What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the red-headed stepchild of social media. But it shouldn’t be. It may not have Facebook’s billion or Twitter’s 500 million active users, but the 225 million users on LinkedIn speak to its popularity. Since its inception in 2002, LinkedIn has proven itself a viable tool for employers and job seekers alike.
Is LinkedIn Important for Business?
The main reason LinkedIn isn’t as popular as Facebook or Twitter is people often have a problem with the business nature of the platform. Focused on connecting people for professional purposes, LinkedIn makes it easy to reach out to strangers and acquaintances in ways that would be inappropriate or unwelcome on more personal venues like Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn is by its very nature a business tool more than a casual social outlet, and it should be treated as such. What you put on your LinkedIn profile should always be about your career aspirations and not your personal life. It’s not Facebook and it’s not Twitter.
Connections on LinkedIn – Why do they matter?
The heart of LinkedIn is the connections. Setting up your personal network and growing it over time keeps you in the loop and aware of employers on the hunt for people with your skills. These connections make it easier to make your own inquiries to people and companies.
Having a connection is like having a mutual friend on Facebook. It makes reaching out to someone you don’t know less like cold calling. Approaching strangers on LinkedIn is acceptable as long as you don’t get too aggressive immediately. Don’t introduce yourself to a CEO and ask for a job. Establish connections, make acquaintances, learn about organizations, and proceed at a respectable pace.
LinkedIn – Building a Profile
LinkedIn is simple enough.
First, build your profile. Job seekers need to attract potential employers with a strong profile. Be sure to highlight your skills with keywords so you have a better chance of showing up in searches. Include your key information: photo, location, skills, education, current position, and some information about your professional experience.
The more the better as long as it contributes to your overall strengths and why you should get hired. You need to stand out with a good profile. Companies pay LinkedIn a lot of money for job postings so you can bet they take the process seriously.
Creating a Network on LinkedIn – Tips for Success
After you build a strong profile, it’s time to start building your network. That means making connections.
Do a search for people you know. Choose the “connect” option and you’re up and running.
Select the “people you may know” page. LinkedIn uses algorithms to show you folks you may know based on people you do know, much like facebook and other social media programs.
LinkedIn ranks your connections by degree-1st being people you know, 2nd being people they know, etc. Build your network up so you have a stronger profile.
A lot of companies use LinkedIn as a resource for recruiting and as a way for their employees to stay connected. This makes it easier for job seekers to connect with personnel from perspective companies. These companies often post information relative to their field, updates about the company, and most importantly to job seekers, open positions. You can select “jobs” and perform a job search based on keywords and parameters like location, salary, field, position, etc. Many companies are using LinkedIn as their primary hiring tool because of its convenience and accessibility. Make no mistake; with a following of 250 million users, LinkedIn is a great way to find a job.
As a company, you want to make sure your LinkedIn business page is optimized. Here are some helpful tips if you aren’t sure where to begin.
LinkedIn Do’s & Don’ts
Of course, as with any other social media outlet, LinkedIn has its own list of faux pas. Common courtesy and respect for boundaries is the order of the day. Don’t make presumptions or take liberties with folks on LinkedIn.
For instance, reject the default connection statement. It’s impersonal, robotic script which immediately tells people you’re trying to connect with they aren’t worth the time a personal message requires. Write a real connect message, and be genuine.
It’s also important to complete your profile in its entirety. A half completed profile looks lazy and unprofessional, which is exactly what you don’t want on LinkedIn. Fill it out, focus it, and make it neat and thorough. That’s what employers and potential connections and colleagues want to see.
LinkedIn is a powerful calling card. Do it right to maximize its potential for you.
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Oliver and Sam
Co-Founders and LinkedIn Leaders
Loud Media Solutions
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