April 8th 2019
How to get the most out of LinkedIn
by Mariela De La Mora Career Advice, Staffing and Recruitment Advice
Social media is now a massive part of most companies’ business plans, and as an employee your personal brand is key in standing out from the pack. Using all the features on LinkedIn can massively benefit your career.
But where to start? Panic not, for getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile can be easier than it seems. Just follow these simple steps:
It’s right at the top of your profile for a reason – it wants to be seen! But many people just leave it blank, missing an easy opportunity to tell someone viewing your profile who you are.
Nowadays many people skim read profiles and CVs so a good header will show who you are right from the off.
Your header should either be branded from your current company or represent your line of work. It might be a picture of you in action at your job, if you're really savvy you might add dates to an upcoming networking event you will be attending.
Basically anything but the standard LinkedIn default banner will help you stand out!
Oh, and while we’re talking photos – keep it professional.
Your headline is the statement that appears directly below your name in your profile. It describes who you are and more importantly, what you have to offer.
Here’s the thing – you have a whopping 120 CHARACTERS to play with when crafting your headline.
You are more than just your job title - so include more than just your job title. Consider it your personal brand, or a micro-statement of your specialisms.
Just like your header, you should update this regularly to reflect your career progression.
*cue the lights and motivational music*
Your summary sits below your headline and job title. This is your professional story; your superhero origin story. How you became to be the kick-ass, trailblazing expert in your field that you are today.
If you plan to use your LinkedIn in a sales or recruitment capacity, your summary should also emphasise what you can offer your prospects, and invite them to connect with you.
LinkedIn Pro Tip: “Don’t be afraid to invest some time, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing – and it’s worth the effort.”
Write recommendations. Rather than asking your contacts to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you, why not write them for key people in your network? They are likely to return the favour.Add Skills & Endorsements. Adding your most relevant skills to your profile provides a platform for your network to endorse those skills. Here’s how to add skills and make endorsements.
Sharing relevant content is one of the easiest ways to add value to your network, demonstrate your expertise and encourage discussion. Start by following companies and publications you admire, as they’ll not only keep you informed but will provide you with content to share.
Keep a close eye on your LinkedIn feed, and share content that you find genuinely interesting, that aligns with your point of view.
Don’t forget to include sharing and liking your company’s LinkedIn posts as appropriate! If nothing else, it will keep your marketing team happy and smiley.
Publishing your articles via the LinkedIn Publications section lends more to your credibility than anything on your profile.
Not only are your articles one of the first things people see when visiting your profile, but the audience is already there and waiting for great content.
As the old saying goes "show, don't tell". By offering something of value to your industry and your network you are showing you are an expert in your field and this will showcase your skills much better than a CV ever could.
Posting to LinkedIn has the potential to spark a conversation or inspire a prospective client or employer to reach out to you.
When someone first visits your profile, they see what you’ve shared and a timeline of EVERYTHING you have liked/commented on recently. Therefore, all that activity is public. So be mindful what you say, even if it’s on a friend’s profile, as it often publishes to your feed as well.
Your safest bet is to keep it positive and assume that all your activity will be public.
Following people on LinkedIn is a great way to start building a professional relationship with a potential new client or employer/employee.
Pro Tip: If you’re working on landing a new account or a high-value candidate, their feed will tell you a lot about their needs and interests. By making a meaningful and helpful comment, your name will begin to register with them, and you’ll have valuable insights to approach them with when you’re ready to officially add them on LinkedIn and engage one on one.
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