LinkedIn is becoming a vital part of everyday business life, with job seekers, employers, clients and associates alike using the social media platform to make business connections, receive industry-specific information and to promote themselves or their business. It also enables head hunters or recruiters to judge an individual’s credibility, skills and business networks. In order to assist you in getting the most out of LinkedIn and maintaining the best profile possible, we have created a two-part series on finding success on LinkedIn.
Part one – setting up foundations
Keeping your skills up-to date and recording past work experience is a must. Although you may have had your profile for a year, it is important to mention relevant jobs you have had, as well as qualifications and skills you may have obtained many years ago in order to build your professional profile and credibility. Transferring information from your CV is a simple way to update your profile to make sure relevant information is included.
There’s nothing like third party endorsement to confirm your credibility and LinkedIn provides an easy avenue to endorse colleagues and likewise receive your own endorsements. When setting up a LinkedIn profile, people are required to enter career skills they believe they possess. These skills are self-monitored, so it is extremely easy for individuals to exaggerate skills and experiences. With this in mind, potential employers are more likely to look at your other endorsements as opposed to just taking your word for it. It’s a quick online reference check if you like.
LinkedIn recommendations are also just as important. Recommendations give your connections an opportunity to reflect on your skills, personality, work ethic and once again reinforce that you do possess the skills, qualifications and qualities outlined in your profile.
Recommendations can be hard to receive, but by leaving recommendations for others, your chances are much higher. Although it may feel uncomfortable to ask for an endorsement or recommendation, it is fast becoming a norm and there is no shame in doing this.
Client advocacy is a great method for attracting new clients. If they are able to see what you have achieved previously, how you have dealt with clients in the past and the level of satisfaction obtained, it can be very influencial. If those looking at your profile see positive results, there is a greater chance that your services may be called upon.
Other tips for LinkedIn success
- If you meet someone new, look them up on LinkedIn straight away and invite them to connect
- Make sure you include a professional, up-to-date photograph on your profile
- When finishing a project or piece of work, don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements or recommendations from colleagues or clients
- If you do ask for endorsements and recommendations, use a personalised message, as opposed to the standard message supplied
- Where you can, reciprocate and leave feedback and endorsements in return.