How To: Make the Most of LinkedIn

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With more than 300 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is the most popular social network globally for professionals. By using it, you can see who your contacts know, where people have worked, what they’re interested in and what people are talking about.

But are you using LinkedIn to its full potential? Even the most active users miss out on simple ways to make the most of their presence on the site.

Here are our top tips.

Build your profile

The best place to start on LinkedIn is your own profile, and there is a handy guide that will lead you through the set-up. Take some time to add your employment and education histories. You can use bullets and capital letters to give these sections an organised look. The more details you add, the more likely you are to show up in relevant searches.

Beyond your history, you should also write a brief summary for yourself. Use this space to highlight awards, specialties and noteworthy experiences.

Add a photo

LinkedIn is a place to be recognised, so a good picture is essential. It can be worthwhile taking a new photo specifically for your profile. Your smiling face should be easily visible in the picture, and ideally should include your head and shoulders. Wear typical work clothes and make sure you’re alone in the photo to avoid confusion.

If you really want your profile to stand out, you can add a background image too.

Skills and Endorsements

As on a CV, LinkedIn has a Skills section that’s easy to fill out and reorder. Once you have a good list, you can start making use of the Endorsements feature, which lets people in your network recommend your skills and is a great way to boost your profile’s credibility.

Remember: if you endorse your connections, they will be more likely to return the favour.

Branding

Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to show off your personal brand. You can showcase projects you’ve worked on, link to your personal website or blog, and, for younger users, display test scores and academic accomplishments.

LinkedIn’s publishing platform is also a great place to share your articles about the industry. You can show off your knowledge, talk about exciting projects you’re working on or pass on advice. Since the articles are published with links to your profile, it’s a perfect way to get noticed in your industry.

Network

LinkedIn is becoming an essential tool for professional networking. Search for new connections and don’t be shy about who you ask. Former classmates and colleagues, people you want to work with in your industry or even that guy you met at the networking event last week are all good people to connect with.

Remember: the more connections you have, the more opportunities you have.

Join groups

There are numerous advantages to joining groups on LinkedIn. Many groups are industry-focused, like the RICS group, and are great places to get, as well as give, advice. When you join a group, you’ll also be able to view the profiles of the other members and send them direct messages – even if you’re not a first-degree connection.

Follow companies

Search for and follow companies you’re interested in, to receive their updates in your Home feed. For instance, RICS’ Company Page posts updates from across the globe. This is a great way to keep up with what’s happening in your industry, as well as research potential employers.

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