In part 1, we covered a few basics for setting up your profile so that you return higher in search. We talked about how LinkedIn is a business essential tool for everyone. That’s because a well-completed profile can showcase who you are, what you’ve achieved and where you are headed next. The platform also connects you to other people, to rich insights and to opportunities. It forms an excellent complement to our NotACV technology platform and app that matches employers and grads.
So, how can you use LinkedIn to make your professional mark in the world? In this post we cover a few more basics and our focus is on networking and using LinkedIn as a publishing tool.
- Build your network through Connections
Professionals draw on their networks to be the most effective they can be, and to keep up to date on relevant and topical issues. LinkedIn has digitized this. LinkedIn offers us a living, breathing network through the connections we make. Connections can be suppliers or thought leaders in your industry, peers, mentors, current and potential clients and employers. Ideally you will align your connections with your business or career aspirations and goals, and your interests. What network do you want to build? And for what purpose?
Think about the different professional interest groups that are relevant to you and your work. Always personalise your request as this tells the person where you think the common interest sits and should improve the chances of you connecting with the right people. Additionally, it shows a measure of respect for the person whose network you would like to join.
- Build your credibility through Recommendations
LinkedIn offers a reservoir of information for others to size you up. Recommendations are great way to put your best foot forward. With Recommendations, your audience can view what the recommendation says about you, but also the profile of the person recommending you. Who are they? What do they do? Who are they connected to? These layers add richness to your profile and can positively shift opinions and decisions.
Exploit LinkedIn to raise awareness of what you bring to the world – your notable or unique strengths and achievements. Make it effortless for readers to form the right opinions about you by requesting recommendations from a variety of different people. As with Connections, always personalise your request.
- Build your presence through sharing and engagement
Why would you post updates, or engage with content shared? It’s quite simple really – activity keeps you top of mind in your network. What you engage with also signals your professional focus, values and interests over time. If you come across information that you believe is useful to your network, (for example this blog!), consider sharing it so that others can benefit from it. The news and information you see on your home page is all the information others have shared. That’s a living, sharing network.
- Showcase your thinking
The option ‘write an article’ allows you to publish your own content to LinkedIn. You will see this option on the home page.
As with updates, make sure your content is useful for your audience and don’t make it overly promotional. A good way to start is to look at what others have published. Summarise other points of view, key insights from an event or top-notch articles you have read. This shows your reader that continuing professional development is important to you. That could stand you out from the crowd … especially in times where we are seeing each other less at events and ‘at work’. LinkedIn offers a help section if you get stuck.
What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? It’s time to write your own story.