With over 700 million users and over 55 million registered companies worldwide, LinkedIn is the largest online professional network on the planet. Whether you’re currently job hunting, looking for new connections, or just strengthening existing ones, LinkedIn can be a great tool to expand your career horizons.
To help ensure your profile draws the attention you want as an IT professional, consider these tips:
1. How to make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete
Your LinkedIn profile is more than just an online resume ‒ it acts as the first point of contact for potential connections. First impressions count, so ensure your profile is complete, up-to-date, and optimized in the best possible way.
- Upload a recent high-quality profile picture.
- Add a profile banner that is relevant to your industry and that reflects your personality.
- Include a thoughtful profile headline. You’re limited to only 120 characters, so use them to include keywords and your industry if it’s not already specified in the default format.
- Make sure your summary tells your story ‒ it should describe who you are, what you do, and the best way to contact you.
- Include your accomplishments as part of your work experience ‒ instead of saying what you were “responsible for,” use more result-oriented verbs such as “increased,” “led,” or “developed,” followed by tangible results and achievements.
- Include all relevant education details, including certifications.
- Don’t forget to list your skills ‒ this makes you easier to spot if a potential employer is looking for a particular aptitude, and it provides your network with a direct way of endorsing your talents.
- Add links to any projects you’ve worked on previously in the “Featured” section.
2. How to master your personal brand
Developing your personal brand starts by building an attractive profile ‒ but it doesn’t stop there. Although it’s career-oriented, LinkedIn is still a social network, which means you should contribute to the conversation.
Engage with your network by sharing the latest industry developments and research, your thoughts or reflections, or news about your professional achievements, such as a course you’ve started or a new certification you’ve added to your resume.
Sharing blogs or articles along with a question is a great way of creating interaction, which could also lead to an insightful discussion from your peers and other professionals in your industry. Scan your feed and keep an eye out for posts you can comment on or interact with. This increases the chance of your profile being noticed by those who could become valuable contacts on your career journey.
3. How to grow your network with smart behaviors
Start off by connecting with people you know ‒ LinkedIn offers the option to invite people on your email network to connect. There are some dos and don’ts on how to do this. The general rule: Don’t overdo it.
Be selective with the people you invite to connect, especially even when you’re looking for people who aren’t in your email network. Search for current or former colleagues, for example, or college classmates. When it comes to inviting people you do not know personally to connect, make sure you add a personalized message to the invite, briefly introducing yourself and the reason why you’d like to connect.
This might sound daunting at first, but keep in mind that most people are on LinkedIn to connect with potential clients or job seekers themselves. Most people are happy to accept your invitation to connect if the association is mutually beneficial.
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