LinkedIn is a professional networking site that enables you to interact globally with your connections and conduct research on companies and people.
You can also look for jobs advertised by other members, and find out who, within your network of connections, provides a link to a hiring manager in your target company.
Creating your LinkedIn profile and knowing how to interact with your connections effectively can seem a little daunting if you’re new to this amazing networking platform. However, with a little guidance, you’ll be an “All-Star” on LinkedIn soon!
It’s important to remember that this is not Facebook; it’s not for social banter. This site is for professional networking, building your personal brand, and developing authentic relationships with your professional connections.
The information you include in your profile or what you omit from your profile will affect your professional brand online.
This professional online network is a great place to showcase your achievements and build a network of professional contacts. However, as in all business situations, following the correct etiquette will ensure you present yourself in the most positive light.
Top 3 Tips for a Great LinkedIn Profile
1. Include a profile picture
As this is the first thing people notice when they visit your LinkedIn profile, take a professional-looking photo that reflects what you represent.
2. Craft a compelling headline/tagline
LinkedIn automatically populates this section with your job title at the company you work in. You can tailor this to be more compelling. Use the relevant keywords that will attract your desired audience. Have a look at the way I have structured the tagline in my profile.
3. Make your “ABOUT” section interesting
Your LinkedIn profile is not a resumé. It’s an opportunity to market your expertise. Consider carefully how you write your summary. Remember this is social media, and LinkedIn is for professional networking – people want to get to know the ‘real’ you, so make your ‘About’ section interesting!
There is much more you can do to ensure your LinkedIn profile engages your reader and plenty of actions you can take to leverage your profile to build your brand. However, if you get these top 3 things right from the beginning, you are making an excellent start.
Tailor your invitations to connect
When inviting someone to connect, please personalize your message. It’s almost rude not to and is a sign of laziness to send a generic invitation.
I tell people what to say when they request to connect with me – that way I KNOW if they have read my summary! Check out my summary section and read what I say here.
Unfortunately, I received hundreds of requests (and you’ll find that you will too) that either have no message at all or are generic messages that show that the request is coming from someone who has not even read my profile. Those generic requests sit, unanswered, in my inbox!
Use LinkedIn for Research
Follow companies of interest
Search for companies that are on your target list and click on ‘follow.’ You will then receive those company updates on your home page – new developments, when they are hiring, people on the move.
LinkedIn also tells you whom you may already be connected to in each company – this makes networking so much easier as you will notice that it’s not always ‘6 degrees of separation’ anymore. Usually, the degrees of separation are only 2 or 3, thanks to LinkedIn!
What Not to Do:
Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar.
When crafting and uploading the content for your LinkedIn profile, just as you would proofread your resume before sending it out, ensure you proofread your profile before making it visible to all.
Don’t add people you don’t know.
If you request a connection to a stranger you will devalue the real connections you have. Add only the people you truly have a real connection with or that you genuinely want to get to know. A large network is good, but they have to be of quality to you.
Some people feel that they want to have many connections, whether they have any idea who their connections are or not. The choice is yours BUT do think about what value you will gain from that connection and how you will be of value to them when making your decision to connect.