2.5 - That's How to Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile!



Global Learning Partner and host of the "The Jr. High Dropout" podcast, Elizabeth Fine joins me to talk about the importance of messaging on LinkedIn. Elizabeth share a little bit about her own story and why she is so passionate about helping educators transition into new roles. She shares ways to optimize your profile and the ways in which you might be underselling yourself.

Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn.

Listen to the "The Jr. High Dropout" podcast here.

 

The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain typos or spelling errors.


Leslie Early

Okay, today I will be talking to Elizabeth Fine. She is a former teacher and a current global learning partner at a tech company. And she is also the host of the junior high dropout podcast, which this podcast focuses on helping teachers who are transitioning out of the classroom into another career. So thank you for joining me today, Elizabeth.


Elizabeth Fine

Thank you so much for having me, Leslie, I'm excited to be here.


Leslie Early

I'm excited to talk to you because obviously, you have helped a lot of people get through this transition who are going through the transition. And you mentioned that in your podcasts, you seem to talk about LinkedIn quite frequently. It's like a topic that I guess a lot of teachers maybe aren't that aware of like the do's and don'ts of LinkedIn. So that's kind of what we'll be talking about in this episode today. But before we jump into your tips and tricks, do you want to take a minute to introduce yourself to listeners?


Elizabeth Fine

Sure, I'd love to. So as Leslie mentioned, my name is Elizabeth. I am a former tenure science teacher. I taught middle school science for grades 6/7, and eighth, I taught in Florida, Alabama, and San Francisco. I had wanted to leave teaching for a long time, but kind of wasn't sure what to do. And I finally found my first job out of the classroom, which was as an instructional designer, and that was in the year 2017. I have never once looked back and feel very strongly that I made the right decision. So if you're listening to this podcast, and you're a teacher, and you're on the fence about whether you're trying to leave or stay, and you're not sure what to do, hopefully this can help provide some clarity for you.


Leslie Early

Yeah, it's interesting that you said you'll never look back. So before we jump into your other advice, I am curious, what makes you say that what, what is it about instructional design? I mean, I have my own opinions about this. But what makes you think this is such a good fit for you.


Elizabeth Fine

So I'm no longer an instructional designer. I'm a global learning partner now, which is just a little bit different than instructional design, I use a lot of my instructional design skills. But the reason that I will never look back and go back into the classroom is because of my mental health. That being in a classroom, teaching, all of the constraints that were put on me, the classroom behaviors, the parents, the bureaucracy, the red tape, the low pay, the work life balance became a very bad place for me mentally and emotionally. And I have talked about this in depth and in other podcasts. So I won't go into full details here. But it just wasn't a good place for me mentally. And since leaving the classroom, I've been much, much, much happier.


Leslie Early

Yeah, yeah, I feel like I'm right there with you. It is very taxing, very draining.


Elizabeth Fine

It is, yeah. But not to say that I don't have stressful days in the corporate world, because I certainly do. But even my most stressful day in the corporate room is not as difficult for me as a regular day in the classroom.


Leslie Early

Agreed. Okay, so and I can't imagine what I also left in 2017. So I can't even imagine what teachers are going through now. Because it was already stressful before, you know, all the last two years of our lives happen, it was must be very stressful now. So for these teachers who are like really trying their best to get out, maybe they've already left the classroom, maybe they're looking ahead to leave the classroom. I think maybe teachers have not needed to use LinkedIn in the past as much, because that's just not how you find jobs as a teacher. So maybe they're not as aware of, of the importance of LinkedIn, or what a good profile looks like. So what do you think is like the most important thing about LinkedIn? Or what should teachers know, you know, off the top of like, why this platform is important, and how to sort of set it up successfully.


