Are you ready to connect with like-minded professionals across the globe?

LinkedIn allows you to express yourself in a professional capacity, showcasing your skills, projects, experience and career in a way that suits the professional image you want to portray. This ‘Facebook for corporates’ allows you to connect with potential employers, remain in contact with previous work colleagues or you can post updates on your recently completed project.

LinkedIn is a social networking platform that focusses on professional networking and career development.

LinkedIn also added an extensive range of professional development and recruitment products to their platform with the aim of strengthening the bond with their users. Employees can now upskill themselves with LinkedIn Learning while their talent solutions allow employers to list jobs, search, attract and recruit highly specialised skills they require for their brand. You can also stay updated with industry developments, innovations and online seminars.

Here’s how you can join over 740 million professionals on LinkedIn, an important step in landing a job in South Africa according to the Business Insider. Who knows, it might just give your career the boost it needs to expand your horizons.

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Registration and Creating an Active Profile

Setting up your own LinkedIn profile page is easy. Simply head over to the LinkedIn website, za.linkedin.com, and click on the join now icon.  You’ll have to provide some basic personal information to get your profile started like your full name, your professional or work email, a password to your account and a professional photo.

All these elements contribute to the professional image and brand you create for yourself online. This will ultimately affect the rapport you develop with industry professionals, so choose elements and aspects of yourself that will portray you professionally and steer clear from unnecessary details and pictures.

If you are uncertain about the type of content suitable you can ask yourself one question:  Is this something I’ll show or tell someone in a job interview?

Create a Completed and Active Profile

Fully completed LinkedIn profiles will show up greater in search results. This means that your profile will pop-up more frequently for searching employers and professionals to view. It is therefore important to ensure your profile is 100% complete which will be visible on your new profile dashboard.

A fully active profile is proved to bring about greater trust from potential connections and taking time to add following elements will ensure a more appealing and discoverable profile:

  • A profile headline
  • An intriguing LinkedIn summary or ‘About You’ section
  • Your experience & education
  • A personal mission statement
  • Highlighted skills and endorsements

Also ensure your contact details remain updated in-case a recruiter tries to get hold of you and include any relevant links to other platforms or pages. A word of caution, most new employers check out people on social media channels before employing them, so be sure you only share links that won’t jeopardise the image you are working so hard on.

The Right Word Selection to Improve Discoverability

Industry keywords and searchable terms in your profile will also add to your profile discoverability. This can be quite a tricky thing to do, but if you put the time, effort and research in, you’ll be able to find the words, phrases and skills that recruiters in your industry search for.

Replace repeating words, phrases and descriptions in your profile with similar words used in your industry. As example, instead of only using administrative assistant you can also spread synonyms like office worker, secretary, office assistant or administrator throughout the text.

Did you know that we have Superprof tutors who are skilled in writing and willing to help with the wording of your personal marketing or incorporating keywords on your profile page? If you want to learn how to improve your business writing they can create a customised mini-course suited to your level.

Find jobs with full time or part time contracts.
Take action and start your job search on LinkedIn today. You can learn about the company and view other employees. Photo Source: Unsplash

Find Your Dream Job on LinkedIn

One of the core objectives why people create LinkedIn profiles is the fact that it allows them to search and apply for their dream job. A smart and updated profile might get your foot in the door for an interview with an international organisation, something that was historically completely out of reach for most of us.

LinkedIn created an optimised platform with a built-in job market portal for those seeking employment. You can search for jobs in your chosen region and create notifications that will automatically send you email updates on new jobs that match your search criteria.

As part of creating your professional platform you can also include videos, text posts or share content related to your field and experience, then add credibility to all of these by getting colleagues and acquaintances to endorse your skills.

LinkedIn is used more frequently by business leaders and CEOs to position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. How can you create a unique positioning for yourself on this multimedia platform and can you become a thought leader in your industry? If you need help with videos or creating stunning multimedia elements you can contact one of our Superprof tutors for guidance or tutorials on doing it yourself.

Your profile will most certainly pop-up in recruiter searches once you have an all-star profile featuring industry keywords and phrases. If you are using LinkedIn to find a job we recommend that your privacy settings are set to public and mark your profile as ‘open to work’.

