LinkedIn is the premier social networking site for people in business. Not just for looking for new job opportunities but for connecting and staying in touch with your network. So if you think you might like to move up or even along in your career anytime in your lifetime now is the moment to build and develop your LinkedIn profile; leaving it until you need to reach out is not the way to go.
Now is the time to address why you should be on LinkedIn, why you should commit to having a strong profile and to using this superb tool. This is not a ‘how to’ guide but a ‘why to’
It is your shop front
This is where people go to check you out before they meet you; this is where a Google search on your name will invariably bring people and of course, first and foremost this is now the first place people look when considering hiring anyone.
This is the ideal opportunity for you to display a strong and compelling profile that will lift you above the competition and offers you an opportunity to connect with a larger and stronger network than most people can achieve in person.
Not just for when you want a new job.
Even if you are a long way from wanting to move positions now is the time to jump on, develop a profile and really start to understand not only where you might like to work but with whom and doing what. Following companies and connecting with people in suitable companies now makes an approach down the line all the easier. More and more companies are realizing this is a great way to attract their kind of team member.
Work that profile
Make sure you include key words in your profile; search engines (including LinkedIn’s own one) will seek you out and offer you suggested positions and connections based purely on what you have put on there. I really believe this is not one you can outsource; it needs to be truly reflective of who you are and what you are about. My job necessitated a strong learning curve on this so that I could make sure my clients presented well; by all means have someone set up the basics if need be but make sure you are in the know so that you can make those essential changes to be fresh and engaging.
I often speak to people who feel anxious about the safety of LinkedIn and social media generally. I suspect that sometimes this is more about an excuse to not commit to something new that requires a strong learning curve. Social media is not going away any time soon so you may as well embrace it. Do not get left behind on this one.
The chances are very low that anyone negative would seek you out and annoy you (they would have to be on LinkedIn too) and you are missing the opportunity of being seen by the majority of good sorts often more than happy to help you along the way.
Give and thou shall receive
Some people join LinkedIn and then wait for something to happen for them. This is a tool; a service that can only come to life with your help. Often they say ‘I joined LinkedIn but nothing has happened’ well no it will not without some help from you, reaching out and connecting with people. The strongest message I can offer on accessing the advantages of LinkedIn is give if you want to receive. Get on groups and join in, offer opinions and suggestions and they will come back to you tenfold. Sadly there are some disappointing people that will take and take and ask for more but give nothing in return. Invariably they are ultimately frozen out; make sure that does not happen to you.
LinkedIn has some amazing tools to help you, learn about them and use them. Things like a compelling headline (use all the characters); little tweaks like tag lines for a website, the addition of engaging apps all bring a profile to life. The list goes on and as this is not a ‘how to’ I will move swiftly on.
Strength in your network
Connect with people, by all means be discerning but if you like what someone has said on a group perhaps drop them a note and connect. You really never know where that connection might lead (and if you find you do not really like them after all disconnecting is a discrete button press away). Connect with people who are connected to your connections. Oh you get the idea, if they are in a world you understand or one you want to understand then jump on in.
Do speak up at the back
Join groups that you feel will engage and inform you (again easy to leave if you wish to). Do join in and speak as this is good for building your profile and letting people know who you are; and of course wonderful for your debating skills. Follow companies that interest you and engage at every opportunity.
LinkedIn is an amazing platform and one that is committed to growth and dominance in the space. It is not ‘Facebook’ social; it is there to support you and your career. You may not reap any amazing rewards from having a strong profile but do you really want to take that risk?
If you are on LinkedIn do connect with me and of course if you want help getting a profile that works I am here for you.