LinkedIn is the most popular social networking channel for businesses and professionals with 4 out of 5 being registered users, and Financial Services within the top 3 industries active and yet to many it is still a bit of a grey area as to how to actually use it, and more importantly benefit from it.
LinkedIn allows you to connect to colleagues and contacts you know or have done business with but it also allows you to see who your contacts know, and likewise for them to see you.
Not only does LinkedIn enable you to passively keep up to date contact information for all of your contacts, through career moves and changes – it also enables people to find you based upon your experience, industry, skills and connections.
Whilst often termed the professional equivalent to Facebook, this can be misleading to users. Yes it is about maintaining relationships with clients and colleagues, but it is most effective as a career management tool – used a lot by recruiters but also companies researching their next potential appointments.
The key to success on LinkedIn is to have a strong profile and to keep up to date with it; at AFR we regularly run events that help our candidates and clients develop.
From our recent ‘LinkedIn for Accountants’ event in Manchester here are a few of our top tips on the basics.
- Add an impactful headline showcasing or summarising expertise – note that your current job title and your headline can be two different things.
- As with your CV, you want your profile to standout and make an impact but be careful not to exaggerate or come across as a know it all!
- Explain briefly what you do and what your job entails and always use descriptive and positive terminology.
- Select all ‘keywords’ relevant to your career expertise, this is how other LinkedIn members find you and subsequently endorse you.
- Add ‘specialities’ & ‘skills’ – a new LinkedIn feature ‘endorsements’ allows contacts to give you a ‘one click’ recommendation which adds credibility.
- Ask some of your more established contacts, colleagues and clients for recommendations – these massively boost your ‘profile completeness’ and look impressive.
If you are going to put all this effort into bolstering your profile you also need to expand your network. Do this by searching colleagues, clients, competitors past and present as well as using ‘people you may know’ and ‘groups’ that are relevant.
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