How to master LinkedIn; Becoming a LinkedIn Sensei

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LinkedIn; that social media site, and app, that you are encouraged to join and that you actually want employers to find you on. After you’ve set those privacy settings locked on others so that your future manager can’t find that video of you passed out and defaced with a Sharpie on Facebook which was then reposted on Instagram, you want it set so that when they Google you, the thing they come across is a shining beacon of employability with your name and picture. Today, I have decided to compile a short guide to facilitate you putting together your LinkedIn profiles. From some research and personal experience using the site and app, here are some ‘What to do’s and ‘What not to do’s that I hope can and will help.


No Photo, Bad Photo; rule 101; have a picture of yourself. An employer is likely to skip past your profile if have the default image and no picture of yourself. Just like when someone tries to add you on Facebook with no photo. Even if you recognise the name, you still think ‘this is dodgy’. It looks like the profile is unused, dormant and unwelcoming. What do you have to hide? Show yourself to be a professional looking candidate with a photo, preferably smart, smiling and most importantly, sober!


Build Your Network; to be successful on LinkedIn, you need connections. With all of those you know personally and professionally even more so, connect. This instantly increases the likelihood that others and subsequently (fingers crossed) future employers will view your profile. This also enforces the notion that you are a professional socialite and at ease liaising with colleagues and other professionals. 50 is a benchmark minimum whilst reaching the magic ‘500+’ connections is highly desirable, especially in the corporate world.


Get Endorsed; this can’t be emphasised enough. From all of those colleagues you’ve ever worked with, it is the hope that, whilst in their presence, you have successfully demonstrated the attributes most relevant to the industry you currently work or aim to work in. You want these people to then endorse you for these qualities so that employers view your page displaying ‘high values’ like you are a formidable character from some video game or comic book franchise. However, to get these numbers up and running, you may need to play quite a flirtatious game. Not dissimilar to the ‘like for like’ social media principle, endorsing your fellow connections’ skills and expertise will hopefully encourage them to kindly oblige and endorse you back. The endorser becomes the endorsee and in turn, a more credible candidate.


Claim your URL; if you have quite a regular name like myself, Ryan Walker, consisting there of the 13th most common surname in the UK, it may be hard for employers to find you. After sifting through the countless other ‘Ryan Walkers’ there are, they might not find me. However on the other hand, if you have a rare and unique name, the idea is the same; seize a unique URL so that you can be found with ease. It’s great if you can have a numberless and readable URL title so that it is effortless for them to find you and appears professional.


Post Statuses; just like how you engage with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter respectively, write statuses. It’s all about increasing the knowledge of your brands existence; your brand being you. Advertise yourself with insightful and conscious thoughts, professional thoughts or share interesting news you’ve come across related to the working world. Make it appealing and make yourself visible to others.


Job Description; it’s not enough to simply state the jobs you have had. This is where you have the perfect opportunity to season your profile with the important keywords that will get you noticed. Like your CV, mention what you did, the implications on you and the success you and the institution you worked for had because of your actions.


Get Recommended; LinkedIn itself actually suggests that you have at least three recommendations from past and existing managers and colleagues. Clearly, you have the power to say whatever you like about yourself the way Kim Jong Il did (Before his death claiming to have scored 11 hole-in-ones in one round of golf.) However, hearing what you are capable of from others has massive credibility and successively validates the skills and expertise you have mentioned earlier on your profile. Don’t be shy in asking your boss or/and people you work/ed with to talk you up on you profile.


Join and Participate in Groups; while some groups are spam and useless, others can be very helpful. Whether they’re offering out appropriate advice or giving you the opportunity to engage in group discussion, people become aware of your existence in the process and depending on your input in the group, may become drawn to you and what you have to contribute.


Ultimately, you need to think about your career goals and also what you are intending to get out of LinkedIn. Is it more contacts? Advertising yourself to potential employers? Or to promote a business or brand? These tips are generic in that they could all work towards any of these goals but the intention of your presence will probably dictate what you do more of and what your focus is. It’s a learning cruve and a digital place to grow. I have a lot to improve on my own page!




Posted on April 1, 2014, in Application advice, CV tips, Job hunting, Professional development, Social Media, Uncategorized, Volunteering and Employability and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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