Professional networks are underutilised resources when it comes to finding a job, securing new opportunities or promoting your company to a new audience. A lot of this resistance can be to do with shyness, lack of confidence or being unclear about what you can say to really communicate effectively.
But with professional networks like LinkedIn which are entirely online; you will have all the tools to create your own network of mutually beneficial contacts using a well-known social media format. You no longer have to worry about saying the wrong thing to the influencer, recruiter, prospect or entrepreneur. Because with LinkedIn, it is all about what you have written and what you post. You now have time to consider your answers and present yourself using clear communication.
Presenting yourself online is very different to doing it face to face, as it gives you time to prepare an effective presentation to the audience that will use your services. It allows you to polish your message to ensure that you don’t lose opportunities when you connect with influential people for your dream job search or business. In this case, your primary focus will be on preparing a striking profile, adding a CV, providing additional documents, engaging in relevant group chat, while also showing that you know your stuff with great comments on posts.
But now you are faced with a new problem, how do you learn to communicate effectively with your words? And how do you set up a profile that opens doors for you? Do not panic, here are all our tips!
Registration Tips For LinkedIn
When you first visit the LinkedIn corporation website, the first thing that you will be encouraged to do is register for an account. To do this, all you need to do is enter the following:
- Your Frist Name
- Your Last Name
- Your Email
- A Password with more than 6 Characters
Now while this may seem very straight forward and while you can always change any details later. It is always best when working in a professional capacity to start professionally. This means observing the following in regards to your registration:
- Use the name that you use in professional environments. Leave Nicknames like ‘Bunny’ and ‘T-Bone’ for places like facebook and twitter. LinkedIn is a professional network, how your present yourself here will dictate how you are perceived.
- Make sure you type your information correctly it can be very easy to let a letter slip and here and there and end up with a name that isn’t yours or an incorrect email address.
- Use a professional email address, if you don’t have one make sure to get one, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and many other services all offer free email accounts. There is no need to use an email address that looks unprofessional.
While these simple things may seem unimportant remind yourself that almost half a billion people are using LinkedIn. If an employer, recruiter or customer have to choose between 2 equally qualified people, but one has unprofessional aspects to their profile. It is likely that the one with a more professional profile will succeed.
LinkedIn Profile Tips
Once you have signed up for your account, you will need to confirm your sign up via the verification email. After doing this, you will be free to set up your account. LinkedIn gives you the chance to add a photo, tag line, summary of what you do and adds your contact information to your profile.
In all cases, you want to make sure that you are using professional looking information and that you always update your profile. This is because your profile will be used as your online presentation, used to find a job, lead generation, display your accomplishments, track your application process, and for nurturing relationships with your network.
- Your photo should be a head shot, taken with a plain background, you should try to smile and look like a person that people would like to meet. If you are in the creative or artistic fields however feel free to express yourself but do keep to a head and shoulder shot so that you can be clearly seen.
- Your tag line should be concise and explain what it is you do (job title) while also being creative enough to stand out ahead of other people in your field. You should make sure to use 1 keyword or perhaps 2 from your industry.
- Your LinkedIn summary should expand on your tag line and go into a bit more depth about what it is you do and why you are good at what you do.
- You can add lots of contact information including websites, make the most of the information and fill it out however be careful with things like home addresses. Keep in mind your security and privacy (privacy settings can be changed to meet your requirements) when sharing personal information. Perhaps your professional networking sites or social media handles where you can be available for instant messaging, websites and a phone number could be enough to begin social interactions.
- LinkedIn places the power of microblogging at your fingertips, allowing you to create posts on your public profile, these posts can be used as a tool to demonstrate your knowledge. Which can help you extend your reach via your profile and online communities they are called LinkedIn groups. Posting on LinkedIn is similar to the most popular social networking sites. Expanding your reach can help you to find work, meet your career goals, become an influencer, find your own workforce and access new clients.
Personal Brand Networking Tips On Linkedin
While online it can be easy to forget how many people you may know, the people you connect with here do not have to be your best friends or people who know you really well. LinkedIn allows you to invite your facebook and twitter friends, you can find work colleagues and acquaintances also.
Building a network on LinkedIn is where all the power lies in enterprise social networking. Because effectively once you grow your network the world suddenly becomes smaller. Perhaps your cousin has contact with one of the top companies or maybe a friend is in charge of the hiring process of one of the best employers. Even with LinkedIn job search, you can get in touch with the ideal people within your industry. Making your career goals clear on LinkedIn allows your network to rally round to help you achieve your goals. LinkedIn empower your network in a few ways such as:
- LinkedIn lets you join groups; you are encouraged to join in with groups in your industry. This allows you to contribute with the like button, comments and even your own content. Contributing to groups is one of the best ways to build your networks, meet new people and build your authority as a leader in your field.
- Endorsements and Recommendations are a way for your network to verify your skills and character. For example when you create a skill such as ‘typing’ Your friends, boss, colleagues and anyone who knows that you can type can go to your profile and give your skill an endorsement. In the offline world, this would be called a reference. References online are called social proof and are some of the most powerful ways to communicate your value and skill to a professional network.
Online Professional Etiquette Tips For LinkedIn
Although LinkedIn is an online network, it is a professional one. Think of LinkedIn as you being in your suit in the office and facebook as being at home in your PJs. There are a time and a place for everything and understanding the difference is online etiquette. Which will go a long way in your professional networking.
- Emailing large numbers of people impersonal emails trying to sell your services or Searching for jobs is not the way that online networking works. This is called spamming, not networking.
- Similarly, you wouldn’t walk up to random people and push your CV into their faces. In life, in almost all cases success comes from building rapport and helping people rather than trying just to help yourself.
- For example, proper etiquette in contacting someone that you don’t know could be to contact them and tell them that you have seen their website and love what they are doing but…insert an issue that you have seen. Then tell them that you could fix it for them for free if they agree to review your services.
- This is thoughtful, and you are offering something as a favour while asking for a small favour in return. While this is not the only way to contact people, it is 100% better than emailing them your CV and begging for them to hire you. If you spend time to create a resume, cover letter, CV or online profile, you have to optimize your networking skills to empower these tools to work for you and not against you.
Online etiquette, therefore, is very similar to real life etiquette and should be observed as much as possible. The ability to demonstrate proper etiquette will allow you to build rapport with the person that you are communicating with and open doors for you and your business.
LinkedIn may seem like a challenging step to take in your pursuit of new connections. But the power of LinkedIn is that everyone using the service is motivated to make new connections and to leverage these connections so that mutual success can come to everyone.
LinkedIn is excellent at creating new opportunities for everyone, from the student in college to the hiring manager to the tech-savvy entrepreneur and founder in Silicon Valley. The job alert, job searches, one click searches, network building, groups, industry job board and information sharing. Not to mention it is available via the website and on the LinkedIn mobile app. So you can genuinely connect and network anytime, anywhere.
This is because networking connections are what make business and careers a success, giving engaged users a competitive advantage. I hope you are going to register for your LinkedIn account right now if you don’t have one already. See you there!