How to make LinkedIn work for you! Part 1

BY HANNIFFA PATTERSON

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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LinkedIn , around since 2002, is somehow seen as the least sexy of the social networks. Less of a fun time than the other social networks, it is also often the most neglected — with individuals focusing a lot more on their Instagram, Facebook and even Twitter accounts.

However, LinkedIn should not be overlooked.

It is the only social network designed specifically for the business community and is essentially a social network of professionals. It is a platform where professionals can share their expertise and skills, recruiters can use it to search for and recruit talent and jobseekers can use it to put their best foot forward, be seen and reach out to companies and individuals from some of the world's top companies.

In essence, though it may seem like a bit more work, and less exciting than an hour spent on Instagram, if you own a business or a have a job - you should be on LinkedIn.

Of the 500 million LinkedIn users, 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions.

In addition, LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 companies.

However I've discovered that the the average person knows little to nothing about LinkedIn, how to use it, or how to make it work for them. In an effort to respond this, here are a few essential LinkedIn best practices.

 

1. FILL IN YOUR PROFILE PROPERLY AND COMPLETELY

This seems quite obvious, but so many people, never make the time to fill out their profiles completely. The information required is not by chance and is what LinkedIn feels will help with search and also give a better clue into who you are as an professional.

According to LinkedIn, a completed profile is 27 times more likely to appear in recruiter searches and gets up to 3 times more profile traffic from search, feed and my network.

So, take an afternoon, and complete the necessary.

 

2. USE A HIGH QUALITY, PROFESSIONAL-LOOKING HEADSHOT

Humans are highly visual beings. Today with the flood of content online, you need to not only be present, but to stand out. One simple way of doing this is having a good quality profile photo, preferably a headshot — a clear, sharp, photo, thats not pixelated or “grainy”and doesn't have another person in the background.

For those who are in a more creative sphere of work, still keep it simple, but maybe use bight colors or take advantage of the portfolio or background photo to let your creativity shine.

 

3. WRITE A GOOD SUMMARY

The summary is probably one of the most essential parts of your profile, along with your photo. It's here that you will, in a paragraph or few, share who you are to entice the reader to reach out with an Inmail (LinkedIn messaging) or to send a request to be able to see your more detailed profile.

Think of this area as what you'd tell your dream recruiter if they asked you to summarise who you were professionally, but didn't want a CV, or maybe as an elevator pitch, that wasn't limited to two minutes.

Use the space well. Show the your best skills, write in first or third person and make sure it has good grammar.

 

4. SHOW YOUR SOFT SKILLS

So many people have a Bachelor's, or a a particular qualification, but what makes you stand out? What about your other skills? Did you volunteer at a camp for two summers, are you a member of Toastmasters international?

These activities give insight into your leadership qualities and personal value system.

So fill in the section that asks for this information.

 

5. GIVE AND ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS/ENDORSEMENTS

Don't be afraid to ask a past colleague who you've worked with on a project for a recommendation. But, don't wait until you are only job hunting to do so, as it will seem as if you are only reaching out for help when needed.

In addition, recommendations are time marked, so FIVE recommendations all at once, three days before your interview, won't look good.

Look out next week for part 2 of this article.

 

 


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