Labeling skills as soft undervalues them. To prioritize skills such as communication, IT leaders must call them what they are in the digital era: Core.
LinkedIn tips: 5 strategies for time-pressed IT leaders
Use these tips to get more value out of LinkedIn – for yourself and your team – without investing a huge amount of time
Professional social networking site LinkedIn is more than just a resource for job seekers. It’s a powerful tool that more CIOs need to invest time in – whether you’re looking for a new job or not, says Paul Wallenberg, unit manager of technology services at talent company LaSalle Network.
“A lot of CIOs view LinkedIn as a place where vendors just want to get in touch with them,” he says. “That can definitely cause some fatigue and exhaustion around the site. But there’s also a lot of untapped value from a networking, personal branding, and recruiting standpoint.”
Consider these five ways you can get more out of LinkedIn. Use our no-nonsense tips to improve your news feed, block pesty messengers, and get more of what you want – and less noise.
1. Make it an at least once-a-week habit
Some good news: You don’t have to visit every day to get value from LinkedIn. CIOs should set aside time once a week to check messages, participate in groups, browse your news feed, and post, Wallenberg suggests. These small efforts can add up in a big way: They can elevate your professional clout, increase the visibility of your team’s successes, keep you on top of industry trends, and even help you recruit.
[ Public speaking also builds your personal brand. Read our related article, Presentation tips: 6 secrets of master presenters. ]
2. Cull trends from your inbox
While CIOs often complain about the volume of messages they receive on LinkedIn, your inbox shouldn’t be ignored. “Your inbox is actually a really good gauge of trends and technology. Think about it: People are sending you these messages because they’re trying to get their tools and data to the top decision makers at a company,” Wallenberg says.
Take a few minutes while you’re at the airport or waiting in line for coffee to peek at your messages, Wallenberg suggests. “Sifting through your inbox is a quick and easy way to get a high-level view on what’s happening in your industry.”
LinkedIn offers ways to tame your inbox if you have contacts messaging you too often:
- To mute a message: Click the Messaging tab at the top of the page, then select the conversation. Click the […] icon to the right of their name to mute or delete the conversation.
- To prevent someone from messaging you: You’ll have to block them, which also removes them as a connection and prevents them from viewing your profile. To do this, visit their LinkedIn profile, click the More button below their photo, and select Report/Block.3.
3. Participate in groups to crowdsource ideas
LinkedIn Groups are a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, network, and establish themselves as industry experts. CIOs, Wallenberg suggests, should find a handful of active groups that suit their professional goals.
“Groups are a great way to crowdsource ideas and approaches to problems you’re trying to solve,” he says. “There are a number of city-based groups for CIOs that many find helpful for networking purposes, too.”
Generally, Wallenberg adds, groups that are selective – whether they require you to have a certain title or work in a particular industry – are the most valuable, because an admin is ensuring that you meet their qualifications of the curated group.
- To find a group by name or keyword: Type your query into the search box at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and click Search. On the results page, click the Groups tab.
- To browse groups recommended for you by LinkedIn: Click the Work icon on the top-right of your page, select Groups, then click the Discover tab at the top.
[ Put yourself out there. Read How allowing myself to be vulnerable made me a better leader. ]
4. Curate your news feed
By default, your LinkedIn feed contains posts from your connections, companies you follow, sponsored content, and other content that the social network thinks you’d be interested in – designed to help you keep on top of what’s happening in your industry and with your network. Like your inbox, though, your news feed can feel overwhelming. That's why LinkedIn offers ways for you to curate your feed so you only see the information that’s most valuable to you.
- To see less of something: If a connection is posting too frequently or if you’re seeing irrelevant sponsored or promoted content, click the […] icon in the top-right of the post and click “Unfollow” to remove their posts from your feed indefinitely. If the content is from one of your connections, you’ll still remain connected to that person and they won’t be notified that you removed their posts from your feed.
- To browse a complete list of the people whose posts may appear in your feed: Visit linkedin.com/feed/following. To quickly remove multiple connections’ posts from your feed, click the “Following” button below their names.
- To see more of something: While your connections’ posts will appear in your LinkedIn feed, the social network also shows you trending news in curated topics that it thinks is relevant to you. While you can unfollow these as you would a connection’s posts, you can add additional topics to your feed. These might include leadership topics, artificial intelligence, or DevOps, for example. To add a topic to your LinkedIn feed, type it into the search bar at the top, click the Content tab, then click Follow below the Topic box on the left side of the page.
5. Use your personal brand to attract team talent
CIOs often overlook how much power their name has when it comes recruiting efforts, Wallenberg says. “When someone is applying for a job on your team, they’re going to look up the CIO’s LinkedIn profile,” he says. That’s why you should consider your personal LinkedIn page an extension of your organization’s other recruiting efforts.
Not only should your profile be complete – with a headshot, full bio, and work experience – but also, you should include details about what makes your IT team unique, your team’s culture, projects you’ve completed, team wins, and projects on the horizon, Wallenberg says.
You can post updates and articles to share this information when it’s appropriate. Wallenberg says to update this information quarterly.
“Every person researching your company or wanting to work there will visit your profile, and this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate why the best talent should want to join your team,” he says. “With competition so fierce, LinkedIn can be another tool to set yourself apart.”
[ Self-promotion disclosure: We'd love to have you follow The Enterprisers Project on LinkedIn: We'll give you practical advice for IT leaders – and nothing else. Follow us at https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/the-enterprisers-project. ]
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