We all know about professional networks like LinkedIn – they’re great for finding job opportunities and connecting with others.
BUT there are more than one million LinkedIn users in Singapore, and more than 400 million globally. Plus, research from LinkedIn has shown that the most common words used on LinkedIn profiles are “passionate”, “responsible”, “strategic”, “driven” and “motivated”.
Yikes. How can you stand out from the rest?
Feon Ang, LinkedIn’s senior director of talent solutions for Asia-Pacific and Japan, shares five things you must do.
1. Master the shot
Do: Upload a profile photo that shows your face and shoulders, and which is appropriate for your profession. Data from LinkedIn shows that users with such pictures get 14 times more profile views.
Don’t: Use fun shots from last Friday’s girls’ night out. There’s a time and place for everything, and your LinkedIn profile is supposed to help you project a professional image. Save those party pics for your personal social media accounts.
2. Stay active
Do: Think of your profile as a bank account: You’ll need to make “deposits” – by engaging your network – before you can make “withdrawals”, such as landing a new job or business lead. Simple things like publishing your own posts, commenting on others’ posts, sharing news or expertise, as well as staying in touch with your network, will help you establish your voice in the industry. It also shows that you’re knowledgeable and proactive.
Don’t: Be negative or rant about other people’s work. You’re welcome to disagree with someone else’s point of view, but don’t be rude. Be respectful and share your feedback in a constructive way.
3. Be real and relatable.
Do: When describing your work and professional achievements, summarise them using day-to-day language, instead of business speak. Remember, showing is more important than telling.
Don’t: Forget to back up your claims by using relevant and credible examples. Uploading presentations, examples of work you’re proud of, videos of you speaking at conferences, and requesting or giving recommendations, are all great ways to create a solid profile.
4. Connect smart
Do: Send personalised requests to tell people why you wish to be linked with them. Most people appreciate the effort, so you can be sure of making a great first impression. Broaden your network by asking existing contacts to introduce you to someone they already know. No one likes to be “cold called”.
Don’t: Send requests to people you don’t know. Refrain from writing to people whom you have no reason to connect with. Having quality contacts is more important than large numbers of them.
5. Be relevant
Do: On your professional network profile, use a headline that’s more than a job title. For instance, instead of listing “Marketing Manager”, consider this: “Marketer focused on lead generation and building brands”. Also, be judicious about the information you provide on your profile. Instead of listing every internship or community project you’ve undertaken in your career, highlight interesting aspects so they resonate with your audience.
Don’t: Confuse LinkedIn with platforms for social networking. So avoid posting vacation pictures unless you are a travel writer!
By Estelle Low, Shape Magazine, 27 April 2016
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