LinkedIn is the world’s largest networking platform, with over 660 million users, offering endless potential to connect & interact with contacts, co-workers, clients, and recruiters – not to mention find job opportunities.
It’s also an important professional tool to help build your brand, develop an online CV, and share/tap into industry news.
LinkedIn is powerful when used properly and can open doors in your career. It’s also free, which is a bonus!
Here are our top tips to use LinkedIn like a pro:
- Your online CV – Take the time to fill your profile out in detail and ensure the information matches your CV. Recruiters and hiring managers both look on LinkedIn for candidates, and to cross check applications, so you want your profile to be accurate and up to date.
- Complete your profile – LinkedIn’s profile builder will guide you from beginner, to intermediate to All Star but we suggest the below as a guide when building your profile:
- Add a professional photo of yourself. A photo helps to personalise and humanise your profile. Choose a personable, yet professional, headshot with a neutral/inoffensive background. Don’t use pictures where you are clearly socialising, drinking or have friends in the image.
- Write a summary of who you are, what you do/can offer and your experience. This is your online cover letter. Add all the relevant details about your career but ensure its concise. Don’t be afraid to include a little personality to showcase who you are. Highlight your achievements but don’t lie or stretch the truth.
- Write in the first person – Think I am, I have, I value, I’ve achieved … etc
- Upload examples of your work – This could include a link to an article you’ve written, flyer, infographic, video, report etc.
- Make sure your profile is public – In settings, select which sections of your public profile are visible. If you’re here to connect, there is no point being hidden!
- Connect with people you know – As a starting point, connect with people you know on LinkedIn be it alumni, trainers, friends, or community contacts.
- Next step… Network! – LinkedIn is a networking platform so don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with people of interest/from your industry. Have a game plan, and target the organisations, positions, locations, skills, or key people you want to build a relationship with. While there is a lot to be said about ‘quality over quantity’, once you reach 500+ connections, your profile will automatically rank higher in search results, making you more visible and findable.
- Share insights or stories by posting – LinkedIn is an excellent content distribution tool. Aim to post on regular basis and include relevant hashtags to ensure it will extend reach beyond your first-degree connections. Content could include industry experiences, ideas, a project you’re proud of completing, opinions on topical industry news or re-sharing other connection’s content adding your takeaways.
- Build your reputation with endorsements – A feature of LinkedIn is being able to give and receive endorsements & recommendations. The more endorsements you have it will bolster your profile and give anyone looking at it a sense of your experience, talents, and instant peer reviews.
- Keep it professional – While LinkedIn is considered a social media platform it should be treated very differently to Facebook or Instagram. Create a LinkedIn profile that focuses on your professional career, not private life.