Foolproof guide to mastering LinkedIn

Do you still find yourself asking ‘what’s the point of LinkedIn?’ or even ‘how do I use LinkedIn?’ If you are then don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Many people assume that LinkedIn is just for finding new jobs. And whilst it’s true that 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates, the platform has grown massively since it launched in 2003 and is now the world’s biggest professional community. 

These days, LinkedIn is used by over 660 million members in more than 200 countries. What’s more, it’s also the home to over 30 million companies, making it one of the most powerful internal search engines to date! 

So now that we’ve looked at the numbers, let’s delve deeper into what this social networking powerhouse can actually do for you and your company: 

  1. Setting up your LinkedIn Profile
  2. Let’s connect!
  3. Become a groupie 
  4. Follow the leader 
  5. Interact

Setting up your LinkedIn Profile

Your profile is your personal hub on LinkedIn – a place where you can represent your professional self and showcase your experience. When people want to learn about you, they go to your profile – so it’s important to have it spick-and-span! 

Follow these steps to create a compelling LinkedIn profile: 

  1. Upload a profile image: remember this is where you make your first impression! Our advice is to use a professional headshot if you can – endless you’re applying for a job as a lifeguard, this is not the place to see you in your swimming gear!
  2.  Add your location and industry: it’s important to list these as these are two of the most important filters recruiters use.
  3. Write a great summary: it’s one of the first things people see when they visit your profile, so make the most of this space! Inject some personality and share multiple sides of yourself – from professional accomplishments to life motivations.

Here’s some things you could discuss:

  • Describe your current role in the simplest of terms
  • Share the problems you solve, for whom and how 
  • Tell your career story
  • Why do you love your work?
  • What combination of skills help you to achieve results?
  • What sets you apart from everyone else? 

These are just a few suggestions of things you could include but don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box here! 

And if you’re really stuck, as a starting point you can copy and paste your profile statement from your CV but make sure it’s in first person. 

4. Describe your work and education experience: by all means include here a description of what you did but it’s far more interesting to mention what impact you had and what you achieved! 

You can also include in this section media samples so people can quickly take a glance at your work portfolio.

5. Add your skills: there’s space on LinkedIn to add up to 50 skills so start making your list!    

Listing your skills will work in your favour as it will showcase your abilities to other members, like your colleagues and recruiters. Keywords play an important part here so it can be a good idea to include a few different ways of saying the same skill, making it more likely you will be picked up on a search! 

Once you’ve added your skills your connections can endorse them, also increasing the likelihood of you being discovered for opportunities related to the skills you possess. 

For the finishing touches: 

Make you headline as compelling as possible. Your headline is added automatically after you enter your work experience but it can be edited to make the most out of it. Be specific with what it is exactly you’re striving to do! 

If you really want to push the boat out -personalise your URL! You can edit this in your contact info and doing this will make your profile look more professional and SEO friendly. 

Start Connecting 

Once your LinkedIn profile is ready to impress, now is the time to start growing your LinkedIn Network. 

There’s a few ways you can do this. Probably the easiest option is to select ‘my network’ at the top of the screen where you will find a list of ‘people you may know’. Simply go through these and click ‘connect’ next to any people you know and want to connect with. Easy right?!

You can also give LinkedIn permission to sync with your phone or email contacts which will show you who out of your contacts is on LinkedIn. Or, feel free to make use of the search bar and search for any person in particular and connect with them this way. 

As you start connecting you will likely receive a few invitations from people asking to connect with you. Now there’s no rules here on who you should or shouldn’t connect with (except from the maximum number of invitations you can send is 5,000). Some choose to connect with every person in their sight and others are more picky with who they choose to connect with. 

Our advice is to connect with these type of people: 

  • Past and present colleagues 
  • People and businesses you know 
  • People and organisations who are connectors (such as your local chamber of commerce team) 
  • Recruiters (if you are searching for a job)
  • Existing customers
  • Potential customers
  • Your competitors (being part of your competitors network means now all their customers are one step closer to getting to know you!)

Having more members in your network will also work in your favour as they can act as internal advocates for you at prospective employers. 

One thing to know is that LinkedIn classifies people within your network as 1st, 2nd or 3rd connections. This is all down to whether you are directly connected through invitation (1st), you share mutual 1st connections (2nd), or you share your extended network with (3rd). 

Having a strong network on LinkedIn is super important as it means you are more likely to unlock opportunities! A lot of jobs are never posted publicly so having a strong network is one way that you can find out about job openings. 

Important tip: don’t be afraid to send a personalised note when you send out a connection invite- this will make it much more likely that you will build a relationship with that person from the start!

Become a groupie

You know when you got told as a kid that you can ‘make lots of friends by joining a club’? Well the same is true with LinkedIn! 

Joining a LinkedIn group is a fun and effective way to meet new people who are similar to you and in the same industry. Groups are also great for finding answers, posting and viewing jobs and for establishing yourself as an industry expert. And with over 1 million groups focusing on a variety of topics, you’re sure to find one you’re interested in!

We suggest joining groups related to your career field, as well as groups for alumni members from your college or university. They’re a great way to exchange ideas, catch up on industry developments, and make new connections.

To find groups utilise the search box at the top of LinkedIn or look at the suggested groups for you under ‘My Network’. 

Once you’ve found a group you like, click ‘request to join’ and you’re off!

list-of-groups-on-linkedin

Follow the leader

Finally, take the time to follow a few pages on LinkedIn. A ‘page’ belongs to a company and is where they can post updates on new developments, business opportunities, and even job opportunities. So it’s well worth your time following some!

Follow a company by selecting the ‘follow’ button on the company’s profile. After you’ll be able to view the companies you’re following and receive recommendations on others you might be interested in following. 

list-of-groups-on-linkedin

Be social

Now you’ve set up the perfect professional profile, made some connections, and found groups and pages to join and follow, it’s time to start actually interacting. 

Scroll down your feed and ‘react’ and comment on posts you find interesting. Start a conversation and give your opinion! 

Share posts that inspire you or promote your company by re-sharing their posts. Even better, start creating your own posts! You can talk about a recent accomplishment, share a picture of you and your team at work, or even ask for advice. 

Whatever it is, just start engaging and you will see the benefits!

linkedin-reactions

Summing it up 

Within the deep maze of social media networks, LinkedIn is often a platform that gets under-utilised or put on the back burner. But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely powerful — especially when you’re aware of all the platform’s hidden features!

So now that you’re officially a LinkedIn know-it-all, start networking and grow your LinkedIn empire! 

If you’d like help with your social media management then get in touch and let’s have a chat!