LinkedIn can be your best career advocate, if you know how to use it to your benefit. Here are five ways that joining LinkedIn conversations can help you make the connections necessary to boost your network and career.
LinkedIn isn’t just a place to list your credentials and call it a day. With over 225 million registered users, most of whom are top business leaders, influencers, and hiring managers, LinkedIn has become one of the best professional resources for professionals to network, job search, and expand their career knowledge on one social media platform. However, not many people know exactly how this all works. Here are five useful tips on how to make the most of LinkedIn, so that you get noticed and recognized in your industry.
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The most important step is to ensure that your profile represents a gleaming image of your educational and professional background; otherwise, these tips are useless. Think of your profile as your resume, a preliminary background check, references source, and an initial representation of your personal brand. (Read more about mastering your LinkedIn profile here.) Once your profile is perfected, it’s time to start making connections and lending your expertise by joining the conversations happening on LinkedIn.
1. Find LinkedIn Groups relevant to your profession and interests. According to LinkedIn, there are over 200 conversations happening each minute across the approximately 200 million LinkedIn Groups, and more than 8,000 Groups are being created each week. So why aren’t you joining the conversation? If you’re still not convinced about how effective LinkedIn Groups can be for enhancing your career, check out this infographic to see some impressive stats on what Groups can do for you as a professional.
2. Connect with other individuals in your profession as well as complimentary industries. There’s no more effective way to grow your network and expand your career knowledge than by connecting with other professionals who are both more and less experienced than you. The individuals who are veterans in your industry provide you with an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade through their shared content and updates. As for the people less experienced than yourself, consider that an opportunity to lend your expertise as a mentor so that you can build a reputable online presence based on your expertise, rather than self-promotion. These are the things recruiters look for in qualified candidates — the facts to back up a person’s resume.
3. Contribute your expertise as often as possible. What we mean is, lend your two cents when you have something worthwhile to contribute — quality over quantity. Be careful not to promote yourself in these groups directly: your objective is to prove your proficiency passively (and professionally) through the quality of your posts. Likewise, be cautious of groups that are aimed at promoting themselves and that don’t offer content worth sharing or answering.
4. Utilize the tag feature to expand the reach of your shared content. This feature is much like tagging on Twitter and Facebook, and it allows users to tag relevant people and brands in their posts on LinkedIn now. In doing so, the users tagged in a post are sent a notification, creating another way for you to gain exposure by sharing on the social networking site. A great way to get your profile noticed by a prospective employer is by tagging them in your post, because your name will appear in their LinkedIn notifications. Consider this method a means of product placement for your personal brand — be in the right place at the right time.
5. Track and manage your content and conversations. LinkedIn updated its users’ homepage features and now includes a “Who’s Viewed Your Content” feature. This is particularly important for tracking what content gets the most hits, so that you can cater your posts/updates accordingly. Focus your efforts on generating more of the content that your network views and shares, rather than trying to spread yourself too thin and cover all bases. Remember, quality over quantity when it comes to content management.
If you’re a beginner to LinkedIn Groups, then start out by joining one or two groups and expand from there. Hopefully these tips will help you gain exposure on LinkedIn and build a promising career through your connections.
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Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).