As competition grows everyday with respect to all fields, it becomes more and more necessary that we fully understand the resources at our dispersal. With almost all of us having a Facebook account and a majority also having a Twitter presence, it is also needed that we understand the immense prospects LinkedIn reserves for us. Described as the Social Media Platform for entrepreneurs, business owners and industry professionals, it also stands as a good opportunity for students to connect to experts in their fields of interest and start getting an idea about the corporate industry, even before they leave college.
With the advent of Social Media, connecting has never been easier and it is important that professionals, and especially students understand the chances available to them. LinkedIn, helps connect to a wider professional industry by helping you connect to people, ask recommendations and join groups of interest so as to take part in discussions and improve your credibility.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while updating your LinkedIn profile:
Make Your Elevator Pitch Catchy
LinkedIn is basically about branding. Branding either your company or yourself. Focus should be given on what you hope to accomplish and not what you are now. Recruiters will often search for a specific job title when looking for potential candidates. And include keywords into it because that’s how people find you on LinkedIn. Keywords that are related to your field of interest. This doesn’t mean you just go berserk over the results of Google Ad Words Keyword Tool! Be concise, discrete and to the point. Be focused!
No Spelling or Grammatical Errors
There is no need to specify about how much important first impressions are when you meet someone. Same goes for online media too. Your profile is your impression and you should make it good. Real good in fact. That means no SMS language, no spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure your profile is concise and articulate. In almost all cases that gets the job done.
LinkedIn gives you an option to display links to other websites, in your profile. Make sure that this is, as much as possible, linked either to your personal/company website. Or to your online profile at either Twitter, About.me or Gravatar, to name a few. Try not to include your Facebook profile. Doesn’t give much of a good impression.
Connect Up Other Social Networks
LinkedIn can be used to connect up quite some of your social network presences, like WordPress, Slideshare and Twitter, to name a few. With the LinkedIn apps, you can connect your profile to such accounts. This again helps in increasing credibility about you and your work.
Ask For Recommendations. But First Give
LinkedIn displays recommendations very prominently. Take the time and ask your friends and colleagues to recommend you on LinkedIn. Recommendations add colour and depth to your profile. And if you have worked with anyone, make sure you offer to write a recommendation for them first.
The best way to build great connections is to always be the first one to give. Always have a helping hand ready.
Keep your profile regularly updated. Not with posts about your graduation party or a trip to Disney Land. Be specific to your field of interest. If you are a student, would be useful to put updates about topics in your field that interest you and can even ask professionals in that area to give you advice or clear your doubts with respect to that. Professionals could also share important and interesting information and even tell people what you have achieved over the course of your normal work day- maybe a new client win or an award for best employee! Recruiters look out for people who are active and have an up to date profile.
Join And Take Part In Group Discussions
This is by far one of the most important things that should be kept in mind. Join groups that interest you, listen to the discussions that are going on and when possible put in your worthy suggestions or any doubts you may have. Group discussions become an important place where you can make new contacts and then carry on the acquaintance forward. Also, further down the line, groups are a good place to showcase your talent and knowledge about your field. After you have been identified as a power player in your field, people will come to you for answers.
And finally make sure your contact settings are set to include career opportunities, consulting offers, job inquiries and likewise if you’re looking for a job and DO want to be found. No use if a potential employer is impressed by your skills but is not able to find from your profile whether or not you are interested in new career opportunities!
Well, feel free to comment if you feel any important point has been missed out. Meanwhile, leave you off with a quote from BC Forbes–
Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.
Other articles in this series include-