Elizabeth Fine

I think that there's a lot that comes into play when we think about a teacher's LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the gateway to your life outside of the classroom. So if you're looking to leave the classroom, you need to have an optimized LinkedIn profile. I think, at least when I was a classroom teacher, there was a lot of a feeling of taboo around having a LinkedIn profile, it meant that you were looking for a new job, it meant that you were leaving education. And I don't think that that's how you should think about LinkedIn. Think about LinkedIn as preparing for your future self. When you have optimized LinkedIn profile, recruiters will be able to find you and help you find a job that will achieve your goals that you're looking for. I have a lot of teachers that reach out to me on a weekly basis. And the first thing I do is I snoop on their LinkedIn because I want to know what what does it say? If you think about a hiring manager looking at your LinkedIn profile, they're looking to see that you're a fit for their team, and they're most likely if you're looking in corporate or a lot of people are looking at 10 Most likely they aren't hiring for the role of a teacher. They're hiring for a project manager, they're hiring a program manager, they're hiring a instructional designer, they're hiring a trainer, they're hiring for a different role. They're not hiring for a teacher. But that's not to say that somebody who is a teacher that has classroom teaching skills is not useful for their role. But it is on you as the profile owner to optimize your LinkedIn and make it read in a way that makes you desirable to recruiters and hiring managers.


Leslie Early

So I want to back up to something you said at the very beginning of your answer, which is that maybe it used to be looked at as having having a profile on LinkedIn active profile on LinkedIn means that you're looking for a job, or it's kind of taboo or whatever. And actually, I remember those days as well. But I feel like that's changed a lot recently, like, I'm a homeboy. And I have an active Pro, I'm on there all the time. But I don't know that that necessarily means that I'm looking for a job right now. You know,


Elizabeth Fine

I think that it might, we might think about it different. Now, because we're in the corporate world, we're not in the K 12 classroom anymore. I hope that it's not still a taboo thing for a teacher to have a LinkedIn profile, because there are teachers out there who are using LinkedIn to share lesson plans, resources, best practices, tips and tricks, they're connecting with other educators across the country in the world, in the corporate world, everyone has an active LinkedIn profile. I don't know anybody that does it to keep their LinkedIn up to date and active and, and they're constantly looking to better themselves, whether that's through LinkedIn learning that working or finding a new opportunity. My LinkedIn has always kept up to date, I connect with tons of people from LinkedIn, you and I met over LinkedIn. Yeah, I connect with tons of teachers who are looking to leave the classroom over LinkedIn, I connect with other people who are in my field to find out what's working in their company, what are they doing? What's working with their audiences. And it's just a great way to network. It's the new way to network. I think people used to go to networking events, I guess maybe they still do, I don't know. But I haven't been to wide. And quite frankly, I have no desire to go to one. But I will network and talk to people from LinkedIn all the time, I am very happy to give out my phone number over LinkedIn and chat with somebody while I walk my dog. It's easy to make a connection that way. And also, I don't have screen fatigue. So I love using LinkedIn.


Leslie Early

And so I sort of got you on a little tangent there. But so initially, I mean, at the end of your initial answer, essentially, you're saying people need to optimize their profile so that if people who are making hiring decisions come in, they're trying to find out what's going on, even though you're a teacher or a former teacher, there's ways to sort of translate that experience for these people who might be hiring for different roles. Did I understand that correctly?


Elizabeth Fine

You did understand that correctly. So one of the things that I've noticed when teachers who are looking to leave the classroom connect with me on LinkedIn is that their profile reads very much like they're a teacher, and they're looking to transition to something else. Maybe it says, aspiring instructional designer, maybe it says seeking new career as a trainer, maybe it says interested in exploring new opportunities in project management. But it doesn't say I am an instructional designer, I have 10 years of classroom teaching experience. I have this experience working with learners, I have experienced creating lesson plans. If I'm the person looking at your profile, and I see that you're an aspiring instructional designer. That is not what I want to fill the role of instructional designer on my team. I want somebody who is an instructional designer. If you are a teacher, and you're looking for an instructional design role, there is going to be a skills gap, there is going to be some learning that you need to do in order to prepare for that next step in your career. There's a lot of great content on LinkedIn learning that's free if you have a premium profile. There are a lot of great resources out there teaching a path to l&d is one of them, where they do webinars, they do portfolio help, they do office hours, they do resume work, they will help you with your LinkedIn, there's so much available, they help you with all the tools that you would need to learn and it's all free.


Leslie Early

Yeah. And that's a Sarah stebic. She's a been on the show twice now.


