Just a couple of days ago, I wrote my first post at LinkedIn and this blog post will be about what I learnt from the experience. In the post I asked for a mentor as I believe having someone guiding you in personal and academic choices can be helpful to develop as person as well as finding the right path. Even though your parents or older friends could advice you concerning the future, they are not as neutral as an “outsider” would be. To get good at what you would like to do, learning from others with experience is essential.
However, I did not expect the outcome. Today, more than 13.000 people have seen the post and I have gotten several replies from people that are interested in helping me out. I have called or met three of them so far, and they have all given me new career insights.
The reason I chose to write about this, is because I want others to take advantage of the opportunity that LinkedIn offers. It is a great tool to reach out to interesting people and expand your network. The last person that I met yesterday studied HR management and gave me some pro LinkedIn tips & tricks that I would like to share:
- Use an interesting title. Most people only have their work title / academic background and this does not say much about the person. The title gives the first impression, therefore choose something that would make people interested enough to click to your profile. Also, in general people have short titles. Make them longer (but split them into several informative parts). On a computer a lot of information can be shown and it is possible to add a title that is more than 100 words long. Mine is for example: Creative HCI student @KTH | Pursuing an international career. I could probably add more information as well.
- The introduction on your page is important. Mention what your aiming to do and what you have done in the past with a few sentences, as well as something about you as a person. It could be anything that hows off your personality, for example “I am always up for chatting about new work opportunities, management strategies or Harry Potter/football/80’s rock.”
- Verify others’ competences, then they are more likely to verify yours. Although, make sure they are abilities that you have seen or have real insights of.
- Do not forget that volunteer experiences can add just as much to the profile as other jobs. Add them under work experience or volunteer experience. Then they are displayed early in your profile. Volunteer jobs with less significance can be added to the section “organisations”.
- Add when your expected graduation date is if you are a student. For example June 2016.
- Add a description to each work experience. A good length is one sentence about the job, including the department (especially if the company is well-known), two sentences about what you did there and two sentences about job achievements. Adding numbers is also good.
- The webpage http://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi shows statics of how your profile compares to others in the same field as you.
- Look for mentors or interesting people in you surrounding by simply writing the occupancy/field/company that your interested into the search field. Then either write them a message when adding them or email them. Many people have emails on their LinkedIn profiles. In most cases people get excited about hearing that someone wants to talk to them about what they are doing. Just show real curiosity and you will get to meet a lot of cool, new people. The guy that I met had reached out to around 90 people so far and none of them had taken it the wrong way. Many even payed for the lunch or fika because he was a student and was expected to have less money than them.
- Write posts now and then to attract people to your profile.
I hope these advises will help you just as much as they help me. At the moment LinkedIn provides a way to reach out to people unlike most other sites. Take the opportunity, because no one knows how long it will last. Good luck in future decisions!