How can LinkedIn help your career?
LinkedIn is for your career, and Facebook is for your social life. It has enjoyed exponential growth in popularity and has enabled people to increase their network from the comfort of their own office or living room. Usage is free and it is improving its functionality all the time, with some aspects paid for.
Many people who are employed are using it so they are primed for a new job as the market picks up and self-employed people can research their prospects and target new contacts via their network and their network's network. Other uses are; for recruitment; increasing awareness of what you are doing; sharing client or peer testimonials; positioning yourself as an expert; as a learning and development, knowledge-building and research tool; posting and researching relevant events; making your blog visible to more people, and much more. LinkedIn, like Twitter, can be quite addictive and feel like a full-time job! It needs to reach a critical mass for it to work for you, so is worth the initial investment in time. Make use of quiet times, if you have any, to build up your knowledge of it so it actually works for you.
Ensure your settings are tailored to help you achieve your objectives and give you the privacy you seek, and use the many tips online to help make the most of it and achieve your career goals. As great as online networking is, remember that sometimes nothing beats a good face-to-face chat or lunch!
Five tips to get the most out of LinkedIn:
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile contains keywords relating to your specialism.
- Join relevant groups and contribute to discussions to raise your profile.
- Make time every week as 'an online networking one stop shop' to add new connections, introduce connections to each other and keep in touch with your network.
- Change your update every day, ask and answer questions, and post presentations on your profile.
- Tailor the name of your LinkedIn public URL rather than using the generic one.