You may have heard the word LinkedIn being muttered around by your colleagues and caught on that it’s some-kind of social media platform. You may think, pfft! I already have a Facebook and Twitter account, what could LinkedIn offer me which those other social platforms do not! Let’s see, shall we?
Simply put, LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. Anyone 16 and over can create a LinkedIn profile regardless of what profession they’re in, whether a small business owner or a managing director of a global company. It’s a platform for individuals who want to take their career and profession, seriously.
LinkedIn’s function is similar to that of other more mainstream social platforms and that is to connect and network with people. But, rather than sharing an image of yourself with a filter, vomiting a rainbow, you connect with other professionals, ideally in your field of expertise and exchange virtual business cards so to speak. You network and inform other like-minded people what skills you could bring to the table, without being too in your face and salesy.
LinkedIn is similar to Facebook in terms of layout and features, though its features are more catered to appeal to professionals. You can expect a profile image, header, bio which highlights your most current job role and an option to post an update whether this is a link, image or text and finally your newsfeed. Other features include quick links to view My Network which is similar to your friends’ list, Jobs, Messaging, Notifications and your personal settings.
When people ask me, what’s on your LinkedIn profile? I like to tell them it’s essentially a digital CV. This is 2018 and I like to think the days of manually formatting and editing your CV via Microsoft Word has gone! It’s a digital space for you to flaunt all of your expertise you have gained over the years and highlight what companies you have worked for. Show-off your experience on a platform which does all the formatting for you!
Do you have any specific skills or knowledge which you’re proud of? At the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, you can list a multitude of skills and keywords. This can include particular software, industries or more generic terms like customer service. These skills help optimize your profile to be found by someone in your industry, a potential employer, perhaps? Other users can also endorse your skills – another aspect to strengthen your profile and sell yourself as a professional.
Now you build and nurture your presence. Use the search bar and type in words that relate to your interests. You can filter with People, Jobs, Content, Companies, Schools and Groups. This will help you build up your connections and promote yourself within your sector. Joining Groups is a great way to bond with like-minded people in your industry.
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