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How to Network Professionally (And Get Noticed) on LinkedIn

Careers, LinkedIn, Networking...

On our career blog, we’ve shared some insightful tips to help professionals (like you) create and optimize their profile on LinkedIn.  If you missed our previous article, and you are looking for a step-by-step instruction to improve your profile, please read: “Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out: Advice From Our Global Recruiters”.

Now that you have revised your LinkedIn profile, and elevated it to “All Star” status, how can you use that profile to help you advance your career?  By treating LinkedIn as a social network, similar to Facebook, where you can engage with likes, comments and sharing of content that demonstrates your expertise within your profession, or niche industry.

Optimizing Your Visibility

Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is set to “public”, so that everyone can see your updates, links and activities on the world’s largest online business community.  If your goal is to expand your professional network, it is important to make sure that all updates and interactions on LinkedIn are easily viewed, even by people who many not be a direct connection.

There are five ways that your information may be viewed by other professionals on LinkedIn:

  1. First-degree connections will see your post on their own homepage.
  2. If your first-degree connections share your post, it can be seen, re-shared or commented on by second or third-degree connections.
  3. Readers in LinkedIn may find your content by a headline content search.
  4. Articles (blogs) posted on LinkedIn Pulse are circulated to the network.
  5. Your public profile is always available for viewing, even by individuals who are not within your network.

To view how your profile settings, click ‘Profile” on the top navigation menu.  On the right-hand side, mid-page level, there is a button that you can turn “on” to notify your network of any changes to your profile.  If you do not wish your network to be advised of each change, i.e., if you are creating a number of edits to your details, click “off”.  However, once your profile is edited and you are pleased with it, click “on” to alert your network of any changes.

Why does this matter?  When you add a new skill, or upload an article for LinkedIn Pulse, or a portfolio piece (slides, graphics, or video), your network will be prompted to take a look.  If you add a new job title, or a new employer to your LinkedIn profile, a large number of members of your network will congratulate you.  And if they do, you should respond to them professionally with a short “thank you” by return private message.

For sales professionals, adding an event or trade show to your profile can be advantageous, as it creates awareness and prompts members of the network to engage, view and ask you questions about your event.  Similarly, some brands have used periodic campaigns, incentives or press release information and notified the LinkedIn network through this passive method.  It works to gain personal and business exposure.

Share Your Insights

As a professional, your industry insights and expertise offer value to other professionals.  Is important to contribute to your own personal LinkedIn news feed at least three times per week.  By contributing in LinkedIn, you are communicating your dedication to your professional and career, and a willingness to stay informed about changes that impact your industry.

Some content ideas for sharing on LinkedIn:

  • Organizational event photo’s and comments. Particularly special events, awards or team accomplishments and special benchmark announcements.
  • Holiday greetings.
  • News articles pertaining to your organization. Help your business by sharing online content from your corporate LinkedIn page.
  • Content articles from media outlets that discuss your niche or sector. Remember to add your own personal comment or reflection on the topic, to stimulate discussion or feedback.

It is important to remember that LinkedIn is a global community of professionals that are looking to connect and communicate with others in their field.  It is also an excellent way to find mentors, or to connect with influencers in your industry.  Comment, like or share content from reputable leaders in your sector to “be seen” by other professionals, who are likely to add you to their network, if they determine your contributions and insights are meaningful.

What Not to Share on LinkedIn

While most social media channels are personal, LinkedIn is distinctly for professional networking, and building your vocational brand.  What you would share on your private Facebook page, by etiquette guidelines, should never appear on your LinkedIn page.

Avoid sharing content that may be inflammatory or inappropriate, including:

  • Superfluous inspirational memes.
  • Content that is prejudiced, racially or religiously offensive.
  • Sexualized content.
  • Excessive advertorial content, i.e., sales, discounts etc.
  • Offensive language.

Sharing in LinkedIn Groups

The most fun, and sociable part of LinkedIn is discussion in brand, business or interest groups on the social network.  Go looking for groups that are large enough to offer you sizable networking pool, and contribute to your favorite groups on a regular basis.   You will be amazed at the innovative ideas that are freely shared in some established LinkedIn Groups, and the people you will meet discussing technology, leadership, marketing, sales and other important aspects of business strategy.  LinkedIn Groups offer a chance to meet new people, and to post your own content, and promote your expertise.