Are you questioning the benefits (if any at all) of being on LinkedIn? Here are reasons why you should use LinkedIn and why it has risen to be the most powerful business social media platform in the world.
1. Build a network
LinkedIn, just like other social media channels allows us to reach beyond our normal circle of influence and network. It crosses countries, occupation, age and more. LinkedIn even has an amazing ability to somehow accurately put before you people that you may know! This has many advantages including searching, finding and connecting with those in similar industries, complimentary functions or potential partners to grow your career or business.
2. Generate leads and business opportunities
Regardless of whether you are selling directly to the end user or to businesses, LinkedIn allows you to have an online presence on a professional social media platform to allow you search, connect, engage and build relationships with potential prospects or employers. Being connected and keeping on top of industry trends and networking has never been easier!
3. Your brand
This is your opportunity to promote yourself for what you are good at and want to be known for. LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to showcase your achievements, abilities, work history, education and what you can offer potential prospects or employers.
4. Trust and reputation
Word of mouth, referrals and recommendations are a great way to increase your brand and grow your business. LinkedIn allows colleagues, clients and friends to showcase their experience with you by posting a recommendation which is visible for all to view at any time.
The beauty of LinkedIn is that as an open social media platform, recommendations are highly credible as it links the recommendation to the recommender which can only be generated by the recommender.
5. Career opportunties
LinkedIn has very much become a playground for employers and recruitment agencies. LinkedIn is a very effective tool for searching talent and tracking the movements of potential candidates. It’s also an opportunity for employees to reach out to potential employers. You also have the ability to set filters for particular jobs of interest to be sent directly to your inbox!
6. A great source of information LinkedIn is a great source of information and allows you to keep on top of industry trends, companies of interest, colleagues, clients and competitors. It also allows you to create and publish your own content to help you build your profile and reputation further.
7. Groups of Interest
There are various interest and professional groups on LinkedIn and this is a great place to connect with like-minded people and share your thoughts, start a discussion or simply ask for help. Joining groups can assist with growing your network and again reach out beyond your normal circles. And if you can’t find a group that suits you, then start one!
So, if you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile already I can’t stress the importance of ensuring you’re visible on this fantastic professional social media tool. If you do have a LinkedIn profile, read our article ‘Perfecting your LinkedIn profile’ for some great tips!
Filling out a profile isn’t difficult, but there are some important best practices you should follow to make sure yours is as powerful as possible:
Start with a professional photo
If you don’t have a professional headshot, add that to your to-do list, and go with the cleanest, most professional looking snapshot you have — and upgrade as soon as possible. And smile!
Remember: That photo may be your first impression with a potential employer.
Make your headline stand out.
By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your job title and current company, but you don’t have to leave it that way. Consider listing your specialty and speaking directly to your audience. If you want your profile to be searchable, include important keywords; if that’s not as big of a concern for you, consider getting away from industry jargon to stand out. Try to keep your headline to about 10 words.
Fill out the “summary” field with 5–6 of your biggest achievements.
Use bullets to make this easy to read. Think about your target reader and then paint a picture of how you can make that person’s life easier. You can also add media files, including videos, so if you are a speaker or presenter, an introduction video could be a great idea.
Did you know that you can add media files to your experience?
It’s a great way to create a visual portfolio along with your standard resume information.
Fill out as much of the profile as possible.
That includes skills, volunteer associations, education, etc. This is the place to put all the interesting stuff that doesn’t fit on your resume, but paints you as a well rounded individual.
One quick note: if your volunteer experience directly pertains to your job search, put it in as work history, so it’s up in the relevant section, not down at the bottom.
Keep your work history relevant.
You don’t need to list every single job you ever had. Instead, only list the jobs that are relevant to your current career goals.
Make your headline stand out. You don’t need to list every single job you ever had. Instead, only list the jobs that are relevant to your current career goals.
Add links to relevant sites.
If you have a work-related blog or online portfolio, make use of the three URLs you are allowed on your profile and link to it. Probably better to leave off the baby blog and cat videos, though. Use discretion.
Ask for recommendations
Endorsements are great, but recommendations are the currency of the realm on LinkedIn. Reach out to past colleagues, managers, and associates and ask that they write you a recommendation.
Use status updates to share industry-relevant content. This can help show recruiters that you are focused and in-the-know in your industry.
Follow these tips and you can ensure that you have a killer LinkedIn profile that will stand out to recruiters, hiring managers, and potential customers.
We all encounter stressful situations from time to time. Whether your stress is related to work, relationships, financial situations or social issues, it can have a real negative impact on your health and mental state.
Here are a few ways to assist you with managing stress:
1. Identify what's causing your stress
Often when you're stressed, everything can feel like a huge mess. We might not be thinking rationally either and unable to pin point the particular issue causing the stress, therefore adding to the confusion.
Its important to identify what you're actually stressed about. Is it a specific project at work, an upcoming exam, dispute with a friend or maybe it's multiple issues or the growing to do list!
By getting specific and identifying the stressors in your life, you're one step closer to getting organised and taking action.
Remember...sometimes the things we stress over the most don't really matter. Think about the big picture to help turn mountains back into molehills.
2. Get active!
Regular exercise has proven to reduce stress. Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Whether it's a brisk walk with a friend, a swim at the beach or yoga - get out into fresh air, it will help clear your mind.
3. Listen to music
Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. Music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. Music, in short, can act as a powerful stress management tool. So turn up the sound and enjoy the tunes!
4. Have fun and surround yourself with positive people
Positivity is contagious! The more you surround yourself with supportive and positive minded people the more you will develop their optimistic outlook on life and you'll start to develop more positive ways of thinking.
Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. If this isn't possible, take a 10 minute nap during the day, any longer can disturb your sleep cycle.
In times of stress, we tend to take quick shallow breaths. Clothes your eyes and focus on your breathing - take longer, deeper breaths.
7. Look after your body and eat good nutritious food
During times of stress, we often turn to comfort food such as sweets, pizza and ice-cream. These high-fat foods are usually the worst possible choices as they leave us feeling lethargic and less able to deal with the stress. They may also contribute to health issues making you situation worse.
Aim for fruit, vegetables, high fibre and carbohydrate rich foods. Chronic stress can weaken our ability to fight disease. By upping our intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, we can boost our immune system. And citrus fruits provide plenty of vitamin C, another stress-busting antioxidant.
8. Ask for help
At times, certain situations can feel like a heavy boulder weighing on us. Whether you seek a counsellor, doctor or a close friend you can trust, it's ok to ask for help. Often people removed from the situation can help identify a solution to help you move forward.