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LinkedIn for beginners [Part 2]

28th September 2015

In our first part of this guide we introduced you to LinkedIn and showed you how to set up your account. In part two we will be talking you through how to build connections and gain endorsements.

Endorsements are a vote of confidence, when others see your endorsements they send a strong signal out about your abilities and experience.

Like all social networks, you gain support from others by giving support to them. Try to take a few moments to go through your peers’ profiles and give them an endorsement for a skill you know they have. It is likely they will then do the same.

Start by connecting with all your existing professional and personal contacts – friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, people you follow through other channels, eg Twitter. Don’t dismiss invitations from people you don’t know initially, take a look through their profile and even if they aren’t a potential employer or client they still have connections that may be. However, like all social media channels, don’t just connect or follow people to build up your followers. You need to be using it strategically and to get the best out of it you need to be connected with the right people.

Think about how you want to be seen professionally – these are people that you are aiming to connect with, share ideas, collaborate with, even employ or be employed by. Not only is LinkedIn a great opportunity to showcase your CV, it gives across your online presence. When people search your name online after picking up your business card, it is your Linkedin profile which will come up first. What are the things you want them to see? You can’t undo that first impression.

Make sure that all the good work that you do is publicly recognised by your peers and know that they can help you reach your potential opportunities. You need to think not only about what other people can do for you, but what you can do for them.

98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers used LinkedIn to find candidates. But apart from that, as a business owner you can build up your contact list using LinkedIn, and find the exact people that you want to work with. It is such a valuable networking tool, reaching those who will not only recommend you, but who you can also recommend to others.

Again, like other social networks, the more you invest into it, the more you will get out of it. Take time to connect with others and read through their profiles. They will have skills that you can endorse and maybe utilise or recommend to others. By engaging with them you will get engagement in return. Everyone is using the platform to build their own online reputation, so as much as you can help them with that then they will reciprocate.

However it does take time and persistence to use it correctly but don’t let that put you off. Investing in LinkedIn will build up your influence and strategically that is what social media is best for.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Next time: Day to day usage – what and why?