As you know, despite its professional focus, LinkedIn is similar to other social networking sites (like Facebook). Its functionality is based on connecting to contacts, posting updates and engaging with content. However, as experts warn, if you really want to make this platform work for you, you need to be discerning about what you share, who you contact and how you respond to requests. It’s the largest professional social platform (with more than 760 million users worldwide) – and shouldn’t be viewed simply as a way to showcase your CV or to make random contacts.
- Make sure that your professional profile is complete (with a really good photo) and up to date with a few well-considered endorsements from contacts. Remember, LinkedIn's internal search algorithm only finds profiles that rank as ‘complete’. These can get up to 20 times more views as incomplete profiles.
- Your search ranking on LinkedIn is also affected by the number of connections you have, which are saved to a list called My Network. When you make a new contact, you also get to network with their public connections (known as your second-degree connections). Try to aim for at least 50 quality ‘first-degree’ connections on your profile.
- Join professional groups and actively contribute to discussions. This is not only a great way to meet new contacts, it can help establish you as an engaged, up-to-date professional with knowledge to share. At the same time, find out if there are any virtual events, like industry webinars, you can attend. LinkedIn groups can be a valuable source of information, ideas and support. The key is to provide something of value to other members.
- Skills Assessments offer a brilliant way for you to showcase your abilities to potential employers, plus you get to sharpen your skills. These tests are a relatively new feature that allows you to demonstrate your proficiency in a range of different areas, such as MS Excel or Java Script. Each course is designed by LinkedIn Learning experts – and if you get more than 70%, you can decide to display the ‘verified skill’ badge on your profile.
- Stay active on the site. Don’t make the mistake of reaching out to contacts only when you want something. Even when you aren’t looking for a job, gig or connections, remind your contacts you are constantly doing interesting work. Share relevant links, videos and articles with others in your industry – and update your profile whenever you have a new skill or accomplishment you want to celebrate.
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