These days, LinkedIn is so much more than an online resume. It’s a publishing platform, a source of great content, a way to keep up to date with connections… and of course a great way hear about new job opportunities.
Despite the great possibilities, the power of LinkedIn is still lost on a lot of people.
Every time I log on to LinkedIn there is a 90% chance my feed will be dominated by the “power users” in my community. And guess what? They aren’t members of our social media savvy generation!
Clearly there’s a great opportunity here for young professionals to get more out LinkedIn.
Next time you find yourself absentmindedly scrolling through your Facebook feed, or looking at your lucky friends basking in the European sunshine on Instagram, stop! Head over to LinkedIn and use these tips to start building your LinkedIn cred. Trust me, a combination of effort and perseverance can go a long way!
Don’t skim over the basics
Before you get started, don’t expect to get great things out of LinkedIn if you haven’t made the effort to fully build your profile. It’s amazing how many people miss the basics like profile image, have a unique URL (like https://au.linkedin.com.au/phoebevertigan, a great headline and full work details.
(Here is the headline I’m currently using – I like to do a bit of testing to see what works best! Instead of simply using my job title, I’ve tried to sum up what I do in clear key words, so that someone viewing my profile knows exactly what I do. Also note the unique URL in the bottom right corner)
Make valuable connections
One of the most controversial things about LinkedIn is the etiquette of adding connections. While this topic divides a lot of people, I believe that if a potential connection is valuable or meaningful, then it can’t hurt to ask!
When adding new connections, I generally follow a few key rules:
- Don’t make “cold requests”, unless there is a good reason. By cold request I mean someone you don’t know and have never met. However, if I have been chatting to someone on social media, meet them fleetingly at an event, or are a member of a common group or organisation, then I’ll send them a request if I would like to keep in touch.
- If you are making a request that’s less than lukewarm, don’t just send the usual “Hi Phoebe, I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn”. Nothing annoys me more than this! If I’m reaching out to someone, I’d add in a little personalization, for example:
Hi Joe. I have been following your blog for a while now, and share your interest in digital marketing. I would love to connect on LinkedIn so I can keep up to date with your activities. Cheers, Phoebe
Hi Joe, I really enjoyed your presentation on Tuesday night on how to use LinkedIn. I would like to connect to see what you do next! Hope to chat soon, Phoebe
You get the picture… a little love goes a really long way. And if someone makes the effort to write back to your little message, perfect! You have already started the conversation… who knows where it could lead!
Handy hint: if you want to send a personalised LinkedIn request, make sure you view their profile, and send the request that way. You can’t send a personalized request from the “People You Might Know” page. Thank me later!
LinkedIn is no longer a boring social resume for white collar workers.
What does this mean for you? It’s time to get a bit of personality into your profile. Even if you are a graduate at a huge financial services company, it doesn’t mean that your personality has to go out the window as soon as you log on to LinkedIn (of course, it is a professional platform, so don’t get too carried away).
If you have completed your profile then you are off to a good start. By filling in your interests, extra-curricula activities and work history, people viewing your profile will start to get a better picture of you.
It’s important to let your summary shine. Scrap the boring corporate jargon if you can, and talk about what you do. Even if you feel like all you have to offer is a perfectly made folder, complete with a well formatted index (or perhaps that was just my grad year?!) you are project managing, delivering on time, assisting senior members of staff… and more! If you are at the start of your career, strip it back to the basics of what you deliver, and tell your story.
Another great way to get more out of LinkedIn is by taking the time to properly engage with your connections. We are all so used to simply liking our friends updates, but on LinkedIn a simple like can be a huge wasted opportunity. Take the time to write a short note to a colleague with a new job, or think of a thoughtful comment to put on a friend’s job anniversary. Remember, getting more out of LinkedIn is about creating opportunities, so don’t miss the easy ones!
Perhaps I have saved the most obvious, but important, point until last.
Don’t just passively consume information on LinkedIn. If you have read a great article, that’s informative or is relevant to your professional network, share it with your connections. Include a thoughtful comment. Repeat. Sharing great content on LinkedIn is a great way to start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your area… it’s never too early!
If you are interested in writing, or perhaps know one topic really well, why not publish your thoughts? Even if you have been thinking about blogging, but haven’t committed to starting your own site, it’s a great way to dip your toes in the water. And with LinkedIn publisher now open to everyone, its popularity and power is on the rise… so don’t miss the opportunity to get a broader reach than ever before.
What do you think? Do you have a great LinkedIn tip you would love to share? I would love to hear it! Comment below or get in touch via social media or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want some more LinkedIn hints? I am currently putting the finishing touches on my eBook to help you build and create a powerful LinkedIn presence. It’s free, and will be live in a couple of weeks, so make sure you check back soon to get your hands on a copy!
Until next week!