Be sure you apply as many profile tips and tricks as possible to get your profile at the top of the potential employer searches.

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LinkedIn Pages for Business

Maybe you have your own company and are ready to tap into the technological benefits of recruiting special talent via LinkedIn? SMMEs and recruiting companies make use of the LinkedIn Job Board to post and advertise vacancies.

This is really easy to create on the suitcase icon once you’ve created a company profile on LinkedIn. We’ve written an entire article around using LinkedIn as recruiter which will give you an overview on the benefits for a business user and lay out the steps to take to find the right talent on LinkedIn.

Growing Your Profile to Rise to The Top

Active and engaging users on LinkedIn are rewarded by becoming more frequently recommended to others. When you have a new profile your main objective after establishing the basics will be to grow your network. Connecting with friends and colleagues is a easy start and include a search for those friends from university and colleagues your previous workplace as well.

Seeking out people and companies of interest is another way of moving towards topics, people and content that will help your career profile and development. Like people's posts and try to connect with them sending a personal note. They are also there to network and that connection might come in handy one day.

An active profile has many elements
A 100% complete profile and using industry keywords will improve your personal marketing while taking your profile page to the top of the list for recruiters to discover. Photo Source: Unsplash

Another subtle way of growing your LinkedIn connections is by including your profile link or LinkedIn QR code on all marketing or communications materials. Include the link on your email signature, your CV, personal website, other social network platforms and be sure you have it on your business card.

Creating engaging content and posting this on LinkedIn is another smart strategy to make your profile more visible and as mentioned this could contribute to you becoming a thought leader in a specific field, if that's what you are aiming for. Add hashtags that are relevant to the topic to improve the discoverability and comment on similar topic posts to spread the love.

The last recommendation we have to grow your network is finding and joining LinkedIn groups. This is a specific interest or industry allocated area where like-minded professionals share ideas, thoughts, achievements and articles that will help build rapport with industry professionals. A contact from here might put you forward as recommendation for a new job, so get cracking on finding relevant groups the moment you have your profile basics in-place.

Tips For Meeting Professionals Online

Meeting someone for the first time in a business environment can be a bit intimidating, but you have the benefit of gauging their responses to what you say by reading their body language and behaviour.

More people are working from home and how you are portrayed in the digital world could potentially lead to a job offer. If online professional networking is new to you it’s important to realise that whatever you say or display on a social platform is the only information a reader can go by. To build positive rapport you must follow proper online etiquette and carefully select the words and reactions you use online.

Online etiquette is known as the appropriate behaviour on the internet or on online platforms.

Here are some guidelines around online etiquette to help you along the way:

  • Start communications with a formal tone to appear professional and avoid offending a stranger.
  • Be mindful of everything you say as it will become public. Any discriminatory, negative or derogative comments might make enemies instead of friends and could have negative legal implications.
Online etiquette for professional networking
How you engage with connections is important to the personal brand you create. The person you make contact can be a company with a job offer,  potential clients, recruiters or even current customers. Photo Source: Unsplash
  • Try and match their tone, language and level of professionalism if someone contacts you as this is what makes most good communicators efficient. If you reach out first, you can have a look at their posts and articles to understand them a bit better.
  • To build rapport you can refer to some of their work, experience or something that will aid the flow of the conversation.
  • Share interesting content with the person you engage with. Be sure they find it relevant and don’t bombard them with long and useless pieces of information as they might then just delete you as a connection

Whether you are looking for better ways to start marketing yourself digitally, just looking around for the latest jobs, or own a company who wants to offer that perfect person an opportunity, LinkedIn will give you the results to boost careers in a professional, smart and effective way.

And if your fear of technology has been holding you back we have a list of experienced information technology experts who can offer guidance on how you can set-up your profile. They can also give you tutorials and classes around coding or programming and know about almost anything technical, so no more excuses...

Take action, learn today how to use LinkedIn as part of your professional networking plan. It will benefit your personal, professional brand and link you to a connected world of professionals.

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Mauritz

Writer and qualified yoga instructor, who is passionate about health and well-being.