Being Active On LinkedIn

Being Active On LinkedIn
Courtesy of “William Iven” from unsplash.com
 

LinkedIn is a social media tool that is still very new for many job seekers and social media users. While LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with other professionals and learn more about your industry, many users still have questions about how to make the most out of their user experience. It provides its users with significant benefits that can be utilized to improve your online and workforce presence. With this new approach to the professional world and the job search some of the biggest questions that people have are:

  • How can I get noticed?
  • What is the best way to approach others on LinkedIn?
  • How do I respond to a recruiter?
  • How do I contact another professional about scheduling an informational interview?
  • What kind of information should I put on my profile?
  • Why should I order professional resume writing service?

LINKEDIN PROFILE

The profile is one of the most common concerns of the LinkedIn user. One of the first things that others will see when accessing your profile is your headline, name and picture. The headline is very important; it is a statement of up to 140 characters which gives you an opportunity to send the reader a very clear message of what you specialize in. By default, LinkedIn sets the headline as your current company name and position title. One creative method to adopt is to create a slogan for yourself and use it as a part of your headline. If you are currently looking for new opportunities, you can also mention “Seeking new opportunities in ____________.”

Do you have a degree or a professional designation?Make sure that you mention the acronym besides your name. i.e. Masters of Business Administration – MBA. This lets recruiters know at first glance what areas you have expertise in. Designations are a great way to add value to your portfolio. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile picture is professional, avoid pictures with sunglasses, overly formal or casual or Photoshopping yourself out of a group!

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE

When you are writing your work history, avoid copying and pasting your resume. Use the same information to describe your work responsibilities as stated on your resume, with a storytelling approach. Keep the work description to a maximum of one to two short paragraphs. Remember to put your main responsibilities and biggest achievements, but avoid writing too much information as you will want to have a chance to elaborate during an interview.

Are you a student or recent grad and don’t know what work experience to include on your profile? Always utilize your volunteer, part-time and co-op experiences. List these experiences as a normal job, just ensure that you mention the type of position it was. Also, don’t be afraid to put previous jobs which are not completely relevant to the direction that you want to take your career in. Simply summarize the job description and keep the core focus on transferable skills.

Another great feature to take advantage of on your LinkedIn profile is the project section. In your career both academic and professional, you are assigned projects, and we all have ones that we feel especially proud of. This section opens up a great opportunity for you to provide more information on these projects, these include professional, educational, volunteer and personal endeavors. You can go into full detail, letting people know what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved. Consider using the STAR format when writing the explanation about the project. The STAR format is also a great way to do well during an interview, according to a great article by Life Hacker! Begin with answering each in point form, then develop the points into a paragraph.

STAR

Situation

Task

Action

Result

The profile summary

The most important section is the summary. You really want to get people to notice you in this area, this is commonly where people will make an attempt to contact you and will want to see more info. If you take the time to write a compelling summary and engage the reader, you have a much better chance of keeping them on your page.  Write two to three paragraphs about yourself, avoid retelling your resume, and simply state the information you really want people to know about you. Include things like your goals, aspirations, achievements, education and the most interesting points about where you have worked. You can write this part in first person or third person. Another thing you can also do is write an areas of expertise or a technology section. Also, invite the reader to contact you, followed by giving your contact information.

Planning and organization

When using LinkedIn, it is good to have a plan of who you want to contact, what conversations you want to participate in and what your focus is going to be.

Step 1: Vision

Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your LinkedIn profile. Do you want to contact people, are you experiencing a career transition or simply want to network more? Determine your main goal for using LinkedIn, make a list of the kind of people you want to connect with.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Once you know who you want to connect with, seek out ways to engage with them properly. Avoid randomly adding people. Make sure you have a message you can send, review their profile and tell them in the initial interaction what made you reach out to them. Always end the conversation off with an open ended question. If you have a connection that can introduce you to someone, consider using that function.

If you feel you have a good amount of connections and simply want to improve your online presence, make a schedule of when you will post. For example, every Wednesday you will post an article you wrote to LinkedIn or post industry related material you read each morning.

Step 3: Consistency

Be consistent, always follow-up to messages or comments, this will help you to build an online community. Make each activity as important as your other daily tasks and mark it in your calendar. Always ensure that you are posting or sharing positive conversation generating material.


Common questions

What are things I can do to get noticed on LinkedIn?

Trying to get noticed on LinkedIn can be a challenge, some of the best ways to get noticed is to utilize three separate tools that appear the top of your live feed on the home page. These functions are, share an update, upload a photo and publish a post. When conducting any activity on LinkedIn always make sure that your content is professional. Share and update information such as events, job fairs, industry and business articles you read. Also, get involved with group conversations on LinkedIn groups that you join, you never know who might read your posts. One of the best tools is publishing a post, this function allows you to write industry-related articles of your own content. It is a great chance for you to show your expertise.

What do I say when connecting with new people?

Contacting a recruiter on LinkedIn is a practice that could help to speed along your job search and will help you get noticed.  When looking up recruiters the first thing you want to do is search for the right kinds of recruiters. Avoid making connections with recruiters who are not looking for candidates in your industry. When sending the initial request mention who you are and why you are interested in connecting with them. Once they have connected with you, ensure that you reply as soon as possible, thanking them for the connection and tell them the reason you feel your quantifications might be a match for the type of positions they recruit for. Ask them if they would like to connect via phone, if they fell you should be a good fit for the type of candidates they are looking for.

Many people who are interested in advancing their career will seek out professionals for an informational interview. The best method when contacting a person about an informational interview is to keep your email engaging, friendly and to the point. Always thank the reader for taking the time to read your message and acknowledge their time. Tell them what you find interesting about their work and industry followed by telling them why you want to meet with them. Always make sure that if you are to meet with them in person you offer the buy the coffee and meet at a location that is convenient for them.

What about other social media sites? Can they help?

Getting your profile noticed beyond LinkedIn is also very important. Utilize the customizable link on your profile, add it to your website, resume, business card, email signature and to other social media websites. This will connect your LinkedIn profile to more than just people in your immediate network.

What about endorsements and recommendations?

When using the recommendation and endorsement functions on your LinkedIn profile it is important to understand the difference between the two.

Endorsements are skills you click on in other user profiles and it will add the skill to their profile.  Typically, when you endorse someone else they get a notification and will return the endorsement. Avoid being a serial endorser!

Recommendations are different, they are written testimonials about you. They are typically done by managers and colleagues, feel free to ask for a recommendation. If you are looking for tips and help about how to write a recommendation for someone check out LinkedIn’s help centre!



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Jennifer Bouley

Career Coach at Craftresumes. Motivator and Resume Writer with experience in mentoring, coaching, and counselling internationally trained professionals, Gen Y, and people looking to find their place in life, I am committed to helping people enjoy their lives and career. I have a background in Human Resources, Labour Relations, and Social Services.