Time- 5-8 minutes
Back in University, I remember going to career and employment advisors for creating an impressive LinkedIn profile. After creating a LinkedIn profile, I was really happy and hopeful that opportunities would flow in but did they really?
Although I had created a decent LinkedIn profile, I was still unsure of how to actually use LinkedIn to connect with fellow professionals and employers. My network was limited to my friends, some family members, and my professors.
LinkedIn was not really helping me in any way except using a LinkedIn link on my resume, and email signature. Using this link meant, that employers will start looking for me on LinkedIn but I had nothing to offer them except a stagnant LinkedIn profile with no activity!
This makes me wonder whether a bad LinkedIn profile is worst than having a no LinkedIn profile at all? What do you think?
Thankfully, I was not the only one and I am still not the only one. It worries me that the Career and Employment Services at Universities still do not teach students these practical skills. I still get questions about how to network on LinkedIn.
I am not an expert and there are no hacks in life. I am just trying to help fellow professionals and students to utilize LinkedIn and expand their networks.
Below I have written three ways of introducing yourself on LinkedIn. In my next article, I will explain how to use LinkedIn to establish a personal brand.
LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social media platforms to connect with professionals.
When we do a search to look for someone on Google, some of the top few results are from LinkedIn. Employers are actively using LinkedIn to find prospective employees and there are millions who use LinkedIn search every week to find potential jobs. According to LinkedIn, 80% of LinkedIn members seek mentors on LinkedIn or want to be a mentor to others.
It is not just a platform to connect with professionals but also essential for your personal branding. LinkedIn is like your online CV but giving your more features than a CV/Resume would give you. In the first quarter of 2017, LinkedIn had around 500 million users across 200 countries.
Recently, LinkedIn launched a video component for its users which meant that they were shifting focus from just plain posts or posts with images towards posts with videos. Video gives a better opportunity for professionals to represent themselves in front of their audience.
If you are already happy and content with your current job, you can still use LinkedIn. You can use the platform to stay up to date with news from your industry or job function. By following thought leaders and mentors, there is always something new to learn.
LinkedIn Premium allows you to get first-hand information about the jobs that you have applied for, the companies that you want to work with, and insights into your own personal profile.
One feature that I like about LinkedIn is the what kind of searches have you appeared in this week. It helps me underline the factors that are working well in my profile and the others which are not.
You can get recommendations from fellow students, teachers, professors or colleagues enhancing your profile even more. It will increase your chances of employability.
LinkedIn has plenty more features which are all favorable for students and helps them create a positive and professional presence online.
Now let’s dive into how you can expand your network on LinkedIn:
1) Make it Personal: Sending a LinkedIn invitation without adding a note to the connection request is a big NO. You need to let your connection know how you know them and why do you want to connect with them. There has to be a common ground which connects both of you.
We have similar interests, so I thought I would connect with you. I also love reading about/researching on XYZ. It would be great to share some ideas and experiences. I would love to add you to my professional network.
2) Mention an Event or Group: If your connection is the part of the same group or you attended the same event, then you must mention that in your personal invitation to connect.
I met you during XYZ Conference. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone/ It was a pleasure learning from you today. ( if relevant) OR We are both members of XYZ group and I came across your profile. Your speech/posts was/were really beneficial for me and I hope to connect with you here to exchange some ideas and experiences. Hope to hear you speak soon/ Hope to read more of your posts/articles.
3) Reach out to a fellow professional: LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to connect with fellow professionals across the world. Use this opportunity to learn more about what’s happening their world and the new updates in your field.
I just wanted to reach out to you as a fellow XYZ professional. I love connecting with people on linkedin who are active and share their insights. Let’s connect on LinkedIn so we can stay in touch for any future opportunities to work together.
Please refrain from copying these invitation styles and come up with your own personalized ones. These are good for guiding on how you can introduce yourself on LinkedIn.
Please let me know your thoughts on this and share your invitation ideas.
Until next time xx