2017 is the year to get organized and ready to set your career path. Whether you are a working professional, just getting started off or even a senior executive – LinkedIn is highly beneficial for all.
People forget to understand the true power of a social network. We attempt to play our cards right in front of people who we barely know. Much of the time spent on trying to introduce yourself, could have been spent in a better way – which is to actually benefit from knowing someone.
This is where LinkedIn comes into play. Like Facebook, it is easy to get to know about a person just by looking at their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn gives a deeper look into a person because you are not looking into their pictures, family and friends, but into what they have been doing throughout their life.
From where and what someone has studied to their first position and where they stand now. LinkedIn is an excellent way to show the world where you started from, what you have achieved and where you would like to be in the next 5-10 years. It is easier to access than your resume or CV and can be a greater tool for effective outreach, if used correctly.
Mentioning your LinkedIn profile on a resume is highly recommended, too!
Invest in Your LinkedIn Profile
It may be easy to say, but harder to do for sure. But really do take out the time to put value into your LinkedIn profile. Remember, if your LinkedIn profile and resume look exactly the same, there is something wrong here.
You are the only person who can truly describe yourself to the world and this is your chance.
Make sure your picture is professional and not just a random click from the New Year party. Your display picture is the only one people will see and be able to judge you right then and there. Make a lasting impression and show your dedication towards a professional profile.
The information you provide should be accurate, recent and written in a conversational tone. Depict to the reader why you are different, hold value in your education and experience and should be connected with. The art of getting people to connect and network with you on LinkedIn is not in where you’re currently working, but demanding respect and attention through your choice of words and actions.
Employers are abundant on LinkedIn. Prior to LinkedIn taking over the professional scene, employers were known to be checking Facebook and other social accounts of prospective employees. It is now common practice to search for candidates on LinkedIn and even judge their potential of being shortlisted based on their profile.
Having a few testimonies about yourself on LinkedIn from other people in your professional network is always a good idea. You don’t have to have everyone writing a recommendation. Only those who really matter in a specific time and place you have been.
Some recommendations which really matter on LinkedIn:
- Professors and Classmates for Educational History
- Line Managers and Supervisors for Current and Past Positions
- Friends who have known you longer than a couple of years
Each and every single one of those people will have a different story to tell about you. This is what makes LinkedIn absolutely more interesting than a plain old resume.
Asking the above mentioned people to write a recommendation for you is the right way to go. If asked nicely, most people shouldn’t have a problem in doing so, but they also need to have a profile on LinkedIn as well!
When you have a good profile all set up, next comes making some connections. Like other social networks, LinkedIn unfortunately too has become bombarded with fake and malicious profiles. It is pretty easy to spot a fake profile and should be avoided at all costs.
The reason behind this is to give off the impression of professionalism. It is important to remember that LinkedIn is there for one purpose only – to professionally network with others. For everything else, there is a huge variety of platforms available such as Facebook.
Send connections to people who matter to you, are leaders in your field and may have value to add in your career advancement interests. People will also be considering the same when adding you, which is why I stressed the fact of investing in your profile. No matter where you are in your career, a great looking profile will always be appreciated.
Build Your Portfolio
Other than recommendations, the ability to promote your projects and work history is easy and highly effective. Show your accomplishments and prospective employers may even begin reaching out to you. Again, this comes under the banner of investing in your profile, which is always a daunting task – with many benefits.
Target and Engage
You will come in contact with some people who really interest you. They may be highly placed individuals in the corporate and public sector, making engagements with them very sought after. The fact that they are on LinkedIn shows their willingness to engage with the right people. So do not, at any cost, just approach people randomly and expect favors. This is what most people get wrong with LinkedIn.
The more well-known someone is, the more that person is approached. Keep that in mind when beginning to write a personal message on LinkedIn. Try to be innovating and creative to capture the interest of that person who has very limited time at hand. This can also mean proving your uniqueness through LinkedIn posts and information sharing.
Employers and other professionals always have their own interests in mind first. This is human nature. You have to develop a pitch, specific to every targeted individual and play it out slowly. Develop and nurture a relationship. Only when the time is right, should you make a move to capture the opportunity.
Any image or profile you create on LinkedIn will always be associated as your brand. Make sure you treat it well, otherwise your reputation on the social site will be tarnished forever, so will your dreams of capitalizing on LinkedIn connections.
Stay updated with what your connections are saying and doing. This will allow you to leverage mutual interests and goals with the other person while building a relationship for the long run.
Are you active on LinkedIn and have benefited from the social network? We’d love to hear your experience and share with the world so they too, can get on-board LinkedIn!