just had needling from South Africa, who will be attending Columbia. Hey, put some pictures of the Columbia MBA world tour that's going on right now before students even start the program. It's crazy. They have, like these guest hosts all over the world. So before you even start the program, you can travel to like 5, 10 countries. You know, if you have the time and money, of course, and another one of our ambassadors from Ohio State, Fisher Han from Vietnam. She just opened an art gallery as part of her summer internship between her 1st and 2nd years. Luckily, you know I'm in hokey men as well. Eso She invited me and I took a couple of pictures, but just really cool to get, you know, on on the ground feel for what's really going on. And we really expect to have a lot of great conversations there. So go check that out at ambassadors. Touch MBA dot com Eso Let's cover seven linked in tips Let's make that sound better. Top seven Linked in tips for MBA applicants For those of you who don't know, linked in is basically a huge professional social network, and I think over the past 10 years I've seen the use of linked in evolve in terms of MBA admissions in terms of what schools are using it for. You know, I think it's gone from being a reference check so we would get your application. And then maybe if we had questions on your application, we try to find you online. And, you know, usually that would be your LinkedIn profile, right? And and see how that stacked up with your application. But it's moved from being a reference check to more of a first impression. I think a lot more schools are looking at your LinkedIn profile. For example, I heard that, uh, Columbia Business School has actually recruited MBIA candidates on the Lincoln platform. And I know schools like UT Austin is allowing applicants to use LinkedIn recommendations instead of having to submit recommendations. And, you know, a number of other schools are experimenting with incorporating, you know, linked in your linked in profile in the application. So it's becoming less a reference check and more of a first impression. You guys all know, I'm sure you've met someone in a professional setting or social setting, and you've exchanged your, you know, social network IEDs, whether it's Facebook or linked in Oh man, is that really that really like a chainsaw in the background? Okay, well, this is Vietnam. That's what happens. Countries building itself. So hopefully you guys can hear this, But you ever, you know, meet someone and you're super excited about them. And then they give you their Facebook, and then you go to their Facebook page and you're super let down because maybe you thought this person was interesting or, you know, fun. And then when you go to their Facebook page, all you see is like 52 million selfies taken from the same angle or just posting, you know, 15 times a day, like links that you don't really care about it can really ruin your impression of the person that that that counts for a lot. You know, that virtual first impression counts for a lot, is the point I want to get across. So this matters an MBA admissions, you know, before, for example, I have guests on the podcast. Of course, I'll research they're linked in profile, right? It's a quick way toe. Get a better idea of their professional background and see what they have been involved in. I'm sure they do the same to me. So regardless of whether you're applying for an MBA or your next job, you know, I think it's important to get your LinkedIn profile in order, and one of our listeners wrote me this, he said. I'm curious about my social media presence and profile. How should I be thinking about these now that I'm beginning to, you know, connect with alumni in schools for MBA applications? Do you expect schools to look at your social media profile? Yes, for the answer that question. Do you have any guidelines for how to arrange your content and sharing great questions? And I want to record this episode almost like a tutorial. So those of you who are driving or on the subway or something you know won't be able to do this right away. But, you know, ideally, you could just play this episode, have your linked in profile open, and let's just go through it step by step. So there's three big principles that you have to keep in the back of your mind. Three key things you need to do with your linked in profile. The first is you want to make a good first impression, and that's for all people, Whether that's other employers, your colleagues, other potential business partners or MBA programs. Number two. You wanna reinforce your story you want to reinforce the story you've presented in your MBA application. And three, you want to add to that story you know online in ways you can't in a paper application? Well, not a paper application anymore. But in a relatively more two dimensional MBA application, right with LinkedIn, you can showcase a lot more of yourself and round out your profile. Okay, so let's start with the first one. Make a good first impression. Let's start with the easiest part and perhaps the most fun part of this whole exercise, which is upload. Ah, professional profile picture. All right. Don't look scary. Don't look like, uh, you just got out of jail, obviously. But look pleasant. At the very least, it's fine. You know, you don't have to necessarily be in a suit and tie. You don't have to have a super formal linked in profile picture. Of course, it really depends on your industry to, but definitely look pleasant and approachable and professional. Okay, Number two at a minimum. You wanna make sure that your linked in profile matches your CV? You know that the the profile that admissions officers air seeing in your MBA application and your linkedin profile match. If they don't, that's gonna raise huge red flags. So I'm talking about, Of course, your school When you graduated, What? Your major waas your work experience, Which companies you worked for? In what years? If there's any