LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional networking sites in the world with hundreds of millions of users, employers actively seeking out new workers and where companies and individuals go to keep up to date with latest HR and recruitment trends – but, in order to use it effectively there are some hacks you need to know to make the most out of the experience and here they are:
#1 Make sure your profile is factual
Always make sure that what you put on your profile is factual and true. Just like a resume there are always ways and means to check the facts so the last thing you want to do is get caught out online in a similar way to how users across Facebook have fake profiles. A potential employer or recruiter will be able to easily spot the holes and gaps in profiles. Always make sure you add as much detail as you can including dates you were employed, a brief overview of the work you performed etc. Although if you did something thirty plus years ago at school I think its safe for you to leave that off!
#2 Make sure your profile matches your resume and vice versa
You profile always needs to match your resume and resume must match your profile. Always take the time to ensure that both are up to date when you embark on the job search. Employers and recruiters always check google and search engines and they will come across your LinkedIn profile if you have one and if they see gaps between the two they may throw it on the “no interview” list.
#3 Write an introduction about yourself
Like a resume with a cover letter LinkedIn also has a feature that allows you to write a brief introduction – when it sees brief it means it! This is where you want to try as much as possible to compact your experience. An introduction at the top of your profile needs to be impactful and “pop” – think of it as if you are selling your house and you want to impress buyers thanks to your curb side appeal! I like to tell people to use the notion of expressing “five reasons why you need to know me!”. Always try and upload a photo (and no I don’t mean one of you in a social situation or looking as if you don’t want to be somewhere!) because this will enable people to form a personal connection with you and put a name to the face!
#4 Connect with people who are real
The pit fall of a site like LinkedIn is that it can be a haven for fake profiles and people. You will be able to tell who is fake and who is real by the way their own profiles are constructed. Check the spelling and grammar used – if its pretty bad and the photo looks like it could be dodgy then you might be dealing with someone who sends you a connection request, you accept and next minute they are trying to sell you some sort of service (I hesitate in calling them all scammers). Another tell-tale sign is if a world leader sends you a connection request – its probably not really them! Save yourself time and only connect with people you know are real.
#5 Post and write articles
LinkedIn has a blogging feature and it’s a great way to express your experience and knowledge by writing posts and blogs that help other people find you, let potential employers have an insight into that knowledge and experience and more. But; keep in mind it is a professional networking site so only post things that are related to your role or job, experience and knowledge – please refrain from posting pictures about what the cat did yesterday.
LinkedIn is very much a platform that works if you know how to work it. Like anything what you put in is what you get out of it. You can always connect with me on LinkedIn! (I am a real person!).
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