Elizabeth Fine

There was also on my podcast, she Yeah, she's fantastic. I love her. I am very much at the mindset that teachers are incredible bootstrappers and they don't have to pay to go back to grad school or go to one of these ID academies that you see. I think that there's tons of great resources out there for free to help improve the skills that a teacher brings into from brings into their next role from their previous role because there's a lot of overlap. But I think what's missing from a lot of teachers LinkedIn profile is owning what it is that they're doing. So if you're an aspiring instructional designer, change that on your LinkedIn profile when you You feel ready, and you should feel ready pretty soon after diving into some of these resources to say that I am an instructional designer, I am a project manager, I am a program manager, I am a trainer. So claiming this and coming in to your LinkedIn profile with the confidence that the skills that you are working towards, or skills that you possess, is going to make your profile more desirable to recruiters and hiring managers then claiming that you're aspiring to do something. They're looking for somebody who's ready to step into that role.


Leslie Early

Yeah, yeah. And so that's interesting. This is a little a little getting off topic. But I mean, if it were me, and this was me, I, it took me a long time to make my transition. But I don't know if I would feel comfortable saying, I'm an instructional designer, until I had actually had some instructional design projects outside of the classroom. You know, under my belt, I did like some volunteer stuff and some class assignments. So that's kind of my way into it. But what would you say, you know, how would you talk back to someone like me who might be listening who's like, but I don't actually have an instructional design project under my belt?


Elizabeth Fine

Yeah. When you think about an instructional design project that you could do prior to getting your first job, go talk to some of your friends that are maybe small business owners and ask them if there's any training that they would need help developing for their business. So for example, if your friend owns a coffee shop, and the people behind the counter need to learn how to make lattes, get your friend to teach you how to make a latte and then teach, like completed training for them, do a job eight on how to make a latte that they could use in their business. If you're very passionate about animals, go down to your local humane society and find out are there volunteers that need help learning how to take care of the animals, that's the way that I kind of started that my first job, I guess, you can say, was working with the Humane Society and creating training for the volunteer program that they had. And then from there, I started doing freelance work on upwork.com. And one other example I would give of something that you could create include in your portfolio, that's an example of instructional design work is think back to your first job, whatever that was, maybe you worked at a fast food chain, maybe you were a lifeguard, maybe you were a barista. Maybe you were, I don't know what else you could have been. But there's tons of jobs out there. So when you think about your first job, think back to that, that version of you and train your former self to do that role. So create some training materials. That is something that you can use in your instructional design portfolio. So my first job was being a lifeguard. In addition to like life saving skills, I had to open and close the concession stand every day, I could create job aids that would train someone how to do that I could create an elearning for how to talk to customers, and give them change and how to talk to patrons of the pool, how to teach swimming lessons. So those are different materials that I could have created to feel more confident saying I am an Instructional Designer without having a formal job.


Leslie Early

Yeah, and I, it's so funny. A lot of projects I work on are very technical. That's just sort of how it went. So I thought, as you were talking, I was like, go like, if you're any, if you know anything about cars, like go video yourself, you know, make a little instructional video about like, how to change your headlight, or how to change your battery or something like that. I don't know. There's just


Elizabeth Fine

Yeah, that's great, too. Anything that you can train someone how to do is something that would that an instructional designer would do. If you think about any fast food restaurant, there's one in particular that I love, I'm loving, and their hamburger is the exact same no matter where you go in the world. If I'm in Japan, and I order a hamburger from this chain, it tastes the exact same as when I order that hamburger in California. I think that's probably because they have a rockstar l&d department who's training these folks how to make a hamburger consistently across the world. So no matter what the job is, there's somebody somewhere that's creating training material to teach that individual how to do their job. And this is something that a teacher could take on as like a initial project to build that confidence.


Leslie Early

Yeah. So aside from you know, owning like, I am an instructional designer, and not sort of like being aspiring anything on your profile. What other tips do you have for people to sort of maximize, you know, because I am assuming a hiring manager comes in, sees your profile. I can't imagine they're looking at your profile longer than 30 seconds unless they're like interested in want to know more, but they can't be there for that long because they got a lot of things to do. So like, what would be your advice to you know, once someone finds your profile, how do you keep them there? How do you how do you get them engaged?


Elizabeth Fine

Why would take a step back and say to get someone to Find your profile, particularly a recruiter, I would go ahead and add as a current job, even if it's not real, just add instructional designer or project manager or program manager as your current job. And in that description, you can say I am seeking a role as this, that's the place for that. Because those keywords in that current job is how a recruiter finds you. You can say I am seeking a role as an instructional designer, as that job for your your other current job as a teacher, I would recommend using data. So to keep someone interested in your profile, once they're there, think about the metrics that you can take away from your current responsibilities. And also think about translating words that are K 12. Specific into corporate, which can be very difficult. But I think that there's a dictionary or at the source that someone from patho lnd made, maybe an did she make up the Sora, something she did.


