You’re behind the eight ball if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile to give your networking a boost. LinkedIn makes it easy for colleagues in and outside of your industry to connect and it helps recruiters find the right candidates.
First: Create a Killer Profile
In Raise Your Profile on LinkedIn: 3 Key Strategies I recommend 3 key tactics: 1) include a professional-looking photo, 2) craft a compelling headline (or tag line), and 3) leverage your strengths in your Summary section.
Now you are ready to connect!
Understanding the Power of LinkedIn Messages
Your message needs to stand out from the crowd and get you noticed. Many LinkedIn messages, alongside an onslaught of other promotional, professional and personal email messages, are ignored. In addition to the plethora of mail users must wade through, you probably aren’t the only professional looking to increase their “connections” tally. Your message needs to command attention and get noticed amidst a sea of other users using the generic LinkedIn message to request a connection.
Don’t Squander Opportunities to Connect
- Don’t send automated messages. Professionals gloss right over an automated message. Get more creative than “I’d like to connect with you.”
- Never send generic messages. Users won’t bother to click over to take a look at your profile without a reason to do so.
- Avoid firing off a quick message. Each opportunity you have to connect with a LinkedIn user has the potential to get you one step closer to a connection that will provide value. Take your time and carefully craft a thoughtful message.
A How-to Guide for Successful Networking on LinkedIn
Succeeding in your career, as well as in your job search is all about connections. You can’t make all of these connections face-to-face, but you can “meet” people you’d never otherwise encounter in person on the LinkedIn platform. When approaching contacts:
- Make it personal. Consider for a moment the number of messages you get from LinkedIn that are generic requests to connect. You quickly click “connect,” and you move on. Instead, open the message with a brief, personal note. According to Mashable, “When you do something differently, it helps you to stand out.”
- Be specific. Don’t send out blanket messages to hundreds of connections. Carefully tailor your messages to people in organizations you’re truly interested in, and then be specific in your message. Note the experience you have in common, such as industry interests, trends, or skillsets. Keep the opening direct: Do you want to connect and chat? Join a group? Meet for coffee?
- Go for the bull’s eye. If you really want to leave a strong first impression include details in your message that help you stand out from the crowd. In a few sentences, make it clear what you know about their profession and organization, and the interests or skills you have in common.
- Keep it short. Long messages are the kiss of death. Users just won’t read them. Instead, make each word and sentence count, and keep it brief.
LinkedIn encourages users to adopt many of these practices to effectively network on the platform. Try crafting your next LinkedIn message using these guidelines, and tap into one of most effective ways to grow your network, whether you’re in transition or firmly entrenched in a solid organization.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Wishing you much career success!
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional