LinkedIn: Making the most of LinkedIn to improve your credibility in your industry


LinkedIn is one of the most powerful online social networking sites at the moment. According to LinkedIn themselves the site generates approximately 19 million users and with a representation from 150 industries. As a result, LinkedIn is a great networking tool for companies to use. This article will attempt to outline the benefits of using LinkedIn and some information on what you will need to do to make the most of it.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn LinkedIn “is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking”.

How do I get started?

In order to get started on LinkedIn you will need to create an account like all social networking sites. You will need to do the following:

Your Profile: Fill out your profile completely.

Don’t make your profile too formal. People are more interested in finding out about the person and what they are doing with their life. Write a few words about yourself, don’t stick to the norm like everyone else talking about your education/previous jobs or positions you’ve had. Be funny, creative and use simple language to convey the type of person you are. Make sure you don’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes. Use a good Tagline under your name as this is what members see first.

Add a photo, so people can see who it is they are connecting with. Keep your profile up to date. LinkedIn is a dynamic cv, so every time you add something new to your profile your connections will be able to see it.

Set your profile to Full View, as search engines will find you easier and users will have access to more information about you.

Your Professional Experience: Talk about your professional experience and your goals.

Talk about why you have chosen to be a member of LinkedIn and what you are hoping to get from your connections.

Do not write long paragraphs, make them short and sweet but interesting at the same time. Outline who you have worked for in the past (Industry, Organisation type, number of employees)

Recommendations:Use the feature “Recommendations” which allows people to give you references. They are a great way of boosting your credibility.

You can use 3 websites as a reference for you, other areas where you can find out more about you.

Connecting To People

Connections: Always give a reason when connecting with someone. Always edit and personalise your answer. 1st Degree Connections are people you know directly. Each person connected to your direct connection makes a 2nd Degree Connection. Those that are linked to your 2nd degree make up your 3rd degree connections.

Address Book: Upload your address book from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook or any other contact database where you have your email addresses stored. You will then be able to invite these contacts to connect with you.

Friends: Invite your friends or acquaintances who are not on LinkedIn to set up accounts.

Introdutions: The Free basic account allows you to send 5 introductions per month. You can’t connect to somebody who is 2 degrees away directly, but you can connect via a mutual connection that could send an introduction on your behalf.

Inmail:Inmail is a great feature for paying members. These are private messages sent to any LinkedIn user without showing their email addresses. You can see these messages only if they are accepted by the recipient.

OpenLink: You can activate your OpenLink feature (paying users only). This is where you can be known at the highest rank, but you can keep your contact information confidential.

Groups: Join industry groups in order to keep up with events and induustry specific learnings. Being a member of a group will also enable you to network with members.

Goups: Answers/Q & A

Questions should be only posted when you can’t get the information you are looking for. Ensure to look it up first! Participate as much as you can in the Q&A’s, this is how you will be able to get to know people better.

There is a limit of 10 questions per month per user.

Be correct with the information you supply in your answers to questions.

Benefits of LinkedIn

  • Great for networking
  • Sourcing talent
  • Posting jobs
  • Get expertise/business advice
  • Find high-quality passive candidates ie people who are not actively looking for a job.
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