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Using LinkedIn for personal use…

You have a LinkedIn profile, says Tara Dulake, great, but what’s next? Where do you even start with your LinkedIn profile to use it to your advantage?

Tara Dulake
A spiffy profile

Link to LinkedIn feature1. You can customise your profile URL to make it easier for people to find you and make your profile look more professional.

2. Add a background image to your personal profile. In 2014, LinkedIn allowed you to upload and use your own cover photo. Give your profile more personality by adding a professional background photo. This should be relevant to your industry, but you can also be creative with it.

3. Take advantage of the blog and website links within your profile. LinkedIn not only allows you to promote a website, but you can also add lots more information about yourself that will help you to promote your content online. Add links to your social media profiles, company profiles and links to your work online to show what you have done.

4. Optimisation isn’t just for search engines

You can optimise your profile for relevant keyword terms by including them within your headline, summary or work experience sections on your profile. Using the right keywords is the difference between being found and being invisible.

5. Find new connections
Tara Dulake

Tara Dulake

To start building up your connections, you can connect with colleagues, suppliers and anyone you know within your industry. Only connect with those that you feel are going to be most relevant for you. One of the biggest opportunities LinkedIn provides is the ability to reach out to people that you want to get to know. Make sure that you personalise invitations to connect, rather than giving them a standard response. If you have already met them, or if you have talked about a similar discussion in a group, mention this within the request to connect.

Endorsements and groups

6. In 2012, LinkedIn launched its endorsements feature. This meant that users could endorse their connections for the skills they have listed on their profile. It made it an easy way to almost give a testimonial for someone that you have worked with. You can ask people to endorse you and endorse others to engage with them on LinkedIn. A great way of rekindling past connections.

7. Re-arrange your skills and endorsements section to show your most relevant experience. LinkedIn allows you to add, remove and rearrange endorsements on your profile so you can make the more important pieces of information about you stand out.

8. Follow and join groups by searching for a topic you are interested in within the search bar. Under the “More” tab with the drop-down, you can select “groups”. Each group listing gives you the name and a short description of what it is. You can then request to join the group.

9. LinkedIn lets you add different sections to your profile to make it look more visual. You can add sections for posts, volunteering, languages, awards, causes you care about, and many more. All of these sections open you up to more opportunities to make new connections, so think about what you can add to your profile that will start conversations.

Posting on LinkedIn

Keep it short. LinkedIn only shows three lines of copy before it provides a “…see more” cut off with a drop-down link. This means you need to capture your audience quickly to make them want to click on your post or on the “…see more” link of your post.

Write interesting posts and get creative with content. According to LinkedIn’s internal data, users are twenty times more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post. You can also make your posts stand out by using photographs and multiple images within your posts.

Use relevant hashtags within your LinkedIn posts so more people discover you, see your posts and you can join in conversations. Most users are utilising hashtags at the end of their social media posts. Here we would recommend only using a few relevant hashtags, rather than too many which could look spammy.

What to post?
  • Industry news
  • Interesting professional topics that you are interested in
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Company news
  • Company blog posts
  • Share company social media updates
  • Job opportunities
How often?

If you are just starting out with LinkedIn, try posting an update once or twice per week to begin with. Participate in a group conversation once a month and try to make three new connections. As you get the hang of it and start to see the benefits, you will then start to use the platform more for networking in the future.

Tara Dulake, Digital Marketing Director www.theoraclegroup.co.uk

July 1, 2019

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