Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential?

LinkedIn is a fantastic, free, self marketing business tool. Originally created as a business networking site, it has evolved over the years to become a powerful tool in the recruitment world. As such the pressure is on to ensure you are utilising the tool effectively as employers are checking your profile not only for potential employment but for current employees to understand how you are networking. Networking has long been a fantastic way to enhance your special interest groups but has also become an integral part of successful business in a risk averse world – the old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” really does stand.
So what can you do to ensure your profile is saying all the right things?

  • Make sure you state your current and previous employers / job titles / dates, as a bare minimum.
  • Try to add some detail to each role, treat the profile as a CV but don’t just copy and paste your CV into your profile. Think about adding something different / extra – chances are, those reading your profile have also seen your CV.
  • Get some recommendations from current and previous employers – also clients and colleagues can be great, they all operate similar to references and give a reassurance about you in a working capacity.
  • Write a good profile, think about what you want the reader to gain from this and what your intentions are moving forward – don’t state you are looking for new work if you haven’t discussed with your current employer.
  • Keywords are as important in your LinkedIn profile as they are in your CV – they will help you rise up the searches towards the top of the list.
  • Connect to all your former colleagues, friends and associates. Grow your network; try to avoid randomly sending invites to connect to those you do not know. If there is a particular reason you wish to connect to someone, write them a message explaining why. Etiquette on this site is not to treat it like Facebook, sending out lots of requests to get as many connections as possible. You should know your connections or at least explain and show willing that you will get to know them.
  • Join groups and get involved in discussions – there’s just about every type of group now available on the site, join some of particular interest and add to the discussions. Some ask advice or generally want opinions. By joining in, you can quickly gain a reputation for expertise in a particular field. PMO and Project Management groups are very active on the site.
  • Don’t just use it when you need something – time and time again I have seen connections be dormant on the site for months and even years then suddenly, they are in touch asking for work. Again this is not good etiquette – touching base every now and then is the best course of action as it keeps you fresh in people’s minds but also won’t seem quite so bad if you do need assistance with getting a new role.

As with anything written about you, ensure you have someone proof read it and let you know if anything doesn’t make sense. It’s usually best to have someone who doesn’t work at your business do this for you as you need to avoid internal terminology and someone who knows the projects. An outsider perspective is ideal, a partner or best friend is ideal. They don’t generally know what we do at work beyond office gossip and job titles – if it makes sense to them, you’re onto a winner.

The CV Righter can assist with creating and writing content for business networking websites, for a free review of your current profile or CV get in touch: www.thecvrighter.co.uk

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