Everyone says it’s a must have for the young professional seeking to launch a career. But how do you get started on LinkedIn? And once you’ve got a profile, how do you use it to build a network? We turned to five Cumbrian leaders with strong LinkedIn networks for their top tips on getting the most out of the professional network.
1. Use your proper first & second name rather than nicknames. That’s unless everyone only ever calls you Bob and no-one calls you Robert.
2. Lots of jobs are now advertised on LinkedIn so it’s well worth being connected as these might only be on social media – if you type in your area of interest it comes up with jobs as well as people.
3. Every now and again, I search in “Social Impact” to see who pops up and connect with new people; so if you are interested in say mechanical engineering or in horses you might search for “mechanical engineering” (this one is obvious!), but for horses, I would try “equine” or similar words – I tried it and found someone offering Equine Holistic Massage in Carlisle! as well as operations manager at the Donkey sanctuary.
4. Take the time to understand people, learn, ask questions; you’ll be amazed how willing people are to share advice if you ask.
5. Share good news and use your platform to support others.
6. Connect with people you know first. Use their connections to help you make connections that are relevant to you.
7. Build up a network of people who will value what you do and support you and value them in return. Only post about your work and be professional at all times.
8. Don’t restrict your network to people you know and people in your field of work. Reach out to connect to people you admire or to those that don’t necessarily conform with your ideas or thinking. Having a LinkedIn feed that challenges my thinking and approach has really helped me develop over the last 18 months.
9. If you request a connection and they accept try and remember to send them a quick thank you!
10. The more contacts the quicker and bigger audience reach you might have.
Phew- that’s 10 tips to get you started. Don’t forget to connect via LinkedIn with the Centre and with our team below.