Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Sunday, 10 April 2016

7 Ways To Help You Nail LinkedIn Right Now

7 Ways To Help You Nail LinkedIn Right Now

The Debrief: Because let's be honest, no-one *really* understands what endorsing someone means, do they?

LinkedIn is one of life’s great mysteries. An enigma. We all have it, sure, but do any of us actually know how to use it? Like, properly? I’m going to go ahead and answer this with a ‘no’ on behalf of the majority of the globe (you’re welcome), because I’m that sure of the answer.

That’s why we decided to ask Mildred Talabi, CV and LinkedIn Profile Make Over Expert, how exactly to make the most of our profiles and nail LinkedIn once and for all. 

1. Make sure it’s up to date

‘I know it sounds basic, but I do LinkedIn profile reviews and makeovers and so many people set up a profile and leave it there and say “LinkedIn doesn’t really work for me”. So make sure you use it and the first step of doing this is to make sure your profile is fully up to date and complete – all the sections. Make sure you have a headline, a summary, the career bits are there, as well as your interests and activities. When people are looking they want to be able to see what you’re all about from your profile, so that’s really important.’ 

2. Your ‘Summary’ is really important 

‘This is essentially where you sell yourself and communicate to the world what you want to be known as and known for. The difference between this and a CV is that with your CV you’re tailoring it to a particular job, but with your LinkedIn profile it’s all about your personal brand, whether that’s within your job, a business, or whatever you want to be known for. 

‘That small section there is your key selling point so it’s really important that that bit is done really well and it reflects everything that you’re about. You can write a paragraph or two about what you’re about, or what you’re looking to gain on LinkedIn or if you have a service – basically what people can get from contacting you. 

‘You can also use it to add particular key words relating to what you’re about which help you turn up in search engines when people are looking for people with similar skills, so make use of that space as well. It means that at a glance people can see what you’re about.’ 

3. You need a profile picture

‘And a professional one at that, so that people can connect more with you – it builds connection, it builds trust. A professional picture is better. You don’t have to go and get a photoshoot, but make sure it’s clear and there’s not too many distraction in the background. 

‘You don’t want to make people work harder than they need to when they’re looking at your profile so keep it professional and simple. Head and shoulders is best and if you’re smiling or at least look approachable, it’s even better.’

4. Think about your ‘Headline’

‘It’s not necessarily your latest or current job but whatever it is that you’re about and something that summarises you. So let's say that you’re a journalist, maybe you’d write ‘award winning journalist at top magazine in the UK’ or something like that. It says a bit more about you than just what your current job is. 

‘If you work for a brand that’s recognisable then you’ll want to keep that in, but if it’s a small business that doesn’t necessarily carry that much weight, you might be better off doing something more generic as your headline.’ 

5. Connections are key but be selective

‘In this world it’s really all about connections, and connecting with people because you’re never sure where those connections might lead: like they say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. You may not be looking for a job now, but you might be two years down the line and it could be somebody you met today on LinkedIn and you’ve stayed in touch with that could be the opening to the job that you land two years from now.

‘When you’re starting out and you’re fairly new on LinkedIn you can be more open in order to build up your network, because you’ll get access to 2nd and 3rd degree connections and that expands your network. But if you’re looking for quality information and quality connections and you’ve got all these random people, you’ll never be able to find anything.

'Have some quality control but not too tight. Connect with people that you know, people in your industry, people that you’d like to get to know and then also a little bit beyond that: people who might be in a random industry that’s different from you but is someone that might add value to your network.’ 

6. Talk to people 

‘I only started doing this about 6 months ago because someone else did it to me: when you do accept a connection request, send them a message straight away asking them why they connected with you. Just a brief message: “Hey, thanks for reaching out to me and I’m happy to connect. Quick question, what made you connect with me? Is there anything in particular I can help you with?” It gives you a bit of a insight as to who is viewing your profile, why they’re connecting with you and what they’re looking to get out of their relationship with you, so you can place them accordingly. You immediately start building dialogue with your connections rather than not speaking for years.’

7. Use endorsing to say ‘hello’

‘It’s a nice thing to do but it’s also a way to get someone’s attention because it pops up on their feed and it puts you in their mind; it’s a like a “hello”. It’s a good way to stay in touch with you connections as well and give them a pat on the back every now and again. Even if they don’t endorse you back, it builds good will.’

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