How to Connect with Others on LinkedIn

Building your network is most important.  People join LinkedIn to help each other so it’s time to reach out for help and help others too.

Start easily with people who you already know (and who know you).  These people then become your ‘first-degree connections’.  LinkedIn has tools to help you by asking if it can link with your Gmail/outlook account etc.  It will use your email addresses to find matches with their members and help you connect.  People connected to your first degree connections become second-degree connections if you connect through them.  These members can also be useful as you can get introduced through your contact.

LinkedIn uses the information in your profile to check against its database and then presents to you people it thinks you may know – i.e. school/uni classmates, ex-colleagues etc.  This is why having your profile 100% up to date is crucial.  The more information the better it can match you for your past, present and future!

You can always use the ‘Advanced Search’ options to narrow down the search for yourself of suitable people to connect to.  I.e. perhaps you just want UK contacts, or people within a 50-mile radius of you, or people in your own sector.

Obviously, if any of these connections can endorse your skills/talents that goes a long way to prove your credibility and integrity and builds trust.

And that’s what LinkedIn is all about – building relationships and establishing trust.  Without which, LinkedIn doesn’t work.

Why It is Vitally Important to Join Groups on LinkedIn

Imagine you are at a huge face-to-face conference where you sit with everyone else for the main part, but then in the afternoon, you get a choice of talks you can attend.  Looking at what’s on offer, you will probably choose something that interests you and where you may meet ‘like-minded’ people in the industry that you work in or that you want to join.

You could be all day trying to find someone in the main conference hall who could answer a burning question you have, perhaps on how to break into the field of Journalism.

Now, if I said that we had 3 talks in the afternoon, one on Journalism, one on Engineering and one on Marketing, which one do you think you’d get the most benefit from?  And where are you likely to meet like minded people in the exact field you want to enter.  All that talent and experience in one room!  Can you see why joining that group would be of benefit now?  You may get your questions answered and so much more – new contacts, tips, hints and crucial industry updates.

It’s the same with groups on LinkedIn but in a ‘virtual’ space.  They all congregate in the same place and help each other.  Join groups and ask questions, contribute to other people’s problems by offering solutions, build rapport and give advice if you can.  Swim in that talent pool with the industry experts and get known!  Recruiters often sift through groups too to search for specific candidates.

What are you waiting for?  There’s an open door there – get through it!

How to Get Noticed by Recruiters on LinkedIn

Recruiters these days harness the power of the internet to search for and attract the best candidates for job roles.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform where candidates ‘congregate’, so it makes sense that recruiters will ‘fish where the fish are’!!’

In order to become a potential candidate and be found, your LI profile needs to stand out.  A killer profile needs to highlight your knowledge, skills, accomplishments and potential.

You wouldn’t want a potential employer not to see your full potential so do ensure your profile is completed 100%.  This gives you up to a 40% greater chance of being spotted.

Top 10 Tips:

1. Publish a professional-looking photograph of yourself.  Just head and shoulders work best.  Not you on holiday or at a wedding – just you in your business attire.

2. Your headline should shout out what you do.  You only have 120 characters here so make sure it zings!  Make it clear, concise and compelling.  Think about what words recruiters would use to find candidates and base it around that.

3. Complete your job experience section.  You don’t need to write everything going back years but have at least your last 2-3 jobs on there.  Write a mixture of what you did and your accomplishments in here.

4. The summary section is crucial – this normally gets read by potential employers.  It’s the equivalent of your Professional Profile on your CV.  Get lots of key words in there too, so the search engines can find you.  Write it in 1st person.

5. Adding volunteer positions and interests shows a lot about you too, so don’t leave this section out.  Show them the whole you!

6. Recommendations are worth their weight in gold.  Who could endorse your skills/talents/accomplishments?  About three would be a good number to start with.

7. Contact details – I highly recommend you customise your LI URL.  The one they generically give you will not have much meaning and may well look like a series of numbers.  Click on the pencil icon and see if you can get just your name.  This URL will then be useful added to your CV (as a clickable link) and possibly your business/contact cards too.

8. If it’s useful to your target audience, you can also list your website address (if you have one) and social media links.  But don’t add them if not relevant.  Don’t detract from your core ‘personal brand’.

9. Tenses.  I recommend you write your CV in 3rd person and your LI profile in 1st person.  This makes you more personable.  Current work duties/accomplishments should be written in current tense and past ones written in past tense (psychologically this makes the recruiter feel you have that experience already under your belt, rather than currently just learning it)!

10. Personal Branding – think of yourself as a personal brand.  Does this profile reflect you well?  Does it encapsulate you perfectly?  If this was a sales brochure selling YOU, would it entice someone to want to know more, or buy?

Lastly, to get ‘found’ on LI you need to get visible.  So remember to turn your setting from ‘invisible to non-one’ to ‘invisible to everyone’.  You can show some bits and not others, but get brave and show everything!