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LinkedIN for Networking

Ever wonder how to use social media to network? Professionally, we've had LinkedIn to enable us to reach out exponentially. Beyond having an optimized professional profile, this article provides an overview of the immense tool we have access to, built into LinkedIn just waiting for us to use it.


Begin with an Optimized LinkedIn Profile

•        Professional Profile Picture: Use a high-quality, professional photo (head and shoulders only, just you in the photo).

•        Compelling Headline: Create a headline that clearly states your career goals. Example for a college IT graduate: "Aspiring Cybersecurity Specialist | Information Security | Risk Management."

•        Summary Section: Write a strong summary that highlights your skills and expertise. For newbies, you may include education, certifications.

•        Experience and Education: Ensure your work experience (and internships), projects, and education are complete and up-to-date.

•        Skills and Endorsements: List relevant skills and get endorsements from colleagues, peers, supervisors, connections.


Build Connections

•        Connect with colleagues: Start by connecting with peers, professionals, uni alumni, etc.

•        Join Relevant Groups: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry.

•        Attend Virtual Events: Participate in webinars, virtual meetups, and conferences related to your field and connect with attendees.

•        Follow Industry Leaders: Follow thought leaders, companies, and influencers in the industry.


Engage with Content (e.g. ‘Working it’)

•        Share Insights and Articles: Regularly share articles, insights, and news related to your industry.

•        Comment and Engage: Comment on posts from industry leaders, join discussions, and add valuable insights.

•        Publish Posts: Write and publish posts or articles about topics related to your industry.


Reach Out

•        Personalized Connection Requests: Send personalized connection requests, explaining why you want to connect and to add value.

•        Informational Interviews: Request informational interviews with professionals in your field to learn about their career paths and gather advice.

•        Thank-You Notes: After connecting or receiving help, send thank-you messages to build rapport.


Utilize LinkedIn Features

•        LinkedIn Learning: Take advantage of LinkedIn Learning courses to further enhance skills and add them to your profile.

•        Recommendations: Request recommendations from peers, supervisors, connections (if a graduate: professors, classmates, and any internship supervisors) to build credibility.


Be Consistent and Follow-Up

•        Regular Activity: Stay active on LinkedIn by regularly updating your profile, sharing content, and engaging with connections.

•        Follow-Up: Follow up with new connections and maintain relationships by periodically checking in and sharing relevant information.

 

LinkedIn Message Sample: Request to Connect


Subject: Connecting with a [industry you have in common]


Message:

Hi [Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [your name], and [what you have in common or the field you’re in ]. I came across your profile while researching professionals in [field] and was impressed by your experience at [Company/Organization].


I am eager to connect with industry professionals like yourself to learn more about career paths and gather advice as I begin my journey in [career]. I would greatly appreciate any insights you can share about the industry and your experiences.


Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to connecting with you.


Best regards,


[your name]


MORE WAYS TO MAKE LINKEDIN WORK FOR YOU:

 

Customize Your LinkedIn URL

Studies have shown that 93 percent of recruiters will search for your social media profiles after they review your resume. Make it easy for people to find and connect with you by customizing your profile’s public web address. Click on the following link for instructions on how to customize your LinkedIn profile URL: http://bit.ly/1Ma3WtB.

  

Add Media Samples to Your Profile

There is no better way to give employers a better sense of your accomplishments than showing them visual samples of your achievement. You can provide samples of your work by adding links and uploading presentations, videos, and images to projects you have worked on that demonstrate your expertise and skills.

 

Request Recommedations:  Give them to Get them! 

How many times have you asked your friends for a recommendation on a product or checked out a company’s reviews on Yelp before purchasing an item? As humans, we often make decisions based upon what is known as social proof. The same process goes on for hiring decisions. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals are on the lookout for “social proof” of your talents. LinkedIn recommendations are a perfect opportunity to share reviews from your former employers, managers, peers, direct reports, customers, and clients.

 

Click on the following link for step-by-step instructions on how to request a recommendation: http://bit.ly/1JJgtmn. For more tips on how to select and approach the right people for your recommendations, visit http://bit.ly/1Sekv9p. 

 

Join LinkedIn Groups

Join and actively participate in LinkedIn groups that are specific to your industry and field. Recruiters are notorious for trolling these groups in search of qualified candidates. Do not forget to join any alumni groups that exist for your alma mater or previous employers. Click on the following link to learn more about joining LinkedIn groups: http://bit.ly/1QHSHbJ.


LinkedIn for Job Search

Over 90% of recruiters indicated that they review a candidate’s LinkedIn Profile after reviewing their resume, but before they decide to call them in for an interview. Your LinkedIn Profile is often used as a tie breaker between you and others. Many internal and external recruiters use LinkedIn to communicate with candidates on open positions. Before actively using LinkedIn for your job search be sure to:

     ∆ Keep your profile up to date.

     ∆ Display a comprehensive overview of your current skills and objectives.

     ∆ Highlight your recent experience.

 

You can use LinkedIn to assist in your job search in a variety of ways:

    ∆ Let recruiters know you’re open to new positions: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/67405?hiptopic=feed&hcppcid=IPH-SEARCH


TIP: Influencer

If you are interested in becoming an influencer on LinkedIn, it could enhance your professional brand throughout your company, industry, and network. Many influencers on LinkedIn also receive desirable job opportunities, based on their notoriety associated with their platform.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not need tens of thousands of connections on LinkedIn to be an influencer.  Here are some ways to generate more views of your LinkedIn Profile and increase your exposure:

 

TIP: Publish Articles

∆ Becoming a publisher on LinkedIn can be a powerful way to reach your target market and generate new leads and interest in you as a potential candidate.

∆ The new platform promises to match the post’s topic with users who share an interest in that vertical.

∆ It also gives you greater exposure to your current network given every post is distributed to their news feed and displayed within their notification settings (located at the very top of their LinkedIn profile).

 

TIP: Post Status Updates

∆ Share regular updates (daily or weekly) of your thoughts, blog posts, videos, original work, and other compelling content.

∆ This positions you as a thought leader with insight to share.

∆ Helps you stay top of mind for referrals, or when someone in your network needs your expertise or service.

∆ Creates a regular cadence of information for your network, and your profile will become a destination for these insights.

 

 TIP: Voice Your Opinions

While staying away from extremely controversial topics such as politics and religion can be advised in any professional setting, you can find success discussing your opinions in other areas.  Is everything done one way in your industry?  If you believe that the status quo is not helpful, sharing your thoughts on improvements or changes to make things better can garner positive attention. Asking thoughtful questions and voicing your opinions helps others see you as an influencer.

 

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