LinkedIn is the career networking tool of choice for over 175 million individuals spanning 200 countries and territories. It counts all members of Fortune 500 companies as its members, and 85 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s corporate talent solutions. Research across 20 countries showed that 82% of participants made successful hires as a result of recruiting through LinkedIn as compared to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
However, do you really know how to leverage on the myriad of functions of ‘social networking for work’? Whether you are already in a comfortable job or actively looking for a new one, it’s never too early or too late to build up your profile. Here are our top 4 tips on how you can cut through the clutter and hit the main features on LinkedIn quickly and effectively.
Have a complete profile. Your LinkedIn profile is also your digital resume, which is like a passport that tells people where you’ve been and more importantly, where you can go. Having a photograph is something that most people neglect, but be mindful that in doing so, you’ll be in danger of being put aside as ‘just another faceless member’. Professional photographs should be used; a profile with a photo is also seven times more engaging than a profile without one. Additionally, utilize a resume builder to turn your LinkedIn profile into a word or pdf resume which can then be hosted on the cloud.
2. EXTERNAL VALIDATION
Having an impressive profile is only part of the equation, as this information is put up by you, not others. Industry connections are good way of supporting the roles displayed on your profile. LinkedIn discourages adding people that you don’t know and spamming them with invitations, but you are able to build your network through existing connections by being introduced to second or third-degree connections. People whom you’ve worked with on previous projects are also able to give detailed recommendations for each other. Also available is an ‘endorsements’ function, which is a simpler way of recommending someone for expertise e.g. in project management, market research, etc without having to type out a lengthy description.
3. INTERESTS AND KNOWLEDGE
Follow companies and groups. These provide an opportunity for people with similar interests to share news and trends as well as post questions and opportunities on a topic. By actively contributing to discussions, you increase your prominence and standing in the community as your responses are directly linked to your profile. This also gives others an idea of your interests and knowledge based on your past experiences.
4. PERSONAL BRANDING
A host of applications are available to LinkedIn users, most of which are free or can be purchased at minimal cost. While they often can be used to enhance your profile, experts warn of keeping such apps to about 5 to reduce clutter.
Our top 5 apps are (in no particular order) as follows:
Amazon’s reading list – Tell us what you are reading
Tripit – Organise and plan your business trip
Wordpress – Sync your blog
Twitter – Sync your twitter account
Slideshare – Share your presentations
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