In Canberra, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be as popular as in other cities. Sure, many people have profiles, but very few keep seem to keep them up to date or regularly post to the platform.
LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with 500 million registered users and 300 million monthly active users (this is those people with profiles that just watch but don’t engage). LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development. You can use LinkedIn to display your resume, search for jobs, but importantly enhance your professional reputation by posting updates and interacting with other people in your field.
Until recently, I wasn’t a big user either. I saw it as just a platform to use if I wanted to find a new job. Starting Elm changed all of that. I saw the value in being able to expand my network and reach new people. It became my go-to platform, where I get to share my thoughts and exchange ideas.
Feel free to check out my profile
I am in no way an expert but I have learnt a lot about the platform in the last year, so I thought I would share with you my top five tips.
1. Update your profile
Your profile is the place where people can find out about you and your experience. Yes, you can see when people have looked at your profile (unless they aren’t logged in) and that feels a little creepy but think of it like this – people do it all of the time on Facebook and you never know.
Your profile is more than just your name and location, you can add lots of details that help people get to know you.
- Add in a line about you! This can be your career aspirations, your purpose or any statement about who you are. You can also write a longer description about your work experience and interests under “About”.
- Upload photos. Not just a profile photo but also a background image.
- Decide if you are open to job opportunities. This is a setting that let’s other people, particularly recruitment agents, know if you are looking for a new role.
- Upload relevant documents. Don’t forget to upload your CV, certificates, journal articles or any other info that is relevant to your experience.
2. Use hashtags
When you are posting, sharing, or responding to a post, don’t forget to use a hashtag so that others can find see your post. Only use relevant hashtags, not fun ones #rememberitsaprofessionalnetwork. LinkedIn will give you some suggestions as well.
Here is a quick guide from Hootsuite that I found helpful – https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-hastags-guide/
Another quick tip about hashtags, while you can edit a post after
it’s published, you can’t edit or remove hashtags. Remember to insert any hashtags
before you press publish!
3. Engage actively – like, share and comment
The LinkedIn algorithm has two primary goals:
- To prioritize relevant content
- To promote engagement
LinkedIn’s algorithm shows posts from people you know and content that relates to topics you have shown an interest in. In theory, this increases the likelihood of interaction which makes you more likely to post more often, which moves you to the top of peoples feeds.
The more interactive you are, the more content will appear in your feed that you have shown interest in. If you want relevant content, you need to be active in the platform. In case you aren’t sure this means you need to post your own content, and share, comment and like other people’s content. It (in the LinkedIn world) makes the world go round.
4. Ask for and give recommendations
Recommendations are often overlooked feature of LinkedIn (as its right at the bottom of your personal profile). It allows other people to leave you a public reference. It is a third-party recommendation that backs up what you have said your skills and experience is in your profile. Good karma means you should also write references for people you know as well.
5. Just say yes.
My husband refuses to accept connection requests from anyone he doesn’t know. I have explained on multiple occasions that LinkedIn is about expanding your network, meeting new people and hearing new ideas. To do that you need to accept ‘friend requests’ from people you haven’t met face to face.
Through LinkedIn, I have met (face to face) a heap of new people and made great (online) connections with people I really respect both in Australia and Overseas. I love reading their posts, asking questions and seeking advice. Unless you say yes, you may never get to meet these new people, and you never know where your next role could come from. What is the worst that could happen?
Ok, those are my top tips for getting started on LinkedIn. Just give it ago! If you have any specific questions please feel free to reach out.