LinkedIn is less of a social platform and more of a powerful tool for businesses and personnel to generate leads and do business. But do you know how does LinkedIn work? If not then learn how to use LinkedIn effectively in 2020.
Each one of you must have heard about LinkedIn a lot of times but do you know how can you effectively use it? In this article, we would not only tell you about what LinkedIn is but would also mention about the multiple ways you can use it which can benefit your career immensely.
LinkedIn has become a valuable resource for career and several business professionals for increasing their network, getting resources and support. It also helps in building relationships with potential customers which can increase your brand awareness and revenue.
Another distinguished feature of LinkedIn is that it assists freelancers, home-based business owners and telecommuters by connecting then to the outside world easily and making clients.
How Does LinkedIn Work? Use LinkedIn Effectively in 2020
You would be amazed to know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform. It is a social network that is particularly created for career and business professionals to connect. Linked has many uses such as finding jobs, searching for opportunities to advance one’s career, hiring employees, locating potential customers and much more.
If we talk about its users, there are over 65 million professionals who use Linked for raising their business and career. One thing that people like most about LinkedIn is that here you build strategic relationships, unlike other social platforms where you make friends with anyone and everyone.
- It stops showing the number of contacts once you make more than 500 connections as LinkedIn is about making quality contacts rather than focusing on quantity.
- It has members from all over the world from every industry, which means that you can connect with people globally as per your requirement.
- A lot of Fortune 500 executives are on LinkedIn which means you have a chance to connect with them as well.
- It is a large platform for people who wish to find potential customers, work as a freelancer and want to keep job prospects open.
Step by Step- Creating an effective LinkedIn profile
Here, you would be able to understand how to create your LinkedIn profile and what are the things that you should not refrain on.
a. Start with the basics: When you create a profile on LinkedIn the first thing that you need to do is enter your email address. Always make sure that you register with the email address that you regularly check. This is one of the initial things you should take into consideration.
Because you would frequently receive connection requests, messages and other notifications related to your profile. Fill the demographic information like location, phone number, current employment status, type of job required as the open you are on giving information, the potential employer can reach out to you more easily.
If you want to add contacts quickly to your LinkedIn profile then for that you can allow LinkedIn to access your email contact list.
b. Choose Account Type: Here comes the next step where you need to decide, that if you want to opt for the free version or the premium. The free version is basic where you get access to limited options whereas in premium version you get options to pick from for example there are different versions for students, job seekers, professionals, etc.
They charge differently for separate areas such as for job seekers it’s different, experienced and professionals it’s different, etc. Thus, while choosing any version think of your usage and requirement. The premium versions come with a one-month free trial option, so if you do not like it, you can cancel it and choose the other option.
c. Add a picture: Well, it is not a mandate but by adding a photo your profile looks complete. Remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform so ensure that your picture is the same. Use a professional headshot or any picture that gives a little formal look and should be at least 200 X 200 pixels.
Because if you use a picture with fewer pixels than it might appear blurry and distorted. It is essential to put a high-resolution picture as it has been noted that profile with good quality pictures is viewed more and get more messages.
d. Showcase your experience: For people who are hunting for a job, this is one of the most significant aspects they should talk about. Your experience list should always tell about what you have done in detail. If you want you can also add your resume to your profile or if you aspire you can showcase all your experience manually.
Try and talk about all the programs and designations you have worked for, try and use more keywords for making your resume or content engaging and readable. Keep in mind that while you mention about your experience always start writing with the most current one first and then mention the previous companies that you have worked for.
e. Specify your skills: It always looks great when you mention about the skills that you possess. Try and write about 3 to 5 skills and make sure you also prepare how you have used those skills in previous companies, as there are a lot of people who can question you while hiring.
It has been examined that people who mention their skills on their profile, their profiles are viewed more. Remember that while mentioning your skills keep the high-honed skills at the front and the rest below it. As the skills play a major role in connecting you with the recruiters.
f. Education Background: When you mention your education background, write about all the schools, (in case you have changed) as it helps in old schoolmates, groups, etc. Also, mention any certification courses that you have done such as Microsoft Excel, Digital Marketing, etc.
