Unlocking the secrets to LinkedIn

Unlocking the secrets to LinkedInHands up anyone else that feels a little overwhelmed when confronted by all the different social media tools out there?

Read on and I’ll share a few LinkedIn tips & tricks of the trade in order for you to make the most of one of the most important tools in your job search.

People often ask me what the best way is to find a job. At the end of the day it comes down to networking. It always has. In the ‘olden days’ (i.e. pre 2000!) that meant asking your friends, family, club members and the like if they knew anyone with a job going. That hasn’t changed and I would still highly recommend doing that. However I also recommend you maintain a presence on LinkedIn.

A lot of employers are using both LinkedIn and other social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google +) to potentially seek out their next employee.

LinkedIn is a professional digital network – you can use it to look for a new job, connect with like minded professionals, find and connect with past colleagues, participate in group discussions in various topics and even endorse other connections for their skills.

Remember though this is a professional network so be sure to take note of these few key tips. As always it is timely to remind you that anything you post online can be found via search engines, so ensure that you are representing yourself in a manner you are comfortable with.

Tip #1:

Ensure you complete your full profile including all your skills – the set up is intuitive and will guide you through this process. Don’t be afraid to ask your network to provide recommendations and make sure you reciprocate. Be very careful about exaggerating or making up your employment history – trust me as a recruiter it is very simple to confirm!

Tip #2:

Ensure you have a good photo – profiles without photos are not taken seriously. It should be professional and representative of your profession. Have a look around the site to get a feel for the types of photos used – unless you work in hospitality I wouldn’t recommend a group party shot. This is also not the place to publish a photo with your kids. Save that for Facebook – LinkedIn is about YOU.

Tip #3:

Just like Facebook and Twitter you can import your contacts via your email address. This will get you started and enable you to quickly connect with some people you already know. However don’t be afraid to enroll in different groups that reflect your professional interests. If you feel confident you can then post interesting articles, make comments and generally contribute in a unique but professional manner to the group. Initially though you can just observe other members conversations and get a feel for the group. Don’t be afraid to connect with members of your groups once you have participated in conversations – this is a great way to build your network and build your reputation.

Tip #4:

Recruiters will often search LinkedIn for potential candidates especially in a tight knit market. Therefore it is important to ensure your profile stands out and has the correct terms relating to your profession. This is especially true of your headline. It should say what you do, or if you are not currently working what you ideally want to do and what your key skills are. Don’t be afraid to use your headline to say something like, Experienced Direct Marketer available in Sydney NOW, or whatever is relevant to your skill set.

Tip #5:

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is not Facebook. Maintain a professional persona on LinkedIn – this is not the place to post updates about your kids. That’s not to say it won’t be a great tool for you, just ensure you make the most of the site, as you would any corporate networking opportunity, and keep in mind the audience you want to engage. Take a look at company pages in your industry as often they will post jobs via LinkedIn. You can follow those companies also and receive up to date information regularly. Try and maintain regular interactions with your connections simply by sharing interesting articles. Remember those connections may have quality networks which you can tap into.

Do you have other LinkedIn tips to share? Please share them in the space below!

Kathie

Kathie Kelly

Kathie Kelly is the Director of Square Pegs Consulting which was founded to provide affordable assistance to not for profits, businesses and individuals with recruitment, HR projects and Career Coaching.

Kathie has spent a number of years in recruitment, workforce planning, marketing/business development and community/corporate partnerships in both NZ and Australia.

As a keen follower of the arts Kathie is also on the board of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, loves to travel and is an avid rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly

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