The quick guide to shaping up your networking skills with LinkedIn
Have you ever thought: “How do I find a job and why does everyone tell me to network and what does it mean?”. You are not the first one to think so. No matter how you find out about a job, we usually need to talk with someone, either to ask questions about the role or when we do the job interview. We are humans and we like to connect with each other in order to build trust and add value to each other. The secret of how to manage all of this is not a single answer. However, LinkedIn is a great platform to get you going and to shape up your networking skills and to increase your chances to get a job. In the following text, we will give you an introduction to the key elements of LinkedIn and how you can get noticed in this busy and crowded world.
What is LinkedIn and why do I need it?
LinkedIn is recognized as a professional networking and business platform. It was founded in 2002 but was officially launched in 2003. LinkedIn has more than 645 million users across more than 200 countries. Their mission and the reason why you need it is basically, great opportunities to connect with people from around the whole world and become more productive and successful.
Below are 7 steps on how you can get going with your networking. Let us start with step 1.
Step 1: Setting up a LinkedIn account
You can jump over this if you already have a LinkedIn account. But if you don’t have an account yet, start but creating one today. 40% of the monthly LinkedIn users access it on a daily basis. Despite this, you only have a few minutes to make an impact. Make sure you set up your profile today and then head over to step 2 and start to build attention so you can get noticed.
Step 2: A picture improves your chances to be found and connected
A lot of people on LinkedIn have a profile picture, but also a lot of people haven’t. Did you know that adding a picture increases your chances 14 times to be viewed by others?
At LinkedIn, the main focus is being professional, either connect with new potential clients, build your brand, find potential employers, and additional focus from a serious perspective. This makes it very important that you have a picture but also if you want to be viewed as a serious and trustworthy person that your picture is professional and serious. And please, don’t have a picture from a crazy party or a picture on your cat. To give you an example, here is our founder Jakob’s profile picture.
Step 3: Your title is like your 8 seconds of attention
At LinkedIn, you have a short field called “Title” next to your profile picture, where you can add where you work or study. This is the place where it is very normal for people to decide if a person is interesting to look into more and head over to your profile. But it has also a great impact if someone would like to connect with you or not. And as mentioned in Step 1, the attention span is quite short, you need to be clear and interesting.
You might think: “but what if I don’t have a job and I am not studying?”. Well, don’t worry. Even people who have a job might not have their working title in this field. You might be looking into finding a new job and therefore you should be thinking about what job role you are searching for. Let us say you want to work with Sports Marketing. Then you could edit your title to:
Looking for a job in Sports Marketing
5+ experience in Sports Marketing, open to new opportunities
Step 4: Your personal summary, your CTA
Let us imagine you have caught someone’s (ours) attention and we clicked on your profile. We have seen your title and now we will have to scroll through your previous experiences (that you hopefully have added). This could be time-consuming and we might not read your profile as you would like us to do. But, hold on, there is a better way to get a quick sense of you, which is by reading a summary. Adding a summary at your profile could help the person who visits your profile page to learn a bit who you are as a person, what your values are, or what you have done and wants to work with. This section could actually help you getting the visitor’s attention and communicating whatever you would like the visitor to know about you.
Your summary is the text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, just below your photo. It’s open-ended space (2,000 characters max) where you give an overview of your professional life.
Guide: how to craft a great LinkedIn Summary
There are so many different recommendations about how to write the summary. We don’t have the only answer, but from our experiences, we have a good guide on how to start your own summary. Think about answering the following keywords: Mission, Key Skills, Highlights/Awards, Values, Vision, Previous Experiences, Discussion Topics. Here you can check out how our founder, Jakob have done.
- Mission – What you can help a potential visitor, e.g. you are driven to help people make sales efficient
- Key Skills – Describe your key skills, e.g. expert on Microsoft Excel and 5 years of customer care experience
- Highlights/Awards – Any highlights/awards, e.g. Top 10 innovators according to ABC newspaper
- Values – What values do you believe in and stand for, e.g. trust, transparency and positivity
- Vision – Where do you want to go in your career? e.g. Striving to make the world in better physical and mental health.
- Previous Experiences – Write a few sentences about where you have been doing in the past few years, not a long story, but briefly provide a short summary.
- Discussion Topics – any topics you are interested to discuss and network around
Step 5: Adding your experiences
As we mentioned earlier, your profile should have your previous experiences, both academics, and work-related experiences if you have both. And it doesn’t matter if you have had paid jobs or been a volunteer. All experiences count. Add one after another, and make sure to add some brief story to each experience about what you did there and also something you accomplished. For example:
Sales at ABC – at Sales ABC I had several responsibilities around our memberships and I called current and potential clients to sell them a membership to the upcoming season. I also took part in our strategy meetings and provided several campaign plans that improved our revenue by 5 % two years in a row.
Step 6: Try to connect with your current network
Now when you have set up your LinkedIn profile and have a good and professional page it is time to build that network you always wanted. In order to make it easy, to begin with, we recommend you to start searching for your current network. It is always hard at the begging of who to connect with, but usually, LinkedIn helps you with a suggestion of whom to connect with. Try it out, but don’t feel the need to do this right now. Instead, think about your friends, your current and former colleagues and student colleagues. From this stage, you get a solid base, but make sure you want to connect with them because you feel that they can help you in the future with advice, networks or that you feel that you could help them with the same thing.
Don’t just connect with people to have a network, try to think if you can add value to them or if they can add value to you. As soon as you start sending requests to connect you will be recommended by LinkedIn to connect with similar people to the one you sent a contact request. Who knows, maybe you find your future employer, co-founder, colleague through this?
Well, try out LinkedIn, stay connected, and try to make a visit to LinkedIn as a daily habit. Good luck!
Step 7: Join us on LinkedIn
Now when you are ready to connect and network at LinkedIn we welcome you to join us on LinkedIn. Make sure you are not missing out anything from Sportidealisten. Click on the symbol below and follow us at LinkedIn!
If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:
– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
– For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
– 3 ways to express passion for sports jobs
We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.
See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.