Join some LinkedIn Groups
Picked wisely you’ll find yourself in private professional forums with like-minded individuals and making valuable connections with people outside your immediate circle. Group members automatically become 2nd degree connections and you will be able to message them directly. Providing advice and sharing ideas will establish your presence and raise your profile quickly. This is also fundamental to LinkedIn group best practices. The LinkedIn groups that you join will appear on your profile, which sends out a positive message that you’re outward-looking and someone who likes to make a contribution.
Personalise connection requests
LinkedIn generates a standard message, but sent as it is, you could appear to be just gathering connections for the sake of them. The recipient may connect with you, but it’s a lost opportunity to strike up a conversation or at the very least show that you are genuinely interested in connecting with them. LinkedIn is a networking tool after all, tell them why you want to connect or add a personal comment, for example, referring to a conference or event you both attended. This demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in building a meaningful LinkedIn network.
Follow companies and thought leaders
If you have aspirations to join a particular company make sure you are following them. Choose a varied mix of people and companies to follow, to reflect your profession/industry and interests (providing that these add value to your public profile/personal brand). Apart from keeping up to speed with industry news, knowledge and sound bites, it will demonstrate that you are interested in continued learning, market developments and trends.
Make recommendations and endorsements
Your name and title will appear on other people’s pages alongside your recommendation and be seen by individuals scanning that page whilst viewing profiles on LinkedIn. This additional exposure has obvious benefits if you are looking to raise your profile and build connections. Use the rule of reciprocity to your advantage - making LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements are likely to send some your way.
Keep an eye on updates
LinkedIn is an ever-evolving site prompted by user demands, technology trends and development, so check regularly what’s new and how updates might benefit you. If relevant, be an early adopter, show that you are someone who embraces new developments and innovation.
Manage your activity feed
This is particularly important when job hunting as you may not wish to broadcast certain new connections or companies you are following to existing connections, especially if your boss is amongst them!
LinkedIn is an extremely effective door opener and knowing how to use LinkedIn will generate networking opportunities. With a compelling LinkedIn profile and activity that balances contribution with self-promotion, it will work as both your advocate and asset.
Post by: Jenny Hargrave
Additional resources can be found on LinkedIn