A LinkedIn page is like having your own business card online that can be viewed by millions of users everywhere. You have here a treasure trove of professional contacts that you can connect with to build a vast social network.
Opportunities are lurking everywhere, and you can take full advantage of these once you figure out how you can make this social media account work for you. You can easily get yourself an interview with a prospective employer, even score a deal with a potential client or business partner, or simply collaborate with the industry's best resource persons.
Not knowing how to manage your LinkedIn account, however, would have your profile buried in the pile. To explore the endless possibilities in this social network, here's how you can best manage your profile:
CREATE A KILLER PROFILE.
Add a decent photo to the background. - Don't be too shy or lazy to add one. It doesn't have to be a magazine cover-worthy picture. Instead, use one that sends the right message to prospective clients, business partners, employers, or other connections. This won't only make you searchable but will also help create a good impression. So do yourself a favor and stay away from random selfies. They belong to your FB, Twitter, and Instagram.
Make a personalized URL. - With a modified URL, you'll make your public LinkedIn profile more visible and searchable, not to mention more professional. A shorter URL can be included in your resume, business card, or e-mail signature for reference since it's personalized and can be easily identified like your own personal stamp. All you have to do is to click on the "Edit profile" option and edit the contact info. List down all relevant contact information. You can include not just your email but also your Twitter and other social media accounts, and even a link to your site or blog if you have one.
Customize your profile. - Don't make it seem like it's a zombie or robot that's writing your profile. Aside from a catchy headline, you'll also need a detailed summary. Don't be afraid to use keywords to make the profile more searchable and to use the first-person to help you speak more directly to your readers. It also wouldn't hurt if you can be more precise when talking about your education and experience or writing down your work history. Your LinkedIn page can be your most-viewed resume, so make sure you can sell yourself like a brand. You can customize your profile by being more descriptive and detailed. You can freely talk about your interests other than your skills, discuss projects you're involved with, list down memberships, showcase a portfolio through media links, and include endorsements, awards, and recommendations.
BUILD A NETWORK.
Reach out through your LinkedIn account. - Creating a killer profile doesn't meant that work is over for you. You still have to create connections in order to build a network. You can do this easily by using LinkedIn's select features and options such as sending invites. You can also use your own email list or download an address book as a guide and lead when looking for connections. A feature in LinkedIn will also help you easily search for colleagues and classmates who are LinkedIn members.
Browse other connections. - Now that you've made first-degree connections, you shouldn't stop there. There's more connections you can forge out of this. You can check out their list of social contacts and be introduced to their connections. The Get Introduced Through function is your ticket to growing your network tenfold.
Use People Search. - People Search will let you navigate the LinkedIn database. With this link, you can look for people working in the same industry or simply those you know by name or other relevant information. You can check out their profiles and learn more about your prospects.
Search for companies and jobs. - With links to job openings and company profiles, LinkedIn can be a wonderland for job seekers and headhunters. Its vast database can be used to hunt for business developers, employers, and workers. You can get instant updates from companies or check out a potential business partner's or employee's resume online.
Explore LinkedIn's networking tools. - Check out LinkedIn Groups to join conversations or use LinkedIn Answers to be part of a dedicated user community. This won't only help you find the best resource persons but will help you build a relationship with other industry experts or anyone who simply shares the same interest.
Post content and use status updates to your advantage. - Your LinkedIn profile can't build a network on its own. You have some work to do in able to attract more connections. One way to do this is to update your status, so your connections will know about your latest projects or accomplishments. Posting content will also help boost your visibility and credibility. Relevant and engaging articles will help you reach out to more people as they read about your views and tips. You can create a following out of this.
Make well-written endorsements. - Endorsements or recommendations on your profile can make you more credible and visible on database searches. While you can sometimes ask your connections to make one for you, it'll help if you can write recommendations for other people. That's one way of earning some endorsements of your own.