When LinkedIn was launched May 5, 2003, founders Reid Hoffman and Konstantin Guericke, most likely, never expected that it would become the number one business networking resource in the world. It is where companies look for job candidate’s replacing many outsourced recruiters. It is the place for people to source contacts for their business or for their career.
It is indeed a masterpiece of a social networking site, of which I have been a member since 2006. It had all the elements for success. It targeted an audience with money to help generate revenue for the company early on. It insisted it be more useful than fun and to make it a necessity for continues usage; this would not be just another social media site fad.
Yet, the site is social enough for users to want to participate, while giving them the freedom to use the site as they wish as long as they followed the protocol of connecting. The mission of the founders of the LinkedIn site was to make it a social network to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
The model has worked. It is the best networking tool available today for business connections. Yet, so many don’t know how to use it.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- Set up a professional profile with a business photo/headshot. The picture should accurately represent who you are. The text on your Profile should read like a condensed summary of your resume.
- Open up on your Profile with a succinct summary of who you are, what your expertise is and what value you can offer others.
- Solicit recommendations from former co-workers and clients for each of your positions. This can be 1-2 people for each position. Recommendations give testimony to your text and make you more creditable.
- When building your connection base reach out to those people you know. LinkedIn is not Facebook and your network should be built with connections of people pertinent to your field of work.
- Don’t accept invitations from people who offer no value to your career. Keep this site for business.
- Add in any video or clips on you that further define your brand.
Companies/clients are looking at your LinkedIn profile when assessing whether they want to do business with you. Having a strong LinkedIn profile can give you an advantage in the workplace. Spend time in developing your LinkedIn profile. It will help your career and give you access to people that can help you.