LinkedIn has been a leading social media platform for several years now. However, most of us don’t fully know how to harness LinkedIn’s capabilities to boost our careers and build our personal brands.
Personal branding is a concept that has grown in popularity in recent years. The idea behind personal branding is that individuals can market themselves in the same way that companies do, in order to improve their career prospects and prominence in the industry that they work in.
Whether you are a LinkedIn aficionado or a total beginner to the platform, we hope that these tips come in handy when using LinkedIn to build your brand.
Getting started - If you are new to LinkedIn it’s important that you set up your profile for success. Use a professional headshot if at all possible. If you don’t have one, take a closeup photograph against a neutral background. Fill out the area dedicated to career experience (don’t forget a breakdown of your responsibilities in each role) and complete the education section and you are almost ready to start connecting. As you become more advanced on LinkedIn you can add more content to your profile, and even customise the URL of your page. Ideally, having your own name as your LinkedIn profile URL is preferable. When it comes to privacy settings, you can limit who sees your searches and who can view your profile (if this is important to you).
Consider keywords - When setting yourself up with a LinkedIn profile it can be incredibly useful to consider the keywords that will get you noticed by potential clients, recruiters, and employers. Browse the profiles of others in your industry to get a feel for what keywords work best. Once you know what keywords to use in your LinkedIn profile you should try to incorporate them into your introductory headline, job title, and job descriptions.
Building your network - Once you have filled out your LinkedIn profile it’s time to start connecting with others. Begin by connecting with clients and colleagues with whom you have a pre-existing relationship. When you become more advanced (and upgrade to a premium account) you will be able to connect and send messages to people who might want to use your services. However, as a new member of LinkedIn, it is advisable not to connect with too many people that you have never met or worked with before as this can make your account appear ‘spammy’ or disingenuous.
Proving your expertise - Essentially, LinkedIn should be utilised as a ‘virtual CV’ so make sure you use your profile to sell your relevant skills and experience to potential employers and head-hunters. It can, initially, feel strange to extol your talents and achievements on an online platform like LinkedIn, but remember, you are your biggest champion and there’s no point in being over-modest when it comes to your experience. Make sure that you list your talents and skills on your page. As you become a more established user you will gain recommendations from colleagues and clients which will further bolster your credibility on the platform.
Improving your knowledge - LinkedIn is the ideal place to showcase your skills, so it makes sense to highlight any new qualifications that you have gained. Recruiters and potential employers can use LinkedIn to find people who have specific qualifications, so ensure that you add your new certifications to your LinkedIn profile. At e-Careers we have a wide variety of courses that will set you apart from other users on LinkedIn. Click here to view our full selection of professional qualifications that allow you to learn at home.
Reaching out - It's important to learn how to communicate effectively on LinkedIn. Once you are established on LinkedIn it’s a good idea to start publishing articles on the industry that you work in. For example, if you are a marketing professional it’s a great idea to write an article about new trends in digital marketing that all marketers should know about. Articles published on LinkedIn typically get great impressions and engagement, and this will help to establish you as a key player in your industry.
Furthermore, you should make an effort to reach out to others and foster genuine connections. Commenting positively on connections’ posts and career updates is a great way to start. Remember to keep your interactions positive and upbeat, and refrain from becoming embroiled in arguments or heated debates as this may undermine your credibility over time. Finally, it’s best to stay professional on LinkedIn. Avoid posts that are too personal- LinkedIn is not the best social media network for memes and holiday photos! While it is good to show a bit of your personality on LinkedIn, it should be used primarily for career-related content.
Thank you for reading our tips for using LinkedIn to build your personal brand. LinkedIn takes a little time to get right but it can be highly worthwhile.
Once you start using these tips you should find it easy to use LinkedIn to communicate effectively with those in your chosen industry and brand yourself as a competent individual and, eventually, a leader in your field.