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Robin Phillips shares LinkedIn strategies for the business beat

Robin J Phillips teaching LinkedIn for Journalists

Robin J. Phillips stressed that LinkedIn is especially useful for business journalists. Photo: Kelly Carr

Robin Phillips, the web managing editor of the Reynolds Center and adjunct journalism professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, detailed ways financial journalists can utilize LinkedIn on the business beat.

Phillips told a group of journalists gathered for the Strictly Financials and Business Journalism Professor Seminars that the career-building website can be used to promote and brand themselves, as well as to find sources and contacts for stories.

“I moved to several different jobs across the country,” Phillips said. “But I could bring all my colleagues with me using LinkedIn.”

According to Phillips, the 135-million-user résumé and social media website is user-updated, very portable, and well-sorted by company, industry and geography. All these features help create a user-friendly and professional-focused network.

Here are some of Phillips top tips for how business journalists can effectively use LinkedIn:

  • Maintain a current profile even if you are not actively looking for a job. This keeps your coworkers, employers, sources, etc., updated.
  • Have a complete profile. This includes your work background, skills and connections.
  • Don’t cut-and-paste your résumé. Give your work history personal flair.
  • Make your profile public. LinkedIn is a professional network serving the purpose of communication and job-hunting, public disclosure is essential.
  • Recommend people, but avoid recommendation “swapping.” It is acceptable to write recommendation for someone who has asked for one from you, as long as the letter is genuine.
  • Join groups and discussion boards. Joining groups allows users to discuss issues of interest and share information.
  • Keeping non-professional accounts separate from LinkedIn. This prevents people from intruding your personal life, and helps you build a completely professional image.

Phillips also suggested journalists explore LinkedIn’s advanced search tool, which allows users to identify people by skills, language, location, etc. This comes in handy when journalists need employees or sources with particular backgrounds.

Check out Parts I and II of Phillips’ presentation:

In Biz Journalism Professors, Career tips, Reynolds Week, Strictly Financials Seminar.

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