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How to Get Connected on LinkedIn

Get Connected And Stay Connected 

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LinkedIn is slowly but surely building a reputation as the biggest, best career networking site out there, with visitor figures well into the hundred-millions every month and 347 million signed up users as of last month. A survey taken in 2013 revealed that 93% of recruiters used LinkedIn, compared to 66% for Facebook and 54% for Twitter.

For the uninitiated though, it all probably seems a bit daunting, where do you start? What’s the most important thing to focus on? Well, here at SMF we can understand how terrifying starting up a new social media profile can be, especially when it could be essential for finding your next job, so here’s a handy guide to help you start getting connected:

Building A Profile

The first steps to building a LinkedIn profile are fairly simple, like any other social media platform you input some basic details about your age, gender, lifestyle and location (this one is particularly important). You’ll also need to write a short summary about what you’re about and what you’re looking for, yes I know that can be agonising but it’s worth doing, you want to stand out. Once that’s done you have to log all your qualifications and work experience, just like typing up a CV or doing an online job application.

Unless there’s anything you’re particularly embarrassed about (this kind of thing can probably remain undocumented) it’s best to leave no stone unturned, you never know what might be useful. It’s better to keep things short and sweet as far as details go, as long as the relevant information is there, you’re golden. LinkedIn will provide job suggestions mapped to your profile, the more work experience you log, the better the results.

Lastly, you’ll need to add specialities. This is a list of skills and areas which will further help to refine what jobs you are told about. More to the point, other users can endorse you on these and the more endorsements you get, the better you’ll look.

Start Adding Connections

Almost regardless of what field you work in, you will have LinkedIn connections. This is as easy as searching for people on the site’s main page using their full names (or email addresses), you can also synchronise LinkedIn with your email and social networking contacts, making the whole thing that much easier.

Obviously you want to focus on people who work in the fields you are interested in, as well as people that can endorse you. Former employers are good to add for this reason (provided you left on good terms). The people you are directly connected with a 1st connections, then 2nd connections are like people with mutual friends on Facebook and 3rd connections are people in the same extended network. The more connections you have, the more visible your profile will be in searches and feeds.

More people will recommend you, which in turn makes you appear more desirable to potential employers. Don’t go around adding people you don’t know, since you need to select some kind of connection to send a request, try and do it to too many strangers and you’ll get restricted access slapped on your profile.

The last step is joining industry groups, which will place you in the same circles as people with the same interest areas and experience as you, you can interact with them and then you’re free to add them to your personal network, expanding your reach even further. Once you are connected with people, make sure you go onto their profile and slam that ‘ask to endorse’ button, prompting them to toss a recommendation your way in whatever fields they know you to be experienced in.

Stay Active

Like many other platforms, be they related to jobs, dating, friendship or anything else, you need to maintain momentum. It isn’t enough to just build a nice looking profile, log a big roster of connections and then walk away, hoping to start seeing those emails flood in, you have to demonstrate that you are active on the site regularly, otherwise people will see no benefit to contacting you. Remember, LinkedIn is about getting out as much as you put in, there are a number of different ways to do this.

The first and easiest is to keep updating your status. LinkedIn status updates work similarly to Facebook ones, you just post something and it pops up on the home page feed in a timeline. You can post article links, personal info, whatever, the important thing is to just do it, because it easily allows you to stand out. If you share something that your connections really like, there will be a lot of activity and you may well catch the attention of the editors. If that happens, your post might get spotlighted, meaning you reach will increase massively.

Share the updates of your other connections too, they may well end up doing the same for you as a result. It also helps to comment on things like profile updates for similar reasons, if someone posts that they’ve got a new job, congratulate them.

You can even publish articles on LinkedIn, which is massively helpful if you’ve got a way with words, it’ll instantly get you noticed. A feature called ‘Pulse’ allows you to write pieces (or link to pre-existing ones) and they will be published. Of course, there are almost 400 million users, a lot of content goes up, so write something unique, with an eye-catching title and a targeted appeal. Say you want to get the attention of photojournal publishers, write a piece tailored exactly to that end, circulate it amongst your connections and hopefully it will take off. The article will have a direct link to your page, making it that much easier for interested parties to access your profile.

Keeping an active presence in groups is also vital, each group has a list of active discussions, like a forum and it stands to reason that there will be something that interests you in there somewhere, so get involved, join the debate. Perhaps the most important LinkedIn networking will happen out there in the world though. Assuming you’re going to conferences, networking events or whatever else, put your LinkedIn profile on your business cards, make sure that people you meet know about it, and then they in turn might pass it on to others and all of a sudden you’ve branched out into a whole new patch of connections. Once that’s done, get online and start talking to them, according toan article by HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah, LinkedIn users are some of the most active, eager social media users you’ll find, so put yourself out there and get networking.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
How to Get Connected on LinkedIn Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, March 06, 2015 Rating: 5
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