LinkedIn is a fantastic way to widen your business network, build up business connections and even find you a new job. In this day and age it’s the norm to have your own LinkedIn profile. However, simply having an account just isn’t enough anymore. Here are our top tips on how to maximise your profiles potential.
1) Picture perfect. People like putting a face to a name, and this particularly applies to LinkedIn. To personalise your account you need to have a profile picture but more importantly this picture needs to represent you in the right way. Ensure you look professional and smart but make sure you are smiling to indicate your friendly nature. No one wants to connect with your passport photo.
2) Sum it up. LinkedIn allows you to provide a brief summary of yourself and this is a great way for you to maximise the opportunity for potential employers to find you amongst their searches. Outline your current position, what you are interested in and should you be openly searching for jobs, this is the place to advertise it. However, be sure to maintain professionalism. If your current employer isn’t aware that you are looking to move on, don’t broadcast it.
3) Be open to connections. LinkedIn specifies that you should only connect with individuals that you know on a personal level. However, abiding by this limits your network. Within reason, be open-minded to connecting with new people as they could be potential employers, headhunters or someone in the role that you are after. You never know how your connections could help you and remember a lot of the time it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.
4) Elaborate. LinkedIn is ultimately an online platform for your CV so it is essential to include all of your previous employment and relevant experiences. For a more engaging profile however, you should list the responsibilities you held in your previous jobs as well as the tangible outcomes you achieved to demonstrate your employability. Warning: be sure to respect any confidentiality agreements you have signed.
5) Give praise where praise is due. LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to boost your profile. They show your professionalism, skills and experience as well as providing an eye-opener into what you are like to work with. In order to receive recommendations you should be willing to recommend others but be honest with your praise and don’t feel pressured to paint an inaccurate picture of an individual.
6) Group together. Joining relevant groups is a great way to extend your LinkedIn network and meet people who may be able to help further your career. Join your University group, your degree discipline group, the group for your career field and any groups to do with your interests and expertise. Not only can this help widen your network but it could also increase the likelihood of recruiters finding your profile.
7) Activity leads to engagement. Like Facebook, the more you post, comment and like things on your LinkedIn newsfeed the more interesting your account is. Look to post relevant articles from your profile and comment under other peoples posts in order to show your interest and facilitate discussion. The more active you are the more you will get out of your profile.
8) Keep in the loop. If you are thinking about changing jobs, your career or taking up new opportunities, following companies and organisations that you are interested in is your way forward. Most companies are vigilant to keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date with their recent news and particularly job vacancies so this is a great place for you to be in the know about any developments.
9) Don’t be a stranger. Whilst generally social media stalking is considered to be taboo, the tables are turned with LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you the option to remain anonymous so that people can’t see when you have viewed their profile but it’s a good idea to reveal your identity. This could mean for example that when you are looking at the profile of the managing director of the company you want to work for, they are directly notified of your interest and may remember your profile when they read your CV or application.
10) Showcase your skills. List your skills and expertise and reorder them according to importance. In terms of endorsements, the more you have, the more professional your profile will look. Take the same approach as with recommendations and endorse others frequently for skills, which you genuinely believe they have demonstrated and in return you should see endorsements flooding in.
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