Use LinkedIn The Right Way
Do you know that LinkedIn is not a job portal?
There is no denying the fact that LinkedIn is a social networking site but how do you ascertain that you are using it well and in the right manner?
Your profile may show hundreds of connections but is it the number that matters?
With hiring strategies changing rapidly, it is important to understand the difference between a job search portal and a professional social network. Whether you are an active job seeker or a passive one, an active professional network gives you an edge over others. Your potential recruiters may also hop on to your professional profile and match it up to what you have mentioned in your resume. Your level of activity and engagement is also another way of profiling and firming up your candidature. Remember, the information you choose to put up on your profile could be primary source of data or additional data.
Why are you here? Never forget that a professional network is different from any other social media. You don’t log on to this one to make new friends, date or find a life partner. Like most people, you are logged in for the sake of your career. Random personal messages to strangers will do you no good.
Profile Picture: Your picture is the one of the first things that gets noticed when one looks you up on the network.
- Have a picture.
- Use good head shots.
- A non-cluttered background is preferred.
- Strict no to pouts, and selfies.
- Avoid random pictures like that of a cartoon character. It’s your career and not your pets’.
- No mountains in Ladakh, that Bokeh effect you tried or a silhouette.
Keep your profile live: Surge of activities after lying dormant is noticeable on the activity stream.
There are two things to be conscious of here:
- Manage your privacy settings better – you can choose to select who sees what update. Be wise.
- Don’t start connecting with people only when you are actively looking for a job.
It’s important to log on to your profile once or twice a week, clean up messages, connect with peers, ex-colleagues and yes, keep your profile up-to-date. If you are not working at where your online profile says – people will end up congratulating you as you pile up years in your ex-organization. If you are someone who would not want to use the network, deactivate but no point keeping it irrelevant.
Connections: If you are just starting, begin but connecting with your closed circle of colleagues. People have different ways of connecting on the network. I do not connect with one and all. If we have worked, studied or attended a session together and we have at least met once, I would be happy to connect but otherwise I don’t just keep adding people. Try to put some thought to sending requests. If you think the person may not remember you, write a line to introduce yourself or have your connection introduce you.
Career Experiences: Your profile should talk about your career experiences. Your profile with a right heading and action words indicates your online presence matters to you. Take a minute or two and clean up the summary on your profile. As a potential employer, it’s a great one way to know what your current area of expertise is.
Recommendations: Ask for recommendations and do not hesitate to recommend an old boss or a peer. If you ask for one, be ready to give one away. Well written recommendations are a good way to have those stars on profile. Plus they indicate you are a good talent and people are ready to write a few lines about you.
What to Share: I find those puzzles really annoying. Why would you want to share a logical reasoning question on your profile and seek answers? Instead share articles that are relevant to the work you do, news from the industry, or a best practice you have come across. A picture of people sitting of a cliff with a caption saying “Performance Management and what it means” is not funny. You want to write a poem on love – use your blog. Here, show case your editorial columns and talk about accolades if you are an editor.
You will learn as you go but don’t just believe that your resume can accommodate everything. Your resume needs to be crisp but your LinkedIn profile can truly tell your story. That could include your promotions, change in jobs, and locations you have worked at. Be careful with editing as well. Remember that if you want an online presence, which is important these days – do it judiciously and invest your time to build upon it. Only then you can expect to reap benefits.
Would you have a tip for me on how to use LinkedIn better? Do share!