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LinkedIn has its fans and its detractors. Which camp you’re in depends if you’re using it right. CV expert Emma Alkirwi offers some advice
It appears to be social media for serious people, but LinkedIn can be daunting.
It has plenty of evangelists who claim it’s great for networking and bagging that next big job. It’s the butt of a fair few jokes too; some write it off as a colossal waste of time. The truth is somewhere in between of course. It can be really useful, but only if you do it right.
It’s great for connecting with the right sort of people – perhaps folk offering part time or flexible jobs for example.
Emma Alkirwi is a CV expert. She shares her top tips for making the most of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool for getting your name out there and can be very effective at delivering job opportunities. However, your LinkedIn profile does require regular maintenance. Rather than waiting until it is time to find another job, you should be effectively using LinkedIn so you have a solid presence and are networking in advance. It is about using LinkedIn, not just being on LinkedIn, so here are some tips for you after you have your All Star Profile set up.
Connect with your colleagues and connect with people you are currently doing business with. You never know when they may prove useful in the future. Also use the search function to find people in companies you may want to work for in the future. This gives you a wider network and reach for when you post and interact (see below).
There is no point in just being on LinkedIn you need to be actively using it. Post about your successes in work, company updates or meetings you have had with business associates. This allows your connections to understand what you are capable of and how well connected you are. You will also be at the forefront of their mind when a position becomes available. You may even get headhunted.
Engage with your connections. Comment on their activities as this will expose you to their network. For example, if you comment on one of your connection’s posts you are then exposed to all of their connections as they can now see you. This allows you to be seen by more people, resulting in increased opportunities.
Ensure you obtain recommendations on your profile. There are basically online references for all to see. There is also added credibility as your connections can see exactly who recommended you and their position. Recommendations can be from your colleagues, previous managers or people you are currently doing business with. Even if you are not currently job searching, having recommendations on your profile will only increase your chances of gaining more business for your company. Then when you are ready to apply for work your profile is complete.
There is never more of a tell-tale sign to employers that you are looking for work than when employees overhaul their LinkedIn Profile and suddenly start using it out-with the norm. Therefore, if you are always maintaining it and using it to benefit your current job it is win-win!