LinkedIn has been around for almost 20 years now and is a staple of how we navigate our careers, it’s a source of education, information, social proof and networking for many industries and everyone will tell you to be on it. Everyone will shout from the rooftops that you should have a profile but what next? As with anything it is not powerful by itself, it takes for us to do something specifically to leverage these powers. As with all social media, LinkedIn thrives on engagement and activity, so I have listed the top 9 things you should be doing today to leverage this platform:
Your headline is the biggest thing on the page besides your name. It should work like a mini-bio you have in other social media but towards your professional skills, roles and goals. This is searchable just like your name and first impressions are just as important offline as they are online. Do you want to list your projects, put your job role, note that you are seeking new opportunities? Who are you and why are you on LinkedIn?
Don’t be shy connecting
You don’t have to know people to reach out and connect with them. As with both, No spam! Always send a note with a connection request especially if you met in real life
- Known connections – Time is of the essence with face to face interactions. Switch on your Bluetooth and connect with those standing nearby.
- Unknown connections – Don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers with a note. Write with things you would share if you had met in real life including politeness and a greeting.
Recommendations are your friend
Give recommendations or recommend skills on other people’s profiles. This is how you pay it forward and give people an opportunity to describe your impact as a colleague, team leader, mentee, mentor or any other person they have interacted with in a professional setting.
Engage in different ways
Remember you can do more than just like and comment, there are several emojis you can select to give a fuller response. You can hit celebrate, love, insightful, curious by simply holding your finger over the like button. This sets the platform apart from most making it easier to strike a conversation on content posted and share your Worldview.
Mentors & Inspiration
Find and connect with those who inspire you. Mentors are everywhere and LinkedIn is still social media, albeit for your career and professional endeavours. Follow the groups and companies that inspire you, follow the thought leaders that provide consistent insight into your current industry or one you aspire to join.
Remember that the groups you are part of and companies you follow will be visible on your profile, so see them as a badge. This is why it’s important not to follow your current company’s biggest competitor.
Leverage your network
Pay attention to your network, especially if you know someone that works for the company you’re applying for drop them a message as you may have questions not answered on the job description e.g. how many black people are there? Do you feel included and able to thrive?
If you like their response, there is also an option for you to be referred which is a win-win as companies tend to have a healthy bonus for current staff-referrals which also helps them recruit more diverse candidates.
Refresh your skills as they will line up with job postings directly in some cases this is used as a measure of fit for a role. LinkedIn will surface roles that “match” your skills and when you apply it will tell you that you have 6 out of 10 of the skills required. This is visible to the recruiter also especially as it is social-proof of your skills (remember other people can hit +1 to up-vote the skills you note).
Ensure your privacy settings aren’t telling the world you’re looking for a new job, your headline describes you. You can have your job-hunting status show to everyone or recruiters only. Likewise, you can have notifications sent to your whole network every time you update something on your profile or not. On Top of this you can make your profile private or publicly visible to a google or linkedIn search.
Think carefully about this if you are looking to transition roles without your current employer being alerted.
Find out how effective your profile is
Linkedin has great advice during the onboarding with what it takes to have a profile that’s 100% complete but beyond this they have given a way to rate your profile and its effectiveness here https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi