How To Make LinkedIn Work For You

LinkedIn is a great networking tool that can be used to discover new connections in your preferred industry, search for jobs, research businesses and people. Used correctly LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to build your professional brand, turn professional relationships into opportunities and manage what professionals discover about you from the internet. Here are five things that you can do today to improve your LinkedIn and make it work for you.

1. Update your LinkedIn photo
If you're like me you've uploaded a LinkedIn photo when you signed up and you've neglected it since, it's time to dust off your best work outfit and get a professional looking photo. Take a headshot in front of a white background or a portrait from the torso up.

2. Update your LinkedIn experience
This may sound obvious but the chances are you are missing some vital experience information, make sure you state ALL your experiences, including any volunteer work, placements or work abroad, any extra qualifications you may have such as food hygiene, NVQ's and first aid. Go into detail and include volunteer experience.

3. Add relevant skills
With skills people are able to see what talents you have and people you are connected with are able to endorse you for those skills. Make sure you add the core traditional skills such as team work, communication and problem solving and do not forget the new skills such as html coding, graphic design and public speaking.

Don't wait for people to connect with you, send an invite to someone you've worked with before, someone you're currently working with and someone you hope to work with in future. Alternatively, search the company or business you'd love to work at and connect with their employee's, I did this and within five minutes I was chatting to a supervisor at one of their branches getting tips and tricks for applications and interviews. Don't be shy, CONNECT with me!

5. Be active
Share articles, examples of your work, professional achievements and respond to those of others too. If one of your connections has a job anniversary then give it a like or write a little congratulations note.

With any social media the key is consistency, use your LinkedIn regularly research people in a position you'd like to and make note of their experience and skills. Got an interview? LinkedIn is a great way to research the person who is interviewing you and if you do not know who's interviewing you then it's also a great way to find out who could be interviewing you. However, unlike other forms of social media you do not need to be online 24/7, I use LinkedIn during the week and keep weekends for my other social media channels.

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