You may hear people are calling it the Facebook for business professionals and while that may or may not be true, it’s become clear that anyone with a business life should be on LinkedIn. Why? It has so much to offer. In fact, most of what it has to offer isn’t even realized by a majority of its 175 million users. There are entire websites dedicated to each benefit of having a LinkedIn profile and how to make the most of it. It can almost be overwhelming. Following are some basic steps you can take to make use of your profile as well as some facts and figures to convince you to get one, in case that hasn’t happened yet.
While it is considered to be the Facebook for the business world, it is not appropriate to present yourself on LinkedIn the way you may be presenting yourself on Facebook. LinkedIn is where you can put your best business foot forward. You will want a LinkedIn profile as a way to present yourself to the rest of the world in a more professional way. You’ll use the network to develop an online business profile that includes a resume as well as recommendations. You can also use it to make connections in the business world, meet with people face to face, improve your resume, find a job, or find people to do a job. If you are just “on” LinkedIn, you’re not really experiencing LinkedIn. If you work for yourself, LinkedIn will help you with your own personal branding and networking. If you are a business, LinkedIn will help you with your development. Did you have any idea all that was possible? Keep reading.
Making a profile is easy. You set it up just like you would any social media profile, but it must be approached delicately. The right profile will get you noticed on LinkedIn, while the wrong one will make you disappear. In your description of yourself, you’ll want to use keywords. LinkedIn already works hard to make sure it rises to the top of most search engines. Help yourself out by using keywords that recruiters might be using when looking to fill a job you want. In fact, some recruiters will go directly to LinkedIn and use Keywords in their search to fill positions.
You will be allowed to upload a photo, and it is important that you keep this photo updated. The best way to be remembered is to put your face with your name, and LinkedIn makes this possible. Under your picture, you will be asked to enter a professional headline. This should communicate what you are all about, and it should do so using as few words as possible. This is also a good place to use keywords.
Most of all, when building your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to allow your personality to show. Sterile descriptions attached to a great picture will still get you nowhere. Businesses are looking for interesting, real people to fill positions. Be that for the recruiters, and you’ve got it made.
Once you’ve developed a profile, you can begin making connections. Keep in mind that this is not the same as garnering friends on Facebook. You want to make your connections count when you are using LinkedIn. Find groups to be a part of that are applicable to what kind of job you want. Once you make some connections within your industry, take a moment to introduce yourself to the people you have added that approved your addition. Once you get to know the people you are connected with within your field, share recommendations to strengthen your relationships. Beware of random connection requests. Try to think of your business network as exclusive. Don’t let just anyone in. There’s nothing wrong with networking offline as well. LinkedIn provides opportunities for people with connections in the same area to organize events and meet.
Once you are set up with a good solid profile and relevant connections, you need to maintain your account. This shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes a day. Update your status to keep your connections aware of your business findings, successes, and lessons learned. During your time on LinkedIn, you can use the site to find recruiters, answer LinkedIn questions to make it easier for recruiters to find you, and peruse the LinkedIn Jobs board (which has millions of postings). If you apply for a job you find, check to see if any of your connections works at that company or within that field so that you can ask for a reference. Try to connect with everyone you’ve worked with as they too can provide you with quick access to referrals.
There are so many ways LinkedIn is making the job search easy and accessible to so many people. If you want to know more about using LinkedIn, there are plenty of websites that boast a plethora of information regarding every aspect of the site you can imagine.
Some Examples Include:
Smarterer “and all encompassing LinkedIn how to resource guide” – lists links to other websites based on subject matter and relevance.
LinkedIn Learning Center – Provided by the website with links to blogs and articles.
Linked Intelligence – “100+ ways to use LinkedIn.”
And remember Viralheat offers social media management for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To learn more about Viralheat’s services, please see our website.
Author Bio: Arlene Brill loves all things Internet Marketing. She is currently working with SociaLink Media, a leading social media campaigns consulting company based in Minneapolis and Chicago. When she is not working, she is often found reading motivational books and hiking with her dog.