Most of us are on networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Xing, Ecademy, Experteer to name but a few. These networks have quickly become a directory for employers, customers, friends, foes etc to look you up. Make sure you optimize your visibility, allowing you to be next up for a promotion, pay hike or even a new job altogether.
1. Fill in the information
This is really simple but can be time consuming. Put as much details on your profile as you can, including work experience, education, relevant associations, hobbies etc. HR people and recruiters use LinkedIn for candidate searching and they do it by key words. Make sure you put buzz words and lots of industry jargon on there. The location is very important as well, as recruiters look for potential candidates close to the client’s site first.
2. Upload a photo
Stick a mug shot on there, put a face to a name. Everyone has at least one good photo of themselves, make sure it goes up. If you really don’t have one, put your company logo or something else up to make it personalized.
3. Connect more
Make a habit out of asking to connect with people you deal with on a daily basis, as you never know when these close contacts will come in handy. Furthermore, try to connect to as many customers as possible, in order to create more awareness and to sell yourself rather than your product or service.
4. Get Involved in groups and discussions
This is essential if you want to keep a high profile. This means you will ask questions, answer questions, link up news articles and other relevant information and you could even moderate a group. If you add value to others, you will be noticed by people in your industry. Just remember that you need to keep a healthy balance between online presence and actually doing your work, you don’t want to be seen wasting work time on LinkedIn.
5. Get Recommendations
Having other professionals vouch for you is very powerful. People to ask are your counterparts (i.e. your customer or supplier), colleagues, your manager and even friends if it is relevant. Some employers who will not consider applications from individuals with anything less than 10 recommendations on LinkedIn. Getting people to do this for you is not difficult, it is all about timing – the time to ask is just when you have done somebody a favor.
Research people. Use LinkedIn to your advantage and always check up on the recruiter you work with, hiring managers in the company and even potential future colleagues. You can bet your bottom dollar they are doing the same.
Related: How To Get More LinkedIn Recommendations.
6. Check out a Company’s Stats and Trends
On the company pages you can find out what a company does, how many people they employ, how many connected employees etc. For instance, you can see if they have hired or fired recently as well as where these people came from/went to. If you see a wave of professionals jumping ship, you might want to reconsider that offer.
7. Visibility settings
Be aware of these. Every time you look at a profile, this person can see that you paid a visit. It is recommended you change this setting to invisible as checking out a potential interviewer 5 times in one day may look a bit odd.
8. Personalize your LinkedIn page
There is an option of making your public profile have your name in the URL. For instance, instead of www.linkedin.com/67w84rj32wef09 you can change it to www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith. Be aware that this is also open to Google and other search engines, as it becomes your public profile which is accessible outside of LinkedIn.
9. Use Applications
Applications, this is slightly more advanced but basically means plugins to your LinkedIn experience just like a app on your iPhone. You can browse through these and find the ones relevant to you. If you travel on business, there is an application called Tripit that tells your connections where you are. If you are a keen reader, there is a reading list from Amazon and if you are a blogger, there is an application allowing you to post directly to LinkedIn.
By using these tips you will become a deft online networker and this will help you in your current job as well as open you up to new ideas and opportunities. May the powers of LinkedIn reward you handsomely for your efforts!
OK, now it’s your turn to tell me what should be number 10?