By the numbers Facebook is still has the most number of registered users worldwide, recently reaching over one billion. Another social network that is growing significantly is LinkedIn. It now has over 200 Million registered members and is growing rapidly. For those who are not familiar with LinkedIn, it is a business-oriented social network.
LinkedIn was launched in 2003 to create an online space where people can connect and build professional relationships with other members, share information and network.
Why Should You Have a LinkedIn Profile?
You may say you are already overwhelmed with all the social media accounts and profiles you already have, but if you are a graduating student or just interested in broadening your professional network then joining Linkedin is a must for you. If you are still unsure here are some more reasons why you should be on LinkedIn:
Keep in touch with former colleagues – Whether you are searching for a job or gainfully employed, it is always good to keep in touch with former colleagues to swap messages or find out about leads to possible career moves or job openings.
Build your network professionally – Most people use social sites to connect with people with the similar interests and possibly find ways to do business together. LinkedIn is no exception.
Get career advice and news – Aside from your connections sharing information and news related to their industry. Recently LinkedIn also rolled out LinkedIn Channels. According to the Linkedin Blog - “This allows users to Channels represent a more comprehensive way to discover, share, and engage with high-quality Influencer posts, top news sources, and SlideShare content — all in one place.”
How Can You Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience
Okay now that you have decided to be part of the LinkedIn world, here are four tips that can maximize your LinkedIn experience:
Update Your Profile Properly
Once you have created your account, whether it’s a free or paid account, make sure you fill in as much information as you can to let people know who you are, your work history, experience and school affiliations. It is also important to provide a profile photo that is appropriate. Since this is meant to be a professional platform, post a photo that represents in a business and professional manner. Reserve your cutesy baby or couple photos for Facebook or other more personal social sites.
Upload Your Resume
Uploading your resume is simple to do on LinkedIn. Take advantage of this tool. Professional recruiters are always on the look out for potential candidates to recommend and companies have been using LinkedIn to screen for potential hires. There are also employers who asks potential candidates to add their LinkedIn profile URL as part of the application process. Why not be ready ahead of time when the opportunity arises.
Ask For Recommendations From Former Colleagues
Testimonials are always a great way to show potential employers or business partners endorsements of your work ethic as well as your personality based on the opinion of people who have worked with you in the past. Click on the tab profile to reveal a drop down menu and then click on recommendations to open the recommendations page. Choose the specific position and send to people you want to write a recommendation for you. Please remember, just like with any other social site, it is never good to be spammy. Make sure you only ask people who actually know you and have worked with you. Only people you have actually worked and known in a professional capacity can offer a true recommendation of your work.
Establish Thought Leadership
Take advantage of the LinkedIn platform to further establish your thought leadership in your industry. Update your information with the social sites you are active on. Add your website or blog URL. If you blog or write content for other sites, share those articles with your connections. I also suggest you add a LinkedIn button on your site so people who visit your site can easily share your articles on their LinkedIn accounts. Remember the web effect: if you are trying to land a better job or want to connect with others for business reasons, someone from your connections may share your content and profile which makes it more likely you will be noticed by hiring managers and decision makers. The possibilities are endless.
There you go, four tips that can help you maximize your experience on LinkedIn. Did I miss anything? Please share your tips with us. We’d love to hear from you.