Melanie’s Blog Post

On 7 February Melanie Hussell conducted an extremely informative webinar for IATEFL BESIG. To answer all the questions from our active audience, she has kindly agreed to share her responses here.

  1. Great for natives, but for ‘non-natives’ what else could be adding value to my profile? As a’ non- native speaker’ you have tons and tons of value to add to your profile. You know exactly how your students feel, as you were once in their shoes.
  2. I kind of have two jobs that I need to represent: my main job at an academic institution and my freelance job as an editor and trainer. I haven’t found a satisfactory way to combine the two on one profile. Do you have a suggestion, perhaps? It depends how you want to use your profile. I assume you want it to focus more on your freelance work and therefore I would adapt the content to show this, but also showing the solid academic foundation that you have. 
  3. What would be the things that you’d recommend us to avoid? Like top 3 or 4 points that we shall definitely NOT do. My top three tips to avoid are: having a poor photo, exaggeration, and complicated waffle.
  4. Melanie, what do you recommend for business English teachers without a business background? Focus on what you are really good at (is it HR or IT, pharma or banking, or negotiating or presentation skills. Highlight what differentiates you from the average teacher in your area. 
  5. Is it the same procedure of creating a profile for a simple teacher? I mean someone who is not a business owner. Yes, it’s exactly the same procedure. 
  6. Would you add qualifications you got under Accomplishments or Education? Eg. I have an ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). Where should I add this? I think you could put it under either. So, perhaps assess the balance with your other Accomplishments etc.
  7. Can you show how to EDIT the profile link to take out the numbers again?? I can’t find where to do it! Top right hand corner ‘Edit public profile and URL’. 
  8. Does high SSI make me more marketable or make more business? Absolutely not, but there is a direct correlation between successful entrepreneurs and those that have a high SSI. If you are new to LinkedIn, I would not focus on this.  
  9. Would you advise LinkedIn Premium? It is more expensive like Sales navigator which I also find too expensive. I don’t think it’s necessary to find clients, but one of the other teachers on the webinar believes that sales navigator is useful if you are really clear who you are targeting in terms of role and decision making power.
  10. How best to manage the transition from one clear profession to another on LinkedIn when you don’t want to lose contact with previous contacts but need to have a substantial enough profile in your new area of business? Excellent question and I’m not an expert in this area. However, my feeling is your profile should reflect what you are trying to do right now. So, your new area of business should shine and your previous profession fade into short sentences under ‘Experience’. 
  11. Can you do all these ideas with a free account? Yes, that’s good news!
  12. Did you separate your titles with a normal pipe? Or is that something LinkedIn supplies? No, I copied mine from someone else’s!
  13. I noticed your profile is in the 3rd person. Any comment on this? I feel as if it is more professional. 
  14. Does Melanie have any advice on approaching possible contacts we find on LinkedIn? No, sorry. Perhaps consider which sector, companies, departments and lastly individuals you would like to target.
  15. How can we understand how to technically do these things?  Is there something on LinkedIn that takes us step by step?? I don’t think so. But I promise you, it’s very simple. I could do it and I can hardly use my smart phone. The + symbol means you can add and the pen symbol you can edit. The only slightly techy bit is linking your site to your profile and a company page. Perhaps Google that. 
  16. How do you get people to write a recommendation?! Just like you would when asking for a reference. So, a phone call or email asking them first, and if they agree, I send a recommendation request afterwards.




The recording of this event is available in the members-only area.