Once you have created a complete professional profile on Linked In, what's next? If you want to know how to create a good Linked In profile, this might be useful for you: How to leverage Linked In for your career goals?
Having a complete Linked In profile is just one of the first steps. What follows next is the real reason you are on Linked In. I am on Linked In for multiple reasons:
Looking for mentors,
Looking for subject matter experts,
Looking for thought provoking articles,
You may have noticed that I did not mention "job opportunities" in the above list. This is not an omission, but deliberate. That is simple because I am not looking for a job right now.
Interesting observation : Ironically, when you have a great profile and engagement with your connections, you receive what you are looking for without even asking.
Some examples are :
It can lead to Collaboration discussion (one of my objectives to be on Linked In)
It can be an invitation to access a management consultant's network (again one of my key Linked in objectives):
In both the cases, its about the trust and branding that your profile creates with the profile visitors. This is where the following becomes important:
What is your goal of being on Linked In?
What kind of professional connections are you looking for?
What is the personal branding that you want to achieve?
Who are the thought leaders on Linked In, that you can look up to?
What is it that you contribute to your profile visitors?
How can you develop your Linked In visibility?
In addition to having a complete and professional Linked In profile, the above will help you achieve your career goals.
Before going further, you need to know this. Along the way, I can assure you that :
you will connect with some truly amazing professionals and people, which can convert into a lifelong connect AND,
equally likely, you will meet some really rude, thankless and impatient people (life any other social media platform),
I have had my fair share of above of the above. Over the period of time, I have developed a system to side step the second category of people or keep my interaction as brief as possible with them. This is not something that happens only with you, or is personal, its just who they are. The faster you move along from them, the better for you.
Coming back to the details, lets get into it:
1 What is your goal of being on Linked In :
Linked In is a professional tool. So, if you are on Linked In to find a date or romantic connection, you are on the wrong platform. This is why your goal should be clear - same way as I stated my Linked in goals above. In your case, it might range from "looking for jobs" to "getting an international opportunity". Either ways, its fine.
What matters the most is that you should be able to define the goal, and then work for it. The clarity of your goals will give a clarity of actions and reflect in all your efforts.
Trust me, there is nothing better than to form a Linked In connection with someone who knows what their goals are. Such people inspire and motivate those they come into contact with.
2 What kind of professional connection are you looking for:
As a job seeker, you should connect with hiring managers and HR professionals, right? WRONG. Everyone on Linked In who is looking for a job (and that's a LOT of people), is doing the same thing. So, what is it that you are doing different from your other competitors.
Think about this for a minute: If you are a HR manager in a Fortune 50 company, how many Linked In connection request do you get everyday? 50 maybe or 100 or 200. Of all those, and all the messages they get - why will they remember you alone? What's so special about you?
Remember, in jobs, as in life, what matters the most is how you differentiate yourself from your peers and more importantly, your competition. This is why you personal branding on Linked In becomes critical.
3 What is the personal branding that you want to achieve?
Personal branding means what is the first thought someone gets the moment they land on your Linked In profile. What is the message being conveyed from the headline of your profile (which is what someone notices when you send them a connection request).
Profile Headline : be clear about what you want to showcase. That one line at the top of your profile is YOUR branding. Very similar to what you think when you see a Nike Swoosh or Amazon logo (from A to Z). This is the trailer for the movie that is your profile. If the trailer is not interesting, not many will want to watch the movie.
Posts : Post about topics that you are passionate about, be it with regard to your domain or profile or your hobbies. I have a Chartered Accountant in my connections, who writes about motivation; there are C-level executives who write about their failures and learning from them. This is what makes you memorable, stand out and also, a thought leader in the future. This is the reason the HR or Hiring Managers will remember you.
4 Who are the thought leaders on Linked In, that you can look up to?
Starting out can be tough. Do not worry, its not just you. Of more than 5,800 connections I have, a maximum of 50-75 post something on Linked In. This is about 1% of my total connections. This means, that there are 99% of the connections who prefer to read rather than to contribute.
While posts take time and thinking, there is an easy way to start. Find out the thought leaders in your domain. Go through their posts and make interesting comments that provide value in line with the post and to other readers. Do not be shy about sharing your failures, no one goes through their careers without making mistakes. The more you write, the more you will start to be noticed. More importantly, you will start to build up a high level of confidence on how to write your own posts.
Do not think too much, just start. Remember, the motto should be : Progress over perfection.
5 What is it that you contribute to your profile visitors?
Now, you have a great profile, getting confidence in your writing - what next? This is where the rubber meets the road. This is when you need to start writing posts which provide value to your profile visitors.
you sent a connection request to a potential hiring manger/HR,
they are intrigued by your profile headline,
they want to know more,
they visit your Linked In profile,
Question : what do you want to showcase when someone makes the effort to visit your profile?
Maybe your posts on the profile you are in - "Impact of Covid19 on your industry" (if you are in a severely impacted industry) or "Impact of Covid19 on Indian financial markets" (if you are a finance professional) or "The future of healthcare in the post Covid19 era" (if you are a life science professional).
This is the value your profile visitors get. This is when the HR or hiring manager who visits your profile knows that you are not only technically sound, but also well aware of the world around. They remember you NOW, compared to your peers.
My post yesterday:
6 How can you develop your Linked In visibility?
If you made it this far, I sincerely thank you for sticking around. Also, by now, this point might seem moot. After doing all of the above, there is just one magic word : consistency.
Doing all of the above once, will serve no purpose. To have regular engagement on Linked In and provide value to the visitors, you need to improve on your post quality. With time you will learn the tricks of using the right hashtags, tagging the right connection (after checking with them) or even engaging in a lively discussion with a thought leader you looked up to.
While algorithms are created to reward time spent, I view it as an opportunity to learn and evolve as a professional, while making hopefully, some impact on other's career and lives.
To wrap it up, creating Linked In engagement takes time and effort. You might as well grow yourself as a professional and thought leader while working to achieve your career goals through Linked In.
Wish you the best!!
It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.