These courses can help you in gaining an edge over other candidates of the same profile. If you have better knowledge or experience, recruiters would prefer you over another candidate.
g. Abstract it: It is significant for you to summarize what you have mentioned but it is not an easy job. Keep a few things in mind while you sum up, firstly, write it in at least 40 words as it would show up when people search for it, secondly mention about your personality and talk about your goals and experiences.
h. Heading: This is something which has a lot of importance because it would appear on the right side beside your name and also might show up in the results on some search engines. This is a nice way to make an impression on the viewers, so use it vigilantly.
Your heading should be written in such a fashion that people get eager to open and read your profile. It would be excellent if you could use some keywords as it would make your profile found quickly. You can use headings like, seeking for all good opportunities, Expert in Computer Science and any such thing that you are good at.
i. Add other information: On LinkedIn, there is a space where you can put additional information if you want. There are a lot of people who use this space wisely and so can you. Write something that recruiter could not hold himself from checking your complete profile.
You can use this space to write about your hobbies such as painting which shows that you are a creative person, playing cricket which shows that you can work well in a team, etc. So use this space in a way that each word counts.
j. Proofread: When you complete your profile, do not forget to proofread it as it is always good to double-check to avoid any sort of errors. Not only you should check grammatical errors but also check if the date of employment and year of passing is mentioned correctly.
Check if you have used professional language and no slangs are used. In fact, the most reliable way to check on the additional information or summary is by reviewing it through online checker as they would give you the errors that you might have missed on.
k. Ask your friend to look it over: There are times when it is beneficial if someone else takes a look at the work done by you. You can ask your friend or family member to take a look over it and see if it is appealing and everything looks in place.
Students can seek help from their teachers and professionals can ask their colleagues or friends as well. This is an exceptional way of knowing your errors and fixing them.
l. Make a personalized URL: You must be thinking that why do you need a personalized URL? Well, the point is that it makes easier for others to find you. People who have common names might face an issue that the URL’s with a similar name is taken so you might add your date of birth, a year or anything after your name. Your URL should be between 5 to 30 characters.
m. Network Creation: Once you are done with the making of your profile now is the time to build your network. This is the most vital part of LinkedIn, the more networks you built the more chances increase of your profile getting viewed and thus more opportunities for job. Remember LinkedIn is about professional connections not about making friends.
You can make a connection with anyone that they know and with anyone whom you have a professional connection or want to make a professional connection with.
n. Regularly Update: LinkedIn is only beneficial if you use it regularly else you might abstain on opportunities. If you check the updates regularly then you would be in touch with your connections and know what’s happening around. Check at least once in a week and respond to the connection requests, post or comment on articles, etc.
o. Post Content: If you want to be visible on LinkedIn that it is substantial for you to post content regularly. Post things which are related to your fields such as funny quotes related to work, statistics, articles or anything that you like.
This was about creating the profile now the next important thing to know is how you can use it to get the optimum results. Want to know how? Let’s get started.
How to use LinkedIn Effectively?
Creating a profile is simple but staying regular on it and using it productively is also an art. Here are some points which you help you in using LinkedIn effectively:
1. Complete your Profile
As mentioned above, the first thing that you should do is to complete your profile and make it look strong. Once you create your profile, you can also promote your LinkedIn presence on other platforms to help grow your networks.
The more people you add to your LinkedIn profile it makes your search ranking better. When you make new connections you get access to not only their profile but also you would be able to see the publicly available connections. Hence, to add more and more connections it is paramount for you to have a sound profile.
2. Start conversing
LinkedIn provides you access to message your contacts and converse with them. Once you make connections thereafter if you want you can have a real-time conversation with them. If you see a green dot that means your connection is active and you can talk to them.
Even if they are not active still you can leave a message if you want. The best thing about it is that once you receive any message, automatic replies get generated such as okay, thank you, that is fine, etc. It can help in making your conversations short, quick and crisp.
If you are using a premium account you also have the access to use InMail. This feature enables you to send a private message to any LinkedIn number without any prior introduction.
