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Making Linkedin work (for you)

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Your Linkedin profile says a lot about you. Are you using this very important personal branding tool effectively? Considering the increasing role played by social media in not only our personal lives but also our professional, Linkedin serves various professional purposes as follows:

• Enhances personal brand
• Expands your professional network
• Aids professional goals

Of course we all know the importance of getting the hygiene factors right – like making sure your profile picture isn't a one of you relaxing on a beach, ensuring that you have a complete profile with attention to all the headlines and a unique URL to your profile. Here are some more tips to help you make the most of your profile and aid your professional goals:

Define your purpose
We use our Linkedin profile and network for different purposes. You may be using it to aid your job hunt while some may use it to better their professional contacts and network and keep in touch with other like-minded people. It always helps to customize your profile with your objective in view. Its finally your personal brand and you need to make sure that your personality shines the details mentioned. Its however important to note that as a job seeker, you need to be aware that current customers or clients may also view your profile and you don’t want to give them the impression that you yourself do not believe in the organization that you are currently working in and that will be detrimental to your current role. So make sure you optimize the subtlety of your profile yet make it effective.

Maximize usage of fields provide
By populating the various fields provided with unique information will supplement your profile significantly. The oft-underutilized fields like the ‘Summary’, ‘Additional information’ are a great way to actually speak to and connect with the reader. Its essential to use these fields to show the reader what makes you unique. Weave a story around your experiences and achievements and make it interesting. Gather feedback about yourself from colleagues, clients and managers to make the summary section unique and a reflection of what makes you special.

Follow companies
Especially if you are a job seeker, it helps to follow organisations that you are interested in seeking a job with. This ensures you know about the job openings as well as other information about the organization from the discussions or postings from the leaders of the organization.

Contact the job poster
Linkedin also provides a great way to personally connect with the job poster. Of course rather than resending the resume and cover letter to him or her in a personal mail, it’s important to ensure that you provide a brief synopsis of your experience and what distinguishes you from the others. In short, the recruiter should be convinced that they cannot make a hiring decision without meeting you.

Recommendations
People like to hear what others have to say about you. And the recommendation section provides this opportunity for you to showcase what others have to say about you. However its essential to choose the the right recommendations to display on your profile. Avoid recommendations from friends or relatives who have not worked with you in the professional capacity.

Join relevant groups
Join groups in carefully chosen fields. Increase your visibility and credibility in these groups by asking relevant questions and providing insightful comments. Groups are a great way to interact with like-minded people and enhance your professional network.

Make use of your network
Just increasing the number of contacts doesn’t enhance your network. Making use of the network effectively depends on you. Use the features to get introduced to second level contacts. Research information on customers and their interest areas. Not only will this help in personal interactions with them but you’ll be able to share relevant literature or events related to their interest areas and thus enhance your relationship and credibility as well.

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