business LinkedIn 101 - What Every Business Professional Needs to Know June 07, 2018 Looking for more professional networking opportunities? Look no further than LinkedIn- the world’s largest professional network. Here are our tips for maintaining your profile and growing your network. Looking to expand your online presence? The best place to start is LinkedIn. You may think LinkedIn is just a place to post your resume or recruit future employees, but it’s so much more.. With almost half a billion members, LinkedIn is the technology you should be using to foster relationships, post a professional idea, or start a conversation with peers. Here are some quick tips to get you started. Suggestions to improve your profile Put a face to your name. On a platform that is mostly text, it’s always a good idea to break up some of those words with a photo. Our advice: Put a face to your name by adding a professional photo to your profile. Make sure your profile photo is up-to-date high- resolution image. Create a professional headline. This is your chance to grab people’s attention; your headline is the first thing they will see. Choose a headline that reflects your professional experience and current title. Our advice: Short and concise is always best here. Summarize yourself. The summary section is where you tell prospective customers, clients, or other connections who you are, what skills or experience you have, and why you are a valuable connection. Many people have information in this section that is basically a paragraph version of the information in their profile, 10 years of experience… etc. boring. Our advice: Craft 2-3 bullets about how you specifically better your company and what makes you different from everyone else. This section still lies above the fold and is a great way for people to get to know more about you. Add 5-6 of your biggest achievements, too– use bullets to make this easy to read. A general rule of thumb is to make this section between 450 and 650 characters. Tell us about your experience. Don’t sell yourself short! It’s nice for people to know where you used to work and your previous professional titles, but that doesn’t tell us much about the work you did. Add a few bullet points or short description to your experience showcasing the specific work you contributed to or responsibilities you held. If you’ve been at a company long-term, perhaps include all the titles you’ve had to show your growth. Our advice: Revisit your profile every six months to make any necessary updates. Now that your profile is complete, it’s time to start harnessing the real power of LinkedIn by increasing your connections and engage. Networking through LinkedIn Send out invitations to connect. Did you meet someone at a networking event, seminar or dinner and didn’t get a chance to exchange contact information? Send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn and continue the conversation. Our advice: Once you have connected, you will now be able to see that person’s connections as well as search for professionals connected to them. This is a great way to build your network with people that share your interests. Give recommendations. This LinkedIn feature that allows you to write recommendations for past colleagues or employees builds your credibility amongst your peers. A LinkedIn recommendation can be traced directly back to you—when you leave a testimonial on someone’s page, readers can click on that and be re-directed to your page. So not only does this increase traffic to your own profile, it also gives the reader reassurance that this was a real recommendation from a real source. Our advice: If you give a recommendation you can also ask for one in return! Join groups. Think of groups as a discussion forum that shares a common understanding or interest. Joining groups is great for networking, staying up-to-date in your industry, building your personal brand, and increasing your profile views. Our advice: Think of 10 people who you would consider an influencer in your industry, go to their profile, and join groups they are in. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on relevant industry topics and join a conversation. Start a conversation. By sharing content, you are inviting people to connect with you and share your ideas. Our advice: Spark a conversation by sharing what you know and what your company knows! We recommend you share the blogs, articles and whitepapers your company is publishing. Whether you are on the job hunt, or looking for ways to expand your brand, LinkedIn can help in countless ways. An updated profile lets viewers know that you care about your business and its growth. Questions on building or editing your profile? Contact us.