fibbing there, that's that's a really bad sign. So in terms of making a good first impression, the first two tips have all been about covering your downside, right. Make sure you have a pleasant picture and make sure that your linked in profile at the very least matches your CV. Number three. You can control who sees what activities on your public profile, what sections of your LinkedIn and what activity of your linked in. So I was stunned to see, for example, that on my public linked in profile, you could actually see my activity like if I liked someone's post. You know, if I like the presentation or like to comment that somebody said on LinkedIn, I didn't realize that was public. And if you log into linked in and you go to the top right, you get there's actually a link that says, Edit your public profile, and if you click on that, you can actually decide. You know which sections show. So whether that's your headline, your websites, your summary, your experience, you know your activity, your education, your skills, etcetera, etcetera. So make sure you go through that and double check what your profile looks like when you're logged into Lincoln and when you're not, because that's how schools will find you there, most likely going to see your public profile. So make sure that you're showing activity and and parts your profile that you want them to see. So those are my three tips for making a good first impression That's covering your downside, making sure you don't raise any alarm bells for admissions officers. Let's go to Tip number four, which is now under reinforcing your story. Not only do you want your information on your LinkedIn profile to match your CV, but you want the story that your LinkedIn profile tells to match the narrative of your MBA application. Does that make sense? Admissions officers such as myself would look at your LinkedIn profile and craft a story in their heads if you haven't done that for me. So I'm gonna you know, quickly in about 30 seconds, glanced through your LinkedIn profile. See how you're presenting yourself. What's your pictures? Like what your headline is, what your summary is, what your work experiences. You know what your education is, Then I'm going to see kind of what skills people seem toe rank you highly for. You know what your interests are, who you're following. You know all these things. So there's actually a lot of pieces to your linked in profile, and you wanna make sure that they're telling the same story that you put in your application. I think there's a couple ways you you could do this definitely make use of the headline and the summary sections of your linked in profile Headline is basically like anything you want mine. I just put Founder, educator and host. There's probably a better headline for me out there, but the key thing is for you to be, you know, aware of that headline. A lot of people are going to see that right after your name. And then you can also update the little blurb. You know below the headline where you can give a summary of yourself and make sure those two things match up with the narrative. You're presenting in your MBA application you don't want, for example, Toe, Have your headlines say, Oh, I'm looking for new jobs in the consulting industry. And then in your application, you're writing about applying to be in the finance industry, right? That's not gonna match up. So, yeah, tell the same story in your LinkedIn profile. Number five. I think it's important to do an edit as well of your interests. And so interests would be like, Who are you following? Like which influencers Cos. Groups or skills? Are you following? And probably most importantly, which schools are you following? So a lot of you might be following schools Now? I think this gets a little touchy because, let's say I'm the admissions director of Oxford. Okay, site, and I see that almost of your interests are following Cambridge Judge or HTC Paris You know, top top European schools, or maybe even like Stanford or Harvard stuff. That's not necessarily a bad thing. But if you seem to be much more interested in other business schools, Hmm, that might give me a little bit of a bad feeling, right, because even if I think you're outstanding, what are the chances that if I admit you, you actually come toe Oxford site Admissions officers were really concerned about yield. So in terms of reinforcing your story, you wanna probably do an audit of the schools you're following. You could still follow those schools, but make them nonpublic right on your profile again matching the narrative to the schools you're applying Thio. And also, you know, if you're super into start ups or entrepreneurship or your super super into social entrepreneurship, your super into, say, renewable energy and I look at your interests and I could really see yeah, you're pretty involved in these sort of things. You know, whether it's following, you know, certain influencers following certain organizations, the types of skills courses you're taking. I can kind of in my mind say, Yeah, you know, this person has actually taken some steps in this area like he or she knows this this niche really well. So I think those are other ways you can reinforce your story through your interests. Let's go to tip number six, which is how can you add onto your story So again, I personally feel that the MBA application right now is quite still a bit flat. Still a bit two dimensional. I know a lot of schools have incorporated, you know, video essays, power point presentations and these sort of things, like trying to get more multimedia into the application. But it's still, in my opinion, quite an archaic application in terms of writing essays and CVS and so forth. Well, what you can do with your linked in profile is make make your profile more three dimensional. You know, maybe you couldn't squeeze in some information in your online application. Maybe there wasn't enough space. Or maybe, you know, it just wasn't the right format. So