On August 5 Bernice Allegretti’s posting in this blog encouraged you to join and participate in LinkedIn groups. You’ll share and gain valuable information by doing so, and you’ll also gain visibility, as other group members may identify you as someone to talk with further.
Since many will click on your profile, or find your public LinkedIn profile in a Google search, present a strong first impression. Before jumping into the networking that LinkedIn offers invest in completing your profile with more than your name, current job title and geography. Since there are literally millions of LinkedIn members, be positively visible.
• In the Summary section key messages/phrases about your professional strengths/specialties will help readers get to know you and scroll farther down your profile to learn more – your virtual business card.
• In the Experience section, selections from your resume will support the keyword phrases you included in the Summary.
• Completing your Education section lets prospective contacts know that you’re a University of Illinois graduate – a strong connector in itself!
For some readers, leaving these items out of your professional personality puts you in the ‘Ignore’ column. LinkedIn, just as other networking options, is about exchanging information, so be ready to give, as well as to gain – the options are immense.
When you send an invitation to link write a brief, customized message about why you’re reaching out, rather than using the default message. Mention a common interest or affiliation you have, or the opportunity to exchange information on a topic. Most prospective contacts will then click on your profile, and finding your current and robust information will reinforce the value of establishing the networking relationship.
Find additional suggestions about getting started on LinkedIn in the Alumni Career Center’s Virtual Career Center. Explore public LinkedIn profiles of people you would like to link to, to get some good examples.
What suggestions can you offer on how to get a strong start on your networking and being positively visible on LinkedIn? Please share your comments by clicking on the comments link below.