LinkedIn is arguably the worlds best professional social networks. Its foundations are similar to other social media platforms, but it is grounded on the professionalism that runs through its website. Over 3 million companies and more than 238 million professionals around the world have a LinkedIn profile. As such, it is high time that you create yours.
LinkedIn is not only a social networking website where you view your friends’ pages; it is a platform to connect with colleagues and is used by businesses to find potential employees. It is a community where people share professional content and linkages.
Many professionals use LinkedIn as an online CV where they put their background and other work-related information. Colleagues leave recommendations with each other, and help one another to find new connections. You can use LinkedIn to find jobs as well.
Your professional profile
So, you have finally got on LinkedIn. The first thing to do when you sign up is to complete your profile. LinkedIn measures the strength of your profile from 0 to 100%. A zero-rated profile would be when there is nothing in it but your name.
It is not difficult to have a profile strength of 100%. You simply have to complete your profile to the best of your ability. To get full profile strength, provide the following pieces of information:
• Industry and postal code
• Current position with description
• Two more positions
• At least five skills
• Profile photo
• At least 50 connections
• A summary
• Work samples or projects
• Volunteer experience
At first glance, 50 connections can seem difficult to achieve. Here are a few tricks to easily acquire them, and more.
First, find the people you know by name. Use the search field at the top of the LinkedIn page. Once you see the profiles of the people you know, click the Connect button to add them to your network. You can also send a customized message or invitation to them.
Second, visit the People You May Know page. LinkedIn will suggest connections to you based on your first-degree connections, that is, those who you have already added.
Third, connect your email to LinkedIn to import contacts. You might have accidentally left out a few former colleagues. Reconnect with them, and find them using contacts from your email address.
Be active and participate.
Aside from establishing connections, LinkedIn has groups that you can join to expand your network. Groups are spaces where professionals share content, ask for advice, and post job searches. These groups are divided by brands, societies, associations, causes, or industries. Be a member of as many groups as possible. Make sure that you participate in discussions in these groups. Your profile can be boosted by your active membership in these online communities.
When you respond to posts or comments, use the at (@) sign and the name of the person you are responding to. Note that LinkedIn has no smart user alerts, but this has been a practice in this network to keep the flow of conversation coherent and directed.
Add your portfolio to your LinkedIn page. If you don’t have one, get started here >>
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