Leslie Early

That sounds familiar, that that group is just amazing. Anyway, there's 1000s of teachers on there, and they're all they have so many good resources. So I don't know this specific one you're talking about. But that sound, it's a topic that they discuss quite frequently of how to translate, teach, talk into corporate talk.


Elizabeth Fine

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Anne has her own site that she's also developing going, I think it's called the pivoter, if I'm not mistaken. But she, I believe, was working on like a translation guide of teacher lingo to corporate lingo. So I would say if once you have your profile, and you, I would look for words like students, parents, administrators, lesson plans, those are commonly used K 12. Words that don't vibe in the corporate world. So I would change students to learners or participants, parents could be stakeholders, administrators could be sponsors. Lesson plans could be planning resources, or project guides or something. Yeah, there's so many things that you could change the course outline, that's great. So many things that you could think about how to change it, I would also say like a catchy headline is good. So like a unique headline. So like, and you're inspiring, lifelong learning, or bringing the magic of learning into organizations, or maybe it's learning enthusiast, you know, it's still relevant with your background and teaching. But it's also relevant for making a transition out of the classroom.


Leslie Early

So you, you mentioned the translation of terms, but also before that you said data, so what do you I, what does that mean, in corporate terms? What what type of data are you talking about?


Elizabeth Fine

So when I think about data, think about like, adding any kind of relevant outcomes to your experience as an educator. So maybe in the classroom, it could look something like you partnered with a department head to implement a new curriculum, which resulted in a 36% increase in user engagement. That is one takeaway that you could say, you could also say something like you initiated and implemented a new training program that improved assessment scores by 25%. So anytime you can use data to back up what your responsibilities were, and show the impact that you had, as a educator, it's going to improve your LinkedIn profile, I do have a resource that I developed for teachers, it's, it can be found on my featured work on my LinkedIn profile forum was the fun, it's called retire your teacher LinkedIn profile and stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. And it's basically a step by step guide that teachers or anyone could follow to improve their LinkedIn profile and the chances of a recruiter finding them today.


Leslie Early

That's awesome. I love that. So everyone has to run to your LinkedIn profile and download that in your you said it's in the resources section of your profile


Elizabeth Fine

It's in the featured


Leslie Early

features. Why did I say Resource feature?


Elizabeth Fine

Yeah. So it kind of walks you through what to put under each section of your LinkedIn and how to maybe rephrase some things that would commonly be used in the K 12. World.


Leslie Early

I love that. And also, as you meant, as we mentioned, at the top of the episode, you have your own whole podcast about this exact topic of helping teachers transition so and for people who may have missed it, it is the junior high dropout. So everyone, go search for that you can find it on like I've already found it on like Apple, I'm sure it's on all the platforms.


Elizabeth Fine

It's on all of them.


Leslie Early

Yeah, drop out. Yes. So thank you so much, Elizabeth. If people wanted to obviously they're already going to go to your LinkedIn profile, but is there anywhere else that you would like to direct people to if they Want to continue the conversation?


Elizabeth Fine

Just find me on LinkedIn is the best place to find me.


Leslie Early

Awesome. And yeah, I really hope listeners got a little bit of at least pointed in the right direction of where they need to go. But I just, I don't know, I feel like we all have survivor's guilt, you know, the people who got out of the classroom and and I just, I don't know if I'll ever really stop wondering and caring about, you know, teachers right now and what they're going through and trying to help them get out.


Elizabeth Fine

Same and I hope that, you know, in addition to like optimizing your LinkedIn profile, just know that it takes time to find a new role and when a new opportunity knocks the right opportunity for you may come in the middle of the year, and it may not come at an opportune time. Think about what's best for you in your life. If it's leaving in the middle of the year to take the next step for your future self do it. They will find a replacement for you.


Leslie Early

Alright, well again, thank you so much. I hope you have a good rest of your evening.


Elizabeth Fine

Thank you for having me, Leslie. I enjoyed it.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai