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Like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram LinkedIn is considered a social networking site. However, it was designed to be different. It was designed to be a solely professional site where networking with business connections was key. Sharing work experiences, resumes, connecting with past colleagues and most recently with the creation of LinkedIn Jobs as source to find yourself a new job.
LinkedIn is unique in comparison to other forms of social media in the way it works and the importance of making the most out of its features.
Firstly, it's important to complete your profile. As your profile is key as it represents you, your work history and the skills you've learn along the way. The top reason behind the importance of completing your profile is due to the internal search algorithm only finding profiles that rank as ‘’complete’’, therefore, complete profiles get many more views in comparison to those that are classified as incomplete profiles. So, to ensure that users will want to connect with you, you need to be visible in searches.
The first thing to remember when completing your profile is to have a good quality professional headshot. Poor quality selfie as your profile image isn't professional and doesn't show you in your best light. Other important parts of your LinkedIn you need to fill out are mentioning your industry and location in your headline, include a concise summary of who you are and add your current and past work history, education details and areas of expertise.
Networking is why LinkedIn was creating so it's important to connect with other LinkedIn users. The site enables you to connect with past colleagues, current colleagues and professionals from all types of industries / organisations. By connecting with other users, you begin to build up your network and the number of connections you have will affect and increase your search ranking on LinkedIn i.e.. the more connections you have the higher your ranking will be. The more people you connect with the more you'll appear in searches and other people will be more inclined to connect with you.
Once you make connections you can communicate with them through the messaging service, it's one of the benefits of the site. You can't communicate with people unless they accept your connection, it's a way of protecting the users that other social media sites don't have.
The site is all about networking, so connect with people you know and get to know people you don't. Be that to help enhance your career or your current job.
Posting and Content
If you truly want to make the post of the site and connect with more people you have to create engaging content. On LinkedIn, you can post simple text updates, images, links to other site or videos which can be liked or shared by your connections.To get more people engaged with what you have to say is by creating and posting videos which are considered the way forward on LinkedIn, as they get 10x more engagements than any other type of post. A tip when creating videos for any type of social media site is to add subtitles as most people watch them while at work! Therefore, no sound can be used. Adding subtitles will ensure that no matter where someone is watching your video your message will still be delivered.
Another tip to ensure that your at the forefront of everyone's minds is to post regularly, we're not talking about every minute like Twitter, but a couple of times a day. As the more you post the more your name will be cemented in your connections minds.
Many employers will always search for your LinkedIn profile when you apply for a role so making sure your profile is well-managed, professionally kept and regularly updated is key to boost your employability.
As with most things in this world your LinkedIn profile is open to the public domain therefore anyone can find it if they try hard enough. And that also goes for potential future employers. So, insuring that you fill out your profile fully with all your qualifications and work experience is a great way to get yourself noticed by them for the right reasons. However, what you post on LinkedIn as with most social media sites is always judged by potential employers, so be careful what you post! This is so important on a site such as LinkedIn, because it was built for professional networking and not for social gatherings that occur on th likes of Twitter and Facebook. It was designed for working professionals to share their knowledge and experiences and not what they did at the weekend. We as recruiters have known employers turn away potential job seekers based on what they find on their LinkedIn profiles.
So, always make sure that your profile shows you in a glowing light. A light that employers would be pleased to employ and not anything they would want to avoid.
A great feature that LinkedIn has is the ability to give and receive recommendations and endorsements. The connections that you have created can write ‘’recommendations’’ for your profile and offer ‘’endorsements’’ of skills that you have. This gives anyone who views your profile an insight into how you have worked previously and the skill-set that you carry. When people hear of your skills from other people it becomes more apparent that your skills and qualities are transferred through your work and are seen by others. You want to collect a range of recommendations so make sure to ask people you have worked to write one for you. Ask those who write recommendations to highlight specific attributes that emphasize your professional ability.
LinkedIn groups are another great way of taking advantage of the platform. LinkedIn members can set up or join groups to discuss ideas and share industry news. This is also a great way to develop your professional network. You can use the search bar to find groups to join or you can find new groups via the ones you have already joined. Once you’re a group member it’s important to make sure you contribute to the group, so people begin to recognise your name. LinkedIn groups can be a valuable source of information that provides ideas and support. Share knowledge with your groups and they will be likely to respond in kind.
To sum it up, it's so important in this modern working world to make the most of something like LinkedIn, as it would truly get you into the job you've always wanted to be in.