LinkedIn is the employment-orientated, social media platform that enables you to build and engage with your professional network. This platform is incredibly useful at helping you grow your connections and can assist you on your career path - whether that is finding work experience, going to university, applying for an apprenticeship, starting your own business or looking for full-time employment.
You can use LinkedIn to your advantage. The bigger and more engaged the network you have, the more likely you are to stand out to an employer. It is also a great platform where you can showcase all of your skills and experiences in one place. If you were to apply for a role, the employer will likely look you up on LinkedIn and this may increase your chances at getting an interview if your page really impresses.
If you are just starting out on LinkedIn or if you have had it for a while and are not sure how to build your network - do not worry. We have put together some top tips on how to get the most out of LinkedIn and build your online network.
