We’ve already covered how important networking face-to-face is. But now it’s time to take your networking to the next level – by having an online presence. LinkedIn, the world’s biggest professional networking site, could open doors and present opportunities that otherwise, wouldn’t have been possible.
To boost your networking prospects, all you have to do is follow these simple LinkedIn tips:
Complete your profile
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. Show potential contacts and recruiters you’ve gone the extra mile, by filling in all of the fields and uploading a suitable professional profile photo.
Don’t forget your hobbies
Do you speak Mandarin? Did you run a community volunteer project? Have you ran a project at work? The languages, volunteer experiences and projects tabs are often forgotten about, but these are often the skills and experiences, which will help you stand out of the crowd.
Whilst LinkedIn may be an extension of your résumé, your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t read like one. Be personal, use the first person and write the summary like you’re having a conversation with the reader. LinkedIn is a social network, so show off your personality and let the reader get to know you.
Create your professional brand
This is your time to show yourself off. Have a good think about your main strengths and professional skills. Once you’ve whittled down your professional skillset to five main points, fill your LinkedIn profile with keywords related to these strengths. Your profile visitors will have a clear vision of your professional skillset.
Don’t Be Shy
Join groups related to your field and contribute to them. Statistics show that group contributors are more likely to drive traffic to their profile from people outside of their network. This could lead to more contacts and more opportunities coming your way. Share useful and engaging content with your LinkedIn contacts on your newsfeed and you’re onto a winner.
Be strategic with your contacts
Connect with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, clients, classmates and friends in your field. Although LinkedIn advises against it, if there’s any 2nd or 3rd degree connections you have yet to meet, it may be worth adding them to your professional network too.
Personalise your messages
When you connect with potential contacts, steer clear of the generic “Hi. I’d like to add you to my network.” Show your new acquaintance you’ve done your homework and you will be a useful contact by tailoring your connection messages to your contacts.
Show off your knowledge
LinkedIn now has a publishing platform, which means you can weigh in on a hot topic in your industry, show off your expertise and establish your authority. Likewise, if you have a professional blog, share it with your contacts. Your writing skills, knowledge and expertise is a sure-fire way to get noticed. For more tips on how to start a professional blog, check out this article.
Modify your privacy settings
If you’re on the job search, but currently have a job, you’ll want to keep it on the down low. Tell-tale signs such as editing your profile extensively and connecting with recruiters are easily avoided. All you have to do is go to your privacy settings and select the right options to keep the job search discreet.
Make sure you can be found
If you want to make sure that your professional contacts convert into a lasting professional relationship, add all your contact information. Contacts may know you via your blog, but may not be able to find you on LinkedIn. Adding this information makes you search-engine friendly and your professional network will grow in no time.
Being a pro on LinkedIn is simple. All you have to do is follow the above advice and you’ll reap the reward in no time!