LinkedIn is one of the most popular business-oriented networking websites ever utilized. Business professionals from every industry imaginable take advantage of its dynamic features. These include private messaging, company and user profile pages and specific groups that offer useful information for any one line of work. Because LinkedIn is vastly growing and diversifying its features, many new users may find the website overwhelming at first glance. Here are five tips to help you navigate your way around and create a profile page that stands out amongst the millions.
1. Less is more.
Many users utilize LinkedIn regularly, skimming over hundreds of profile pages in search of prospective clients and new contacts in a specific industry. Many times we come across certain profiles that are filled with an overwhelming amount of information, including every project they’ve worked on and every job they’ve had over the last 50 years. While this seems acceptable, it can be too much. Companies searching for new employees do not always have time to read over every detail of a user’s work history. Less is more. Eliminate the small things and focus on key areas. For example, include the areas of work you’re most proud of like awards, major projects, promotions or recommendations/references from colleagues. This will stand out the most to the types of users you wish to network with.
2. Limit your searches.
Unless you plan to purchase a premium LinkedIn account (which can be costly over time), try to limit the amount of searches you perform each month. Whether you’re trying to locate new prospective clients or contacts, LinkedIn provides its basic account users with a limited amount of searches every month. If mid-October hits and the network informs you that you’ve hit the maximum amount of searches for the month, you will no longer be able to view multiple pages in a search until the beginning of November, as this is when your search “data” replenishes. So keep this in mind when seeking out users.
3. This is business, not Facebook.
After becoming a member on LinkedIn, you may start to notice political, rather opinionated posts or what some may consider inappropriate photos. LinkedIn was strictly developed for business-networking, not social media purposes. Be mindful of what you post. If it doesn’t involve business, keep it off of LinkedIn. If you think no one outside of your network of connections can see the things you post, you are wrong. Yes, you can make certain features private, but this isn’t the case for everything on LinkedIn. Be smart about it. If you are unimpressed by a specific posting, chances are so is an executive scouting for new talent. Remain professional and understand that if a connection of yours can view what you’ve posted, so can others—one way or another.
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4. Punctuation and grammar.
Treat your LinkedIn profile page, postings, and conversations as you would with anything business-oriented. Punctuation and grammar play a large role in where you stand both professionally and educationally. For users who struggle with run-on sentences and capitalization, or favor abbreviations like “TBH” or “IMO”, this can present a problem, especially if you’re a job seeker on LinkedIn. Remember, just about anyone can see what you post, including almost any comment. Think of LinkedIn as a job interview that never ends. You want to appear as educated and professional as possible at all times. Double check your spelling and word use before sending any message or posting any comment.
5. LinkedIn is not a dating website.
Believe it or not, many users have this wild idea that LinkedIn ties into Match.com. Do not be one of these users. I’m not saying you can’t meet the love of your life on LinkedIn, but do not utilize it with only this in mind. A large percentage of users take advantage of LinkedIn’s features for one reason only: to network with like-minded business professionals. Do not create a LinkedIn profile page thinking you can land a hot date for Friday or a one-night-stand for Saturday. If you do decide to romantically pursue a user you find attractive, understand they might not give you the response you’re looking for. There’s a good chance you will be shot down even if the person you’ve sent a message to is single. It’s unprofessional to hit on someone in the workplace, and it’s unprofessional to do it through LinkedIn, too.
LinkedIn is a fantastic networking tool for anyone looking to expand their clientele, find a new job or meet new people in specific industries. Keep these five tips in mind and your LinkedIn experience will be most beneficial.