LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. Be it business networking, an online resume, job opportunities – your profile showcases you and your career. Many people, however, don’t know how to best use the site or understand and appreciate the potential it offers. Matt Davis is on hand to guide you
Are you using LinkedIn on a daily basis? It’s a widely held concept that most people are only using LinkedIn to find employment, but as a social media platform there can be huge benefits to making sure your profile is up to date and that you take the time to enhance your network wherever possible.
Increasing numbers of people are using LinkedIn to research not only the people they are looking to employ, but also the people they’re looking to do business with and one of the biggest advantages of LinkedIn can be not who you know, but who they know – the right introductions can be just around the corner, but before seeking introductions, here are some handy hints and tips to make sure you’re making the most of the opportunities that LinkedIn has to offer.
Use a professional profile pic
“A picture says a thousand words” – it’s only a cliché because it’s true! Use a head shot if possible and if you don’t have a professionally shot image, then try and stage one against a plain background, with good lighting – and a smartphone camera is fine, but try and get a nice close crop and remember to smile.
Make sure it’s filled in fully and chronologically and don’t be scared of selling yourself – showcase your strengths and highlight the things you excel at. Your opening line needs to be killer – it’s the first thing that anyone will see so give them a good reason to read the rest.
You don’t need to come across as super-corporate either – friendly and professional is fine but try and avoid sarcasm and ‘witty’ banter – humour is fine in the right context but be careful; what’s funny to you might not be funny to everyone.
Endorsements and recommendations
You’ll pick up plenty of endorsements organically – you’ll notice that every now and again someone will endorse you for one of your core skills and you’ll also find that if you endorse someone, they’ll probably do so back. Recommendations carry more weight though, so it’s a good idea to actively seek these out, as it’s ‘social proof’ of what you’ve achieved and what you’re capable of, as opposed to what you’re telling the world about yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask and you can always return the favour. Try for a balance between previous/current roles, as well as a mix of managers and colleagues.
Make that connection
LinkedIn is an amazing way to find that contact you’re looking for and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can be introduced to people in your wider network. If you’re looking for a new transport supplier for example, a quick search on LinkedIn will show you the people in your extended network with that job title. All you have to do then is look through your primary network for mutual connections and ask for an introduction. Much easier than starting from scratch and you’ll also be finding a recommended supplier, rather than taking a stab in the dark.
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