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LinkedIn - Are You Doing It Wrong?

I have been part of the LinkedIn community since 2009. It is an important piece of my social media brand. With close to 2,000 contacts and almost ten years of history with the platform, I have seen so many wonderful outcomes. I have also seen some rookie moves that are easy to avoid with some forethought and planning. Here are the five most effective ways to use LinkedIn.

Requests to Connect

It’s all about connections in the social media world. So build your network and send requests on a regular basis. When you make a connection request, LinkedIn prompts you to add a note. Please add a note. You will have a much better response rate than if you just forward the request.
Provide the context. Did we meet at a conference? Did we go to college together? Do our kids play baseball together? Or maybe we have similar interests and you’d just like to connect and build your network. Say that in your note.

Requests for Career Advice

People love to be asked for advice. It is a great conversation starter. Be specific. Here is a request that I received this week:

I’d like advice for career pivot strategies from consulting into a marketing, strategy or business development job in the tech industry. What do you see as the pros and cons? And what are some challenges I might face?

I find that one easier to answer than this one:

I’d like to go into HR what do you recommend?

Requests for Introductions

Again, be specific. If you are applying for a job at an organization and want to make a connection, ask for it. Here is an example:

Hope all is well with you! I came across the Project Manager role at XXX Company and am interested in applying. Would you be open to sharing my LinkedIn profile with the hiring team so they know about my interest in this role? Happy to chat more if you have the time as well. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Getting a job or even an interview requires a personal connection. LinkedIn is the perfect tool to use to get your foot in your door.

Requests from Recruiters

Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates for jobs. But not all of them are doing it right either. I need to know what the position is, where it is located and ideally a salary range. I am expected to provide that when I apply so I look for that information in the In Mails I get from recruiters too. I am more likely to get back to a recruiter who provides detailed information. Also, don’t ask for a phone interview the same day you send the message. It’s presumptuous.
Likewise, if you are approached by a recruiter, respond in a timely fashion. If you are not interested, let them know what you are looking for in your next opportunity. Offer to share the name of one of your connections who may be interested. LinkedIn is a vehicle for making connections.

Requests for Recommendations

Why toot your own horn? Ask someone else to recommend you and your work. Previous managers, coworkers, fellow students and even professors are all fair game. LinkedIn has a process for requesting recommendations and it is very effective. Be sure to indicate the position that you would like to be recommended for and the relationship you have with the person recommending you.

Once you have mastered the basics of keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date and including a professional photo, you can really take advantage of the networking that LinkedIn offers. Don’t be a cyber voyeur. Be a part of the conversation. Wish your connections a happy work anniversary. Like and share posts. Respond to messages with a personal note. And build your network on a regular schedule.

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