what? I mean, for example, you know me hosting this podcast. I don't just say I'm host of the touch on NBA podcast. I can actually link 22 or three of, say, my best podcasts on my profile, right? So that's so much more powerful than just saying, Oh, I'm the host of the touch and be a podcast. Big deal, Right? But then, if you go on my Lincoln profile and you see, you know, I've interviewed over 60 admissions directors like I put up in episode where it shows what were the top 10 tips I learned after interviewing 20 admissions directors. It's a lot more impressive than just saying you're the touch MBA podcast host. So use the linking of your LinkedIn profile and to showcase projects that you're proud off and that contribute to your narrative that could really add to your story. Add another dimension. So there's many ways you could do this. For example, if on your LinkedIn profile, you can click on Add new profile section on the top right corner, and you can put in tons of stuff publications, certifications, courses, projects, honors and awards, patents, test scores, languages, organizations. You're passionate about etcetera. So there's lots of stuff you can add to your profile to round it out. And I think that's super useful. And, of course, Tip seven would be adding endorsements. Texas McCombs is already allowing applicants to use their linked in endorsements. I think it's nice to get if you can, especially from your more recent jobs, positive endorsements. That's as simple as just asking your colleagues or your boss to write something there for you. And I don't think you need to have, you know, like 10 endorsements. That's almost overkill, but you know if you have a good, solid number of endorsements, that's that za differentiator because most people don't have any Lincoln endorsements. Onda same goes with your featured skills. So the easiest way there is to honestly go through your LinkedIn connections and, you know, rank people for what you think they did great. They're great at whether that's marketing strategy, you know, consulting, photography, whatever. And then usually if you do that, people will return the favor. You know, I have, like, 18 people that ranked me as competent in terms of research and 15 people who read me competent for business strategy. And while I think I'm okay at those things, I think I'm much better at some of my other featured skills and endorsements, and and you might feel that way, too. So you might wanna be more conscious about trying to get, you know, some more endorsements there, like for the skills you really want that comes to know, you know, you're stronger in so again, it's how you present your profile, you know, taking control of that virtual first impression and one last note from all these seven tips. Remember that the three big things you wanna do with your profile are make a good first impression, reinforce your story and add to your story. And sometimes the best stories are the simplest stories. Even though I'm telling you guys to, like go through your profiles and add projects and add, you know, multimedia when you can, you know, be be selective so that someone from a top school can look at your profile within 30 seconds to 60 seconds and quickly kind of get your positioning. If you put too much there, that can also distract from your story. Okay, so just be very cognizant of that. And the best way to touch your stories is to get your friends and colleagues and strangers toe, look at them and tell, Tell you what they think. Definitely get more eyes on it. That's a good way to catch stuff that you didn't realize you were doing or presenting yourself in ways that you didn't think. Okay, so that's the episode in terms of getting in with Linked in the seven tips are make a good first impression by uploading a very pleasant and professional profile. Picture number two. At a minimum. Make sure your resume and your linked in profile match number three. Make sure you edit or are aware of what activities and sections of your linked in profile can be seen in public, and then number four. In terms of reinforcing your story, make sure that the unspoken the tone of your LinkedIn profile matches your narrative and purported career interests. Number five. Uh, carefully audit your interests. You know which influencers Cos. Groups and business schools. You're following number six secure endorsements from colleagues or employers of your last few jobs that will give you an extra edge and number seven whenever you can. Put up examples of projects that you're proud off that are, you know, have a multimedia nature to them. All right. I also want to thank our sponsor Common Bond, save up to $13,000 with a low interest N B. A loan from Common Bond. Common Bond is funded over a billion dollars in student loans, and they're easy online application on Lee takes minutes toe. Learn more visit common bond dot c o slash touch n b A. Common bond lending L L C N MLS Number 1175900 So Yeah, those of you looking for, you know, the best alone's for us. MBA programs Definitely check out common bond. And also just I forgot to mention at the beginning of the show. But we're on instagram. That's right. We're moving on to instagram so you can find us at instagram dot com slash touch MBA or just, you know, search for touch MBA and Instagram. And I'm pretty excited about this because it's basically our ambassadors just posting videos. You know, pictures of their journey on. It's completely unedited and completely not polished. Just students sharing. You know what they're doing and their experiences and it covers. You know, all the schools are ambassadors are at so 30 30 schools. We only have two posts up there. We have nine followers. That's right, nine followers look out world. But we hope to turn this into something. Ah, fun and useful for applicants. So check that out. Just search for us. Touch MBA on instagram and yeah, we'll see you next week
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