Making the Most of LinkedIn
You know that if you’re going to be in the employment game you need a solid LinkedIn profile. So you did your homework, figured out exactly what to include, posted it then allowed it to use your address book to start populating it. Job done. Right? Wrong.
Don’t forget to personalize your invites
When you hit the connect button on someone’s profile they’ll get an email saying I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. That’s not a particularly tempting offer, especially since everyone gets at least a few of those a month. If you’re really interested in connecting with someone then let them know why you want to connect and what you’re hoping to achieve with the connection.
I met you at the women in theatre networking event last week. I’m in the process of writing my first play and would love to connect with you because I was impressed with your vision for women directors. Thanks so much, Jessica White.
Always follow up
You are helping people on LinkedIn and people are helping you. That’s what being part of a community is all about. If someone has gone to the trouble to help you get an interview or provided you with an introduction then do them the courtesy of thanking them and updating them on how it went. People love to feel appreciated for what they’ve done, even if it was nothing more than a quick phone call or email.
Customize your headline
With so many things vying for everyone’s attention, no one has the time or inclination to spend a lot of time reading through paragraphs of text to locate the information they’re looking for.
If you want people to even look at what you write then you’re going to have to grab them with a strong headline. Instead of heading your profile with a non-descript few words like communications manager
Spice it up a bit
Communications manager: Expert in getting eyes on the page and keeping them there.
Don’t immediately jump in with requests
Don’t make your first introduction to your new connection a job or some extended pitch for their time or opinion. That’s not to say you can’t ask for career advice, but don’t simply expect them to respond to whatever questions to throw their way. Rather request a correspondence with them. Send a polite message explaining what you’re looking for. In the process see if there’s anything you can offer them in return.