There are currently around 660 million registered users of LinkedIn, globally. That’s a whole lot of networking, connecting and prospecting opportunities. As I have previously highlighted, a well-considered, impactful LinkedIn presence is going to benefit most professional plans and activities.
A client recently told me they are now using and interacting more on LinkedIn – and receiving a higher amount of views and connection requests – after we reproduced their LinkedIn profile. We had effectively polished and optimised their LinkedIn presence. Yet despite such potential benefits, there remain misconceptions about the use of this platform. Here are five of the most common ones.
1. LinkedIn is purely for job searching
Some clients have voiced concern about their employer knowing they’ve revamped their LinkedIn profile. Yet while some have it updated for new career opportunities, LinkedIn is also an ideal forum for scoping, nurturing and establishing business relationships. And for also expanding and reshaping your existing professional knowledge, such as via LinkedIn groups. These are impacts that could be just as advantageous to the employer company (and its bottom line) as for you.
“LinkedIn is not just a place to find your dream job, but a way to be better at the job you already have.” (Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn)
Tip: Don’t forget that notifications can be turned off (or refined) via your LinkedIn profile, meaning you have control over what is announced among your connections.
2. Only connect with people you know
As I recently cited, at least two-thirds of job vacancies are now snapped up through networks. LinkedIn is a large, international platform that offers a diversity of engagement sources and channels. Who knows what professional opportunities could arise from effectively expanding (and actively maintaining) your LinkedIn connection base, while also optimising your profile with well-defined branding.
“The most valuable networks, whether in the real or virtual world, are diverse networks. That means connecting with your dentist, and the florist down the street has potential value to contribute to your career success.” (Forbes.com)
Tip: When reaching out for a new connection, particularly those outside of your general network, include a personalised message that highlights the mutual benefits.
3. Only post content specific to your job
Unlike your resume and other more formal career documentation, LinkedIn is often viewed as a brand marketing tool. This enables more freedom to promote and personalise your messaging. There is more liberty to share posts and articles aligned with your professional aims and values. Consider what people in your network would find interesting, and share such information in a positive and constructive manner.
“LinkedIn is now a promising channel to drive traffic, generate quality leads, build your thought leadership, and more.” (Buffer.com)
Tip: Keep your information-sharing on LinkedIn positive and objective, to minimise negative backlash – it’s a professional platform, so it’s best to keep it that way.
4. LinkedIn is an online resume version
While it’s important for your LinkedIn profile to reflect your resume and other career documentation, there is more scope to be creative and individual on LinkedIn. It’s an opportunity to add value to, deepen and enhance your professional reputation. To showcase why it would be worth getting to know you and to learn more about your brand. This includes customers as well as recruiters and potential business partners.
Tip: Treat your LinkedIn profile like a website or portfolio, and tap into the options to upload relevant work you have done. Visualisation is prioritised on this platform.
5. A Premium LinkedIn account adds value
While a Premium account is worthwhile for those primarily on the platform to scout and negotiate (e.g. recruiters and salespeople), the free version will likely suffice for others. There are many features that can be used without upgrading, particularly if you have an optimised LinkedIn profile. So first consider whether you need greater access to prospective connections (which is one of the core benefits of Premium).
Walton’s Words has extensive experience in helping job seekers compile professionally written, career-selling documentation. We can help construct resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, selection criteria, and any other documentation that will help you win your dream role. So drop us a line or give us a call if you’d like some assistance with your next career step.