Recent surveys suggest that 85% of applicants find their next role through networking. LinkedIn has become the key worldwide business networking site with 575 million users of whom 104 million access it on a daily basis. That’s a big number and a big site, but where do you start your Linked In journey and how do you get the most out of it?

What is Your Brand?

It’s much more than just your skills and experience – it’s the online impression you wish to create. It’s also getting to the core of you and your offering – this is about authenticity which is very attractive to your target market – and is what confident people have – the ability to be authentic and show the world who they are rather than masking it.

Now that you’ve given some focus to your brand it’s now time to access the site,

What should I do first on LinkedIn?

Develop a strong profile. Focus on the following:

  • Headline – Use words associated with your personal brand (Governance, Strategy, Risk, Finance etc.,)
  • Summary – This is your elevator pitch, what do you want the LinkedIn community to know about you
  • Skills – You have 50 possible skill areas to add to your profile, add the most appropriate technical and interpersonal attributes that show you at your best
  • Experience – It doesn’t have a be a copy and paste from your CV. What are your stand-out achievements from your most recent roles that are most relevant for the NED market?
  • Interests – Talk about yourself outside of work
  • Recommendations – A crucial section where you can reach out to key contacts to comment on your most important NED attributes

What Next?

You’ve got the basics in place, so what comes next?

  • Connect, connect, connect – set an initial goal of 50 connections, then set an achievable goal of adding 10 connections per week. Current colleagues and ex-colleagues, customers and suppliers are a great starting point

With a good LinkedIn profile in place now think about how you can help your network and how your network can help you.

  • Where is your target market? – SMEs, large corporates, industries, locations – where is your focus? Search for the companies in your target area and find out how well connected you are into that company. If you have 2nd line connections in that company you have the opportunity through a 1st line connection to reach out to them and start a conversation – who knows where that conversation will lead!

LinkedIn can provide a golden opportunity to expand your network and fast-track your journey to your next role


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