With 756 million members worldwide, Linkedin is the largest networking platform. People use the site to keep in touch with employers, coworkers, associates, and clients — but it can do much more than just keep you up-to-date with what someone’s doing at work. As a professional networking tool, Linkedin can help you unlock new opportunities, foster your professional relationships, and build credibility in your field.
Whether it’s laying the foundation for a successful career or closing a job search, there’s more to networking on Linkedin than just adding contacts. Over the past year, the platform saw a 43% increase in conversations between connections. As more people focus on connecting and engaging with people in their online community, you could be missing out on critical networking opportunities.
So how do you develop relationships on LinkedIn that can boost your career? We’re sharing the best ways you can network on LinkedIn.
Create Strong Professional Connections With LinkedIn
Websites like LinkedIn can serve as powerful networking tools, providing you with the ability to connect with employers and leave a lasting impression.
Instead of waiting for the next in-person marketing event, LinkedIn allows you to network any time or place from the convenience of your smartphone or laptop. You can connect with people you’d never have the chance to meet before, including the biggest and most influential names in your industry.
This kind of networking can get you concrete results. More and more, hiring managers and employers are turning to LinkedIn to find their next recruit. Three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.
Just by having a solid presence on this network, LinkedIn allows hiring managers to approach you for a potential opportunity — instead of the other way around. If you’re invited to connect with a hiring manager or recruiter, you want to make sure your profile and professional presence are in top shape. They may come to you with a job opportunity and ask for your resume, so it’s important that you’re on your A-game.
How to Use LinkedIn as a Networking Platform
LinkedIn offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with others in your industry — so you should treat LinkedIn like you would any other networking opportunity. This means you need to go in prepared and have an effective strategy in mind.
Here are a few of the top three tips for leveraging the networking opportunities Linkedin can provide:
Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile
Everyone has a LinkedIn profile, but not every user takes the time that’s necessary to build it out properly. There are a few things potential employers and connections will see when they come across your profile, and it’s important to have it tailored to your professional goals. The algorithm also boosts profiles that are fully filled out.
Here are a few things you need before your LinkedIn profile is polished and ready to go:
- Add a high-quality, professional photo of yourself (preferably smiling).
- Add a background or cover image that reflects your industry.
- Mention your industry and location in the headline.
- Include a concise but attention-grabbing summary of who you are and what you have to offer.
- Include a strong resume or CV that backs up your expertise.
Think of Your Personal Brand As Your Professional Brand
If you’re a working professional or executive leader, you have your own personal brand, that includes your personality, industry, and skills. It’s based on your personality, your identity, and your industry. Even though it’s personal to you, you should still treat it like any professional company’s branding.
You should approach your career like a professional branding opportunity. Your presence on LinkedIn is a form of social media marketing — but instead of promoting a product, you’re promoting yourself.
In addition to “promoting” yourself, you should focus on offering a consistent brand experience. Your image, personality, and even the way you talk and engage with others should align under your personal branding.
Make Personal Connections
Once your profile is complete, it’s time to connect. Instead of sending out a flood of invitations, focus on making high-quality, personal connections. A personal touch can go a long way.
When you do connect, take the time to send a personal message instead of the automated one suggested by the platform. Show them you’re thinking about your connections and you’re meaningfully engaged with your network.
Follow up with connections on a regular basis. This could mean checking in on their job search, celebrating a new promotion, wishing them well, or even just saying happy birthday.
These personal touches will help you strengthen your connections, and help you appear more authentic and trustworthy.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile To Network Successfully
LinkedIn isn’t just an obligation for professionals and executive leaders. It’s a powerful networking resource that you should use to its full potential.
Once you start making connections, you can build a strong network of professional relationships and take advantage of everything the platform has to offer — including new job opportunities. It might take time and dedication to get there, but the results are well worth the effort.
First impressions are important, and to make the most of these opportunities you’ll want to highlight the value you can bring to a company. However, that isn’t always easy — especially in an oversaturated job-seeking market, but that’s where having your LinkedIn profile built out and your personal brand well-established helps.
Capstone Resume Services can help you showcase the best of what you have to offer with our writing services. No matter your career goals, we can help you get there with a powerful resume. Take a look at our success stories or schedule a one-on-one consultation today.