LinkedIn is a powerful social media tool which serves to enhance your professional life. If you know about LinkedIn but do not know where to start, or need to refresh your knowledge on how to build a strong LinkedIn account, look no further than this blog post!
LinkedIn is a really effective way to network online, because it’s built for that purpose. In today’s day and age, it is perfectly normal to ask for someone’s LinkedIn. Chances are, they have a LinkedIn profile, and will want to connect with you if you stood out to them in-person, or if you messaged the person online and you want to engage in formal and professional discussions.
Networking is a great way to improve your communication and people skills, to learn more about the work a person does, build professional relationships, and to learn about future opportunities. Always remain professional, be respectful, try to reply timely and, as with real-life conversations, be as straightforward as possible so that the person’s attention in you does not sway.
It’s important to be accurate on LinkedIn. It’s ideal, especially if you want to make a good impression on someone such as an employer, to display honesty and accuracy on your profile and on your posts. This is also a really simple way to earn the trust of the people you connect with, because you will come across as a genuine person.
Accuracy is also important if an employee does a screening of you when you apply to a job. They will know what jobs you have done, or where you have studied, because they can access this data if you have consented to it when applying to a job.
It’s a very good idea to use a professional photograph for your profile picture. This way, people connecting with you can get a sense of your personality. They can see what ‘professional wear’ means to you, and people can identify you easily by looking at your picture (especially useful if they happen to forget your name but want to contact you).
It’s also sensible to have a cover photo, whatever it may be (within professional boundaries, of course). You can be creative with it. Personally, I use a photo of the LSE Library for my cover photo, because the stairs are unique and I want to let people know that I study at LSE.
LinkedIn is a great way to get across your posts for your professional network to see. You can share a range of posts, including (but not limited to), your academic/personal achievements, extra-curricular activities you have been up to, events you have attended, a newspaper article you found interesting and more. You can even share people’s posts and make a comment on it. You can leave a positive reaction to a post (a thumbs-up, a lightbulb, a thinking emoji, a heart, clapping hands or a support emoji). People will be able to see how you have reacted to posts, so if you were inspired by the content of a post, leave a lightbulb reaction, and potentially leave a positive comment on the post, or share it for others to see.
Own a company and/or a business? A LinkedIn Page would be an excellent way to build not only your company or business and build your professional network, you can also get recognition by other companies or employers. Others can see your Page and get a sense of the company/business by reading into the information you have put on the Page, such as the number of employees who work there, what the company/business is about, when it started, its location, and more. You can also share vacancies through the Page, which is an effective way to draw people into following your Page and potentially applying to a position at the company/business if your Page stood out for them.
Your profile is an integral part of LinkedIn. On your profile, you can display a profile picture, a cover photo, use a personal title, identify your pronouns, your job role, your educational background, your volunteering and career history, the languages you speak, who has endorsed you, your interests and achievements, and more.
It is highly recommended that you, at minimum, include details about your educational background and your work experience. This is a good way to see your fellow peers on LinkedIn, as your recommended following will include your peers who went to the same school or workplace as you, and you can begin to further network from there. It will also tell employers much more about you and will help them to assess your potential.
Like with CV’s, always keep your description short and direct. It will make your profile more attractive to employers and people who want to get a base impression of you. It is also best to talk about how you have improved your skills in your experience section, rather than just saying what you have done.
You can feature your favourite posts that can be highlighted at the top of your profile to further show people what interests you.
Include some contact information too so that people can reach out to you outside of LinkedIn, if you so wish.
I have only scratched the surface with LinkedIn. It is genuinely a great social media platform tailored to professional life. For instance, I have not discussed LinkedIn Learning wherein you can learn new skills, such as how to use Microsoft Office. Nor have I discussed the Jobs function, wherein job advertisements are posted all the time. Make the most out of LinkedIn and try to implement it into your professional life!