June 26, 2017

How you can use LinkedIn to Increase your Professional Influence

By Laeeka Khan

Professionals benefit by using LinkedIn

Image source: www.forbes.com

In this digital era that we live in, it is no longer an optional extra to consider having a LinkedIn profile. It is a must! It may have been seen initially as just another social media and networking tool, however over the last five years, LinkedIn has proved to be a force to be reckoned with for anybody looking to enhance their professional development and visibility. There are very specific and targeted reasons as to why people are using LinkedIn nowadays. To gain influence, to recruit people and to market themselves to prospective audiences. Whatever your reasons may be, here are a few guidelines designed to help you build your professional reputation.

How LinkedIn can help you build your Career

LinkedIn login and interface

Image source: www.rework.jobs

It raises your profile and people begin to identify with you

If you have been looking for ways in which to be seen in the online space, having a LinkedIn profile will help you get there. People will begin to identify with your presence, the place that you are currently working at and the causes and projects that you care about. Always remember that your online profile is an extension/ expression of who you are as a professional. You will need to write a good LinkedIn profile in order to be noticed and stand out from the crowd.

You are able to Connect with other Influencers

LinkedIn influencers are constantly updating their information, learning new philosophies and most importantly, connecting with others. Entrepreneurs, ground-breakers and innovators know the importance of sharing ideas and philosophies and how to develop your career on LinkedIn.

If you are in this space it helps to put yourself out there, share your philosophies and ideas and start positioning yourself as a thought leader.

Showcase your work and portfolio

LinkedIn allows you the capacity to showcase your work and portfolio on your page. Choose the very best of your PowerPoint, PDF and Word documents and load them to your profile. This will act as a visual portfolio that will give people a sense of who you are and what you stand for professionally.

Increase your chances of being head-hunted

Think of LinkedIn as a marketplace of sorts. In the digital realm, it is very easily a place where recruiters and companies come to window shop for their next recruit. With this in mind, it is important for you to put your best foot forward and truly market yourself. Take the time to fill out the different fields on your profile, such as skills, causes, descriptions of the organisations that you belong to, accolades and more.

A few best practices when using LinkedIn

Have a strong headline - What you say upfront about yourself matters. It displays the characteristics of a professional and shows your credibility.  Ensure that you have a title that is authentic and matches who you are and what you’re about in the professional sense of the word. 

Make sure that you have a current and professional image on your profile - There is nothing that screams out of sync with reality than an image that is dated and old school. In order to increase your influencing skills, you will need to show that you are current and hip to the here and now. Also ensure that your professional experience and any other courses of study are logged on your profile. 

Upload some documents and portfolio files - You want people to know exactly what you are about right? Well that means that you have to populate your page with work that demonstrates your skills and capabilities and allow you to build your reputation as a leader. This will also help you immensely if you are conducting a LinkedIn job search. Many recruiters ask you to apply for a job using your profile as a digital CV.

Include links to professional blogs and websites - Your LinkedIn professional platform is the perfect place to highlight your blog or professional website.

Remember though that professional networking sites such as LinkedIn advocate and promote the sharing of good content. If you choose to showcase your own company website by displaying your business URL, please ensure that your website has good content and some level of authority. Try to keep your pet interests, arts and crafts and other hobbies off this platform, unless of course, your profile is a company page promoting such products and you are using LinkedIn for business.

How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile

Your professional journey does not have to take place in a vacuum. When planning for your career, factor in some time to nurture your digital presence and make sure that this includes LinkedIn. Climb the ladder in your own unique way.

About the Author
Media professional, senior writer and blogger at Educor Holdings.

I blog about matters that relate to education and personal development. I am an out-of-the-box thinker, fascinated with perceptions of the mind’s eye, the power of imagination and creative learning. I am passionate about the human experience, and an avid believer in dialogue, breaking stereotypes, sharing information and the power of the arts. I also appreciate fine coffee and dark chocolate. Join me on this journey of knowledge and exploration.

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