LinkedIn Tips for the Professional

Ask any professional which social app they deem to be critical to career networking and LinkedIn will be named. The LinkedIn networking app was created with the vision that anyone at any time could network with industry members, professionals and other like-minded people. With so many other social apps, LinkedIn is often not utilized to its full potential. You likely have connected with your current co-workers and friends and have reached out to some old acquaintances, have completed your relevant work history, drafted a compelling profile background and have a passable likeness of you posing as your profile photo. So now what…?

Now is the time to carefully craft and implement your LinkedIn story.

Step 1: Expand your LinkedIn connections

Reach out to clients, prospective clients, friends, family, alumni, colleagues and former colleagues, professional acquaintances and influencers in your field.  Review the ‘People You May Know’ feature on a regular basis.  LinkedIn uses an algorithm that specifically identifies those individuals that may be relevant to you.  Utilize this feature!  Not to forget the good ol’e fashion “meet and greet’, make a point of connecting online through LinkedIn with people you have met face-to-face.  Receptions, golf tournaments, charity events, sporting events, corporate functions, travel, all are prime networking venues. LinkedIn was designed to network, although this primary function was strayed from by some of the individual profiles, LinkedIn has begun refocusing the app back to the primary function of networking and business building.

Step 2:  Set yourself apart by personalizing your LinkedIn connection request

When sending a request, set-out where you met this particular connection, how you know them or name drop someone you know in common.  If you know you have common interests, identify them and add some tailored content.  Include your contact information, name, phone number and email address.

Step 3:  Follow-up with your connections by sending a ‘thank-you’ email

Use this email as another way of getting your name in front of this connection. Should you bypass personalizing your connection request, a personal “thank-you” also provides you with an opportunity to introduce yourself to your new connection and begin an organic conversation.

Step 4: Update your profile 

Keep your photo current, your work history up-to-date and your background and experiences relevant. LinkedIn is no different than any other social app, you will not receive the full benefit of the platform by just creating a profile.

Step 5: Comment, Like and Share

Just as you would at a work function, take the time to comment or like your connections posts or share relevant industry news with your personal comment on same. Being “active” ensures you are crossing your connections newsfeed and remaining on their radar. This allows you to continue a conversation with your connections while broadening your social reach.

Whether you have created a profile on a friend’s recommendation, to benefit from a networking platform or to build your personal brand, remember fellow LinkedIn members are just as keen to network with you as you are with them.

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