If you are reading this, chances are you already have a LinkedIn account.
Is it working for you? Here are a few ideas to help you to get on the right track…
So, you are “a Solicitor at a Firm”. Hardly the stuff of headlines! What is it that you actually do? How does this set you apart from the 1,270,000 other Lawyers on LinkedIn? What about the 380,000 Solicitors or the 117,000 Barristers?
Make your headline precisely that, a Headline. For example, what results do you actually deliver? 120 characters: make them count.
You need to invest in a professional profile picture. This is not something you can do yourself nor crop from some family wedding shoot circa 2008. A decent headshot represents a small outlay and can be repurposed on your website and other social platforms. Get one!
Tell your story. Make your elevator pitch. Avoid buzzwords and make those 2,000 characters count. The great thing about building your Profile is that you can always tweak it over time. Just don’t leave it blank – this would be like standing in a lift with the CEO and staring at your shoes. Beyond this, Your Education and Your Experience are classic CV territory.
Your default LinkedIn URL will be nothing special.
You have the option to customise it, so do. Click on ‘Me’ and ‘View profile’; ‘Edit public profile and URL’ then ‘Edit your custom URL’. Ideally, your slug will be common to your other social profiles.
Avoid the schoolboy error of announcing to your network every time you tweak your Profile. If you go to Settings and Privacy under ‘ME’ and then ‘ACCOUNT’, you can adjust who can see your Profile and what they can see. You may wish to tweak ‘Who can see your connections’ to keep your ‘book of business’ as precisely that.
You are trying to create an excellent first impression, so lose the ‘inappropriate-student-email-69’@hotmail.com and use your professional email address. A unique personal domain name can be secured for very little outlay to tie in with your own personal brand. You can always set your private email address as ‘secondary’ to ensure you can still access your account should you move jobs – you are putting your CV out there, after all. Speaking of which, you may wish to consider your Job seeking preferences? If your feet are itchy, you may not necessarily wish to convey this to your Boss…
You have probably been endorsed by LinkedIners you do not know for things you do not know about! Recommendations are of much more relevance as they require the writer to actually think about who you are and what you have brought, and can bring, to their table. Do not be embarrassed to ask for Recommendations… the worst your connection can do is to simply ignore your request. Once they come in, you can decide which Recommendations to feature on your Profile and inflate your ego accordingly.
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Although it may have more of a business slant than other social channels, it is, at heart, an opportunity for you to build your network. That said, please do not in-mail your latest connection with an unsolicited sales pitch on day one! This platform is about building relationships, not cold calling!
Check-in regularly. The current best times for LinkedIn are Wednesday at 3 p.m, Thursday at 9–10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-noon.
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