Most of us are on social platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, GitHub, ZoomInfo, to name but a few. One platform stands out, particularly for networking, job search, personal branding, and sales — I’m talking about LinkedIn, which has become an essential tool for professionals in today’s digital age.
LinkedIn is important for several reasons:
- Professional Networking: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 774 million users. It provides a platform for professionals to connect with each other, share their skills, and build relationships.
- Job Search: LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers. It allows users to search for job opportunities, apply for positions, and get recommended for jobs based on their skills and experience. It also allows recruiters to search for potential candidates, making it easier to find qualified applicants.
- Personal Branding: LinkedIn allows users to create professional profiles showcasing their skills, experience, and accomplishments. This can help them build their personal brand and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
- Industry Insights: LinkedIn provides access to industry news, trends, and insights. Users can join groups and follow influencers to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.
- Business Development: LinkedIn provides a platform for businesses to connect with potential customers, partners, and suppliers. It allows companies to showcase their products and services, and build relationships with other professionals in their industry.
Here’s how to ensure you make the most of your profile on the platform:
1. Fill in your details
This is really simple but can be time-consuming. Put as many 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 keywords. Make sure you put buzzwords and lots of industry jargon on there. The location is also very important, as recruiters look for potential candidates close to the client’s site first.
2. Upload a photo
Stick a mug shot on there, and 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. Remember that you need to keep a healthy balance between your online presence and 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 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 company 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 been 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 something randomly assigned like 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 accessible outside of LinkedIn.
9. Use Applications
Applications, this is slightly more advanced but basically means plugins to your LinkedIn experience, just like an 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!