Although LinkedIn has been in our lives for several years now, not everyone understands its true value or how to use it. Some of you might even have a profile with just your name on it or those who log in once or twice per year. But, the time has demonstrated that when used the right way, this social network can become a very important asset for your professional growth. It can help you keep in touch with old colleagues, it can help you find that job you have always dreamed of, it can help you make new connections and expand your network.
In this post, we want to share with you some tips to create a powerful profile, understand why, how, and who you need to engage with and start growing your professional network.
The Power of LinkedIn
With over 740 million active users, LinkedIn leads the 2020 ranking for Digital Trust, way over Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube, meaning that out of the nine major social platforms, it is the one most trusted by its users.
The most recent statistics of this social network presents some interesting facts that are worth knowing:
- Its audience is built mostly by men between the ages of 25 to 49
- 49% of its users are people who earn over $75,000 annually.
- 51% of its users have at least a college degree
- 4 out 5 users are decision makers in their businesses
In other words, these are the people with who you want to connect. Not only they are the ones who can offer you a better work opportunity, but they can recommend you for other job offers. Having an online presence and engaging with the right people can open the doors to a world filled with career opportunities.
Using LinkedIn for Your Professional Growth
To help you make the most out of this social network, we crafted 6 tips that will help you make your profile more robust so it starts appearing in front of the right people.
1- Create a Powerful Profile
Consider this as your first impression, you need to make the most out of it. The first thing you should do is upload a professional profile picture, our best advice here is to use one in which you are wearing the appropriate clothing and with a neutral or office-like background. Make sure it is in high resolution and with natural soft light. Be the only one in the picture, and let your face take at least 60% of the frame, you want people to know exactly who you are.
Once you have the right picture, you need to work on your headline. Think of this as a 120-character elevator pitch. Some people like talking about what makes them different, others about the benefits they add to their customers, others about their role in a determined company. You choose whatever makes you comfortable, just try to avoid buzzwords, typos, and write something that catches the eye of the reader.
Now you have to start completing all the information related to your education and work experience. Take advantage of the description area to talk about your experience, the projects you worked on, and the results you got. When possible try adding a link or an attachment. Don’t forget to mention the different publications you have done, and the certifications and titles you have earned all along the way, as well as any volunteering experience you might have.
2- Connect With Others
Once you have completed filling out all the fields of your profile, you need to start sending connection invites. A good starting point is your friends and family, but as this is a social network for business, we suggest you continue with your co-workers (present and past), your classmates, and people you know from your industry.
A great idea is to send invites to those people who have shared posts you have found interesting. You can add a note saying how much you appreciated his comment and that you would like to connect so you can read more of his opinions.
If someone you don’t know sends you an invite, make sure to check his profile before you reject it. He/she might be a connection that is worth accepting.
Word of advice: when sending invitations to people you don’t know, try to add a short text of why you think you two should connect. You can mention what you do and how you can help each other. Personalize it.
Once you get 500 contacts you have reached the golden number for LinkedIn. From now on your profile will show a +500 next to your name and only you will be able to see the exact number of connections that you have.
3- Be Active
Just like any other social network, it is not enough just to have a profile on it, you need to actively participate by sharing content and engaging with posts from others. Share links with information relevant to your industry, share a comment about some recent study, share an update about your organization. The sky is the limit, just make sure it is relevant to your network.
Just a piece of advice, the ideal number of posts you should be doing on LinkedIn is 1 every business day. So try to arrange in your daily schedule spending time in this network, you can log in every morning, spend some time reading what your connections have posted and share an update.
4- Ask For Recommendations
Try asking for recommendations from different people you have worked with to give recruiters a better view of how you can execute different situations. You can ask your previous co-workers, managers, members of your team, clients, and senior leaders.
When you send them the request from LinkedIn, try adding some context of what you are looking for from their recommendation. Be as explicit as you can. For example, you can tell them to point out different skills that you have, how you handled a specific situation, or to talk about a specific project.
5- Follow Companies
One of the great benefits of LinkedIn is that you can follow a company and get notified about their updates on business opportunities, new features, announcements, and even job opportunities. Start by following those you think can be helpful for you, perhaps Indeed or Glassdoor are great options. Then, you can add those that share inspiring content such as TedTalks and Forbes. Later, you can add those that are the most followed like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft. Don’t limit yourself, if you want to apply for jobs in a determined industry then start following companies where you would like to apply.
6- Join Groups
One thing you should not miss from LinkedIn is the groups. Groups are the perfect place to connect with people, outside of your network, with similar interests. There are a lot of options out there, so make sure you have a list of topics you want to follow and look for groups related to them. There you will be able to share updates, ask questions, and read anything the other members post.
With these 6 steps, you will have a better chance of growing your professional network and reaching those people that can help you achieve all of your work-related goals.