Link Up with LinkedIn for Selfish Reasons
B2B Marcom Insider
Looking for a job, sales prospects, vendors, or need to understand the latest developments in your industry? Or, do you want to communicate with employees, prospective employees, vendors, sales channels, investors, customers and prospective customers?
LinkedIn can connect you with over 150 million people and companies. At last count, LinkedIn is adding 10 new members every 5 seconds. This isn’t a social media site where people post photos of kitties, recount what they drank last night or share what they did on vacation. It’s all business.
What’s in it for you? How about getting a job or keeping up on the newest trends in your industry? Head hunters, corporate HR departments and senior managers use LinkedIn to locate and evaluate potential candidates. LinkedIn gives them a peek into your world: Career track, experience, education, recommendations, location, professional associations, industry knowledge, communications skills and more.
Of course, there is a Job link so you can search for open positions in various Groups. You can also “follow” specific companies listed on LinkedIn to see any job openings. But you need to create a base to get started.
Ready to get started? Here’s the drill:
You probably already did that. But, review it again.
- Make sure your career track is accurate and up to date. Explain positions held, and successes. Only link off to a personal site if it’s a professional site (like one where you participate in a charity or run a business). Keep your personal life invisible to the business world.
- Photo. Maybe you don’t like having your photo plastered across the Internet, but do it anyway (except if you are in a witness protection program). Have a professional photographer take several shots and have someone objectively choose the best one.
- Education. Make sure all universities or colleges and degrees are listed. Include areas of study. Also include professional organization education participation.
- Summary. Think of this as an “elevator speech” to describe your capabilities and the benefits you achieved for your company the companies your worked for.
- Skills and Expertise. LinkedIn has a section that you can choose skills and expertise you have.
Tip: Hire a professional copy editor to go through your profile and fix any errors, typos or grammatical errors. For most profiles, that will probably cost you about $50 at most.
Next are connections.
You need to reach out to others to be connected to you. You can add connections by using the tabs in LinkedIn: Connections, Colleagues, Alumni, People You May Know.
Reach out to colleagues to recommend you. Ask them to write a snapshot of the value you provide (It is common courtesy that you return the Recommendation).
Groups and Companies.
Use the Search function to see the Groups and Companies that appeal to you. Use Groups to search for jobs, pose questions and/or answer them. Discussion Groups are not a place to promote products or services though (Group members get a little testy when they smell promotion messages).
Create a continual presence on LinkedIn.
Every time you change your Profile, add a Connection, receive a Recommendation, join a Group or comment on a Post, other Connections in your circle or Group members will receive a notification. The cumulative amount from the notifications and Group Discussions will increase the awareness of — you.
Make it a job to regularly participate in LinkedIn. At least weekly: update your Profile, add Connections, Like companies and get involved with discussion Groups. The time you spend will polish your image.
From an HR or management perspective, your LinkedIn presence gives them an insight into your industry and management experience, education, the people you hang out with (and what they think of you), how you answer questions in Discussion Groups and the type of Groups you belong to.
LinkedIn caveats: Remember, all of your information is on the Internet. Everybody can see your information: your boss, your company’s competitors and even your rivals. Do searches for your name on Internet and see what comes up. Make sure that the information on the Internet agrees with your Profile page. See some less than flattering information or photos? Try to remove them.