In today’s competitive job market, it is important to look as professional and stylish online as offline. Here are a few more advanced tips for an impeccable LinkedIn profile (for basics read my previous post)
Words by Serena Mariani
Know your Networking Netiquette
LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch with current and past colleagues, suppliers, prospects and clients, and having a healthy number of connections will increase the number of potential “second degree” acquaintances. Remember to send a connection request to people you met at professional events and in (professional) real life situations, always writing a note to remind them of where or when you met if not immediately evident.
“Quality over quantity” is the rule though: network smart and avoid rejections. It is OK to ask one of your contact’s contact to connect, but do so professionally: especially if you don’t know them in real life, take at least the trouble to write a short customised message to why do you want to connect.
Join Groups and become
LinkedIn offers plenty of Groups around shared professional interests, some Open (anyone can join – sweet, but they are often full of spam or non-related content), some “Closed”, meaning that a group Owner or Manager has to approve your membership request if you do fit the Group target. By joining a Group, you can discuss your industry’s hot topics with other professionals, discover opportunities for sales or employment. Don’t be shy, take part in polls and answer questions, it is a good way to show your expertise (or simply curiosity) about a topic. If relevant to the discussion, it is OK to promote your products or services but do not spam or become insistent – the best groups do ban spammers!
NEW! take advantage of LinkedIn Publishing features
Have lots to say, but don’t have time to start and manage your own blog? Ever dreamt of being a published Author? Well now you can at least on LinkedIn. Starting from the US, the platform is rolling out a new program allowing users to write long-form features associated with their user profile.
“With LinkedIn Publishing, you are at liberty to create and deliver image-rich content without word limits or project deadlines. Once you publish, you are in play. Your work can be found, liked, and shared. You now have the grid on which to drive your digital footprint deep and wide. The metrics are available and easily tracked.
From a positional standpoint, LinkedIn Publishing can bolster your personal brand and generate leads for your specific business objective. (source: Huffington Post)“
If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, this is a great opportunity to do so without the hassle of managing a separate blog, so look out for it.
DON’T LIE on your LinkedIn profile!
Ok, it can be tempting (especially when you know your old boss is no Internet wizard and “surely” will never find out), but DON’T.EVER. LIE. There is a fine line between (rightly) highlighting your achievements and (possibly) gloss over the less shining patches of our careers… and flat-out making up titles and responsibilities. Just DON’T. Lying is not sexy, it makes you vulnerable and it does eventually backfire (that dinosaur of your old boss may have surprisingly caught up with the times)
BONUS ONLINE STYLE TIP: if you are a freelance or entrepreneur in any field, consider upgrading your professional online presence from a simple LinkedIn profile to a personal website or online portfolio. Although LinkedIn now allows to showcase some type of work (for example, slide decks and images), a website will make you stand out and will also allow you to express your personal style more. There are plenty of free or freemium easy-to-use services such as About.me, Strikingly or Haiku Deck.
In the next post: how to look smart and chic on Facebook, Twitter and…yes, how to take the perfect selfie (or at least one which you won’t regret).