3. Give and Receive endorsements and recommendations
Do you know what recommendation and testimonials are? Recommendations are personal testimonials which emphasize on your professional skills. You can try and collect some recommendations from people you have worked with.
You can also ask them to add some specific thongs which have attracted them rather than writing a general statement.
Endorsements are notifications which describe your particular abilities. Endorsements help to make your profile strong and potential clients or viewers of your profile might get impressed after reading it.
This is a very important step in making your profile strong and letting people know about your work. Your connections can write recommendations for your profile and can also offer endorsements of your skills.
4. Be a part of LinkedIn Groups
If you want to stay active on LinkedIn and wish to be known that you can create or join the groups. This is a great way of discussing about any idea and sharing any updates related to your industry.
If you want to search the active groups, for that you just need to go to the search bar and search for groups that you want to be a part of. Once you become a member of the group after that you can join the conversation, ask questions and also send message to any member of the group.
It can be a great way of being known and getting updates on your industry. Additionally, you can also share information or any update but ensure that you never do self-promotion in these kinds of groups. Also, make sure that you read the rules of the group as if you don’t follow them, they might remove or block you.
5. Create engaging content
The way you post pictures, text and content on other social media platforms in the same way you can do it on LinkedIn. The only difference is that here the content that you post should be informative, useful or relevant to your business area.
Do not write anything just for staying active, you should make sure that whatever you write is correct and without any grammatical errors. If you love making videos, then you can also upload any useful video as well.
Posting content on a regular basis boosts your organization’s identity. While posting a video remember to add captions for viewers who watch the video with the sound off. If not video, then you can also share a complete article. These articles can even be shared by your viewers.
If you write original content then do not forget to take its copyright. If you want more and more people to read your content then try and add hashtags to it.
6. Find new candidates and jobs both
On Linked you can find both new hires and opportunities as per your requirements. You can easily search for the people that you are looking for by just typing the skills required and then click on search, you would be able to see thousands of people from which you can choose any candidate.
The best thing is that its search filter enables you to search as per location, language, school, the former company, education, etc. this makes it easier and quicker for you to search for the right fit. In fact, its premium version comes with even more options for making things simpler for you.
It is also good for people who are looking for a job as they can contact people if they see any job posted as per their profile. This is a quick and easy way of getting a job.
7. Build your company’s profile
LinkedIn is a great platform for creating brand awareness and visibility of your business. By doing this you can create a good connection with your potential customers and connections. If you set up a LinkedIn page then people or new hires can easily search and read about your company.
You can use the data of people visiting your page to target your content even more efficiently. You can also use LinkedIn to research competitors, suppliers and other such information.
8. Follow professional etiquette
Keep in mind that you have to follow the ethics and codes if you want to maintain a good reputation on LinkedIn. Your success depends on maintaining good relations with your connections, which is only possible if you appear professional.
So make sure that you do not post any personal content or any gossip that you hear as a lot of people would read it. Be vigilant when sharing any information about your company as it can leave a great impact on your viewers and connections. Do not discuss your achievements too much instead focus on building real and good connections.
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This was about using LinkedIn effectively, now let us know about some of the best practices that you should follow, so that you get more views on your profile or to increase brand awareness, etc.
LinkedIn Best Practices
1. Optimize the anchor text for the website links on your LinkedIn profile
Many people use the basic anchor text links in their websites list within your LinkedIn profile’s info section; you can modify the basic anchor text and make them appealing. The reason behind doing this is that it would grab more attention, thus the people would view your profile even more.
- SEO is very important- Just completing your profile is not enough, to stand out from others, you must optimize your profile with appropriate keywords. You can add these keywords to headline, summary, additional informational, etc.
- Make your profile an open profile- If you opt for the pro version of LinkedIn, then if this open profile feature helps you to message any LinkedIn contact irrespective of their connection status if they accept Open profile messages. This feature helps you to get in touch with people that otherwise you might not be able to interact with.
- Create targeted Showcase Pages- These pages are targeted niche pages which are offshoots of the main company page. These pages can help in promoting particular products or services and regales to a particular audience. These pages are best if you wish to give a more personalized experience to the visitors of your website.
