Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Secret of Your Success on LinkedIn

Why Are You on LinkedIn? I don't mean, "why are you using LinkedIn rather than (insert your favorite social media site here)?" I'm asking, "What do you want to achieve in your professional life, and how can using LinkedIn help you do it?" Your activities on LinkedIn should all flow from your answer to that one key question: Why Are You on LinkedIn?

That naturally leads to other questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • What audience do you want to reach?
  • What do you want them to know about you?

If you can answer these questions, you are halfway to making LinkedIn "work" for you.

Without a good answer to these questions, you will find yourself floundering on LinkedIn, never quite getting it to perform the way you think you should.

Floundering, uploaded by lsgcp

For example, let's say you want to get noticed by recruiters. Your LinkedIn profile should therefore be "tuned" with the sort of information that recruiters are looking for, with lots of "handles" and keywords that will help them find you. Your LinkedIn contacts should comprise people who connect you to the recruiters you want. You might even want to connect to recruiters. When someone asks to connect with you on LinkedIn, think to yourself, "How will this person connect me with recruiters?"

Well, maybe that last bit is a little extreme, but you should always judge what you do on LinkedIn against how it helps you achieve your goals.

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