Occupation: Manager, Corporate
“Learning these [ICT] skills will help women better prepare for the job market”
Looking for useful career advice? Look no further! We took a few moments to interview one of the leading ladies at LinkedIn – Danielle Restivo – and got some great tips on how YOU can get started on building your career, today! (with LinkedIn of course)
What is your current job title and what day-to-day activities does this job entail?
I’m currently Manager, Corporate Communications, Brazil and Canada at LinkedIn. I manage communications/PR, speaking engagements and act as spokesperson with media. I also regularly train journalists how to use LinkedIn to find story ideas, sources and to conduct research. I promote the benefits of LinkedIn for professionals and for companies looking to recruit top talent and market their brands through press releases, media relations and sharing member and customer success stories.
What is your educational background (if any)?
What experiences led you to your current position?
I’ve worked in public relations for over ten years now but my past positions were always with PR or marketing agencies. I’ve worked with a wide range of interesting clients including the Jamaica Tourist Board, CBC, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Gowling Lafleur Henderson (law firm), PEI Tourism, Samsung and Proctor and Gamble. I’ve done everything from media relations to event planning to communications strategy and crisis communications.
In recent years my focus shifted to social media marketing, and I helped my clients to better understand and strategize how to leverage social media to promote their brands and engage with customers. This was particularly interesting as I gained experience in online community management, marketing a brand using social platforms and best practices around internal social media guidelines. Having worked in both PR and social media marketing for various industries (including technology), I saw LinkedIn as a fantastic challenge for the next step of my career.
Check Out Danielle in action …
What was the most defining moment of your career?
In my most recent job before I came to LinkedIn I had the opportunity to plan and oversee (along with an amazing team) a brand ambassador program for my client, Samsung. It was called Samsung Mobilers and was executed almost entirely online. We did a country-wide search to find enthusiastic brand ambassadors who could test out a new Samsung smartphone and create unique content for the chance to win prizes. The program was a great success and I met some incredible people. I also learned from some early mistakes in the program and of course, corrected. These are lessons I’ve taken with me to my current position.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I love that I get to promote and act as spokesperson for a brand that is focused on making professionals more productive and successful. Through my daily activities I help professionals better understand how to create a strong profile on LinkedIn, find new career opportunities, grow in their current career and use networking online to their advantage. Every day I get the chance to teach professionals how leverage the power of LinkedIn to their benefit and witness their delight at their ability to take control of their professional brand.
What skills are most important for your role?
Strong writing and communication skills are key for my role. It is also important to be comfortable with public speaking and conducting interviews with media, as this is a regular component of my daily job as a spokesperson. If you work for a technology company it is also key to have a solid understanding of how social networks operate and how its users and members interact with those platforms.
There is a common misconception that ICT is boring; can you give us an example why your job is NOT boring.
LinkedIn as a platform is changing all the time. We’re constantly updating the site, adding new tools and listening to our members to understand what elements on the network will make them more productive and successful. This means that my daily work is also evolving. Every day I meet new professionals who I can share insight with about networking, gaining industry expertise and finding exciting new career opportunities. I believe that LinkedIn has the opportunity to change the world, and there is nothing boring about that.
Why do you think women are poorly represented in ICT jobs?
I think there is often a misconception that men would prefer to work in technology and that women may be more interested in the arts. I know many talented women working for tech firms or in technology marketing and they love their jobs. It’s also up to us as women to set an example for other women who are beginning post-secondary education or graduating from a college or university program. Technology is evolving rapidly and building skills relating to new technologies will be invaluable to professionals entering the workforce, regardless of gender. Women should know that there are countless opportunities open to them and to explore anything and everything that interests them in this field.
Why do you think girls should learn ICT skills?
Learning these skills will help women better prepare for the job market. The use of technology is a constant now and is changing all the time. Knowing key skills that relate to ICT will help women keep up with a changing industry and as new graduates will set them apart from other candidates. That being said, honing key skills such as writing, verbal communication and presentation skills will serve women well in whatever position they attain.
Can you list ‘5’ ICT jobs that you think our readers would love.
If our readers wanted to pursue a career like yours, what advice/resources would you recommend to them?
LinkedIn! Use LinkedIn to research positions you might be interested in. Look up professionals who have those positions to see what their education and work experience looks like so that you can better understand what it takes to fit that role. Research and join groups on LinkedIn that relate to ICT and the technology industry in Canada and learn from other women who work in this field. Build a strong professional profile that describes your specific achievements in this area and describe your passion for technology and why you want to work in ICT. Build a strong network that includes female mentors in the industry who can guide you as you look for your dream job. Your connections can be excellent resources as you pursue a career in this field – they can provide advice, make valuable introductions and recommend you for future jobs.
If you could conjure up one quote to inspire young women, what would it be?
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”