- Use LinkedIn Pulse- You might not know what a LinkedIn pulse is? This is LinkedIn’s publishing and news content production platform. It is good to check it as you would get news related to all sort of industries plus you would get all the updates too.
If you want you may also sign up for daily or weekly email notifications. The best thing is that any LinkedIn user can write and publish articles on its pulse.
2. Experiment with Ads and Sponsored updates
LinkedIn also provided you with ads and sponsored updates. These advertising options come with the ability to target audience based in job title, company size, job function and industry which means that your ads will show up in front of users who would most likely read and act on your ads.
LinkedIn can be used as a marketing tool as it can add and increase revenue to your company if it is used in the right manner.
These were some of the points to remember while using LinkedIn but it is even more critical for you to learn about the few common errors that most people do while using LinkedIn.
Common Mistakes to avoid while using LinkedIn
It is essential for you to know about the common LinkedIn pitfalls and how can you easily avoid them:
a) Do not treat LinkedIn like other social media platforms: A lot of people do this mistake of using LinkedIn like other social media platforms but you should never do this. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. There is no tolerance for unprofessional people on LinkedIn as people do not like reading or entertaining anything nonsense on LinkedIn.
As soon as people make profile they start asking for help or join a group and promote their products or brand, etc. Avoid these mistakes as all this is done by people who do not know how to use LinkedIn, so behave professionally and follow the LinkedIn rules.
b) Keep your status positive: Make sure that you do not discuss any political topics and how the industry which you are working in has become bad. Try and keep your posts positive and particular, furthermore, it would be great if the content that you post is based on facts and stats.
Posting great content which adds value to your industry can be a good idea and help others too.
c) Missing personalization: By now you very well know that LinkedIn is about networking but still it needs a slight personal touch as well. Hence, if you get a chance you should never miss any opportunity to personalize with any connection or client. This can help in creating relationships for long and making a good eminence with the clients.
d) Never send a message stating “I see you viewed my profile”: There are a lot of people who do this mistake but you should never do this. There are numerous people who stalk many people but they never tell them, they never send them a message directly.
It is really weird and unprofessional saying that you checked that you viewed my profile, so always ignore this as other people might feel a little awkward and embarrassed plus he might also create a different image of yours.
e) Not spending enough time on LinkedIn: If you want to get the most out of anything then you need to invest time in it and the same goes for LinkedIn as well. Do not think that just joining LinkedIn is enough; it is like professional progress where you need to spend enough time.
The more you would use it, the more benefits you can avail from it as you can make more connections, find better job opportunities, promote your brand and much more
f) Never Lie: Unlike some people do not exaggerate or lie about your achievements or experience as this can be the biggest mistake. There have been people who did this and eventually, someday they got caught and the day this happens, it might be the end of your career in that industry. So, make sure do never exaggerate or lie anything about yourself.
g) Follow up: Not following up might be negative for you as there are times when people help you get a job interview or takes an interest in your career then you should always ask them about their career and things on their part. Appreciate them and tell them how their advice helped, etc. This would not make your relationship better but also open up future opportunities for you.
h) Using complex words to describe simple jobs: This trick used to work in colleges, not in the professional word. Using giant words for just mentioning a simple job does not work now. Use good words but not complex words which make the reader feel bored. Always use simple and short sentences to describe yourself or your experience.
These were a few things you should always keep in mind while using LinkedIn also never forget to follow the ethics and codes of the groups that you join on LinkedIn as it might backfire on you. Also keep in mind to respond to all the emails that you receive and include all the important links in your profile related to your company, blog or any other important link.
Technology has always helped humans to grow but it solely depends on person to person how they use it. Same is with LinkedIn it is an innovation which if used properly can help in creating true professional relationships where you can find value.
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Your profile can only be successful when you see a lot of people viewing it, comments increasing, people messaging you and recruiters contacting you. Professional development is like a constant dance that always takes you forward. Create a strong profile and never miss any opportunity on LinkedIn as it might be a life-changer for you.
So what does success looks like on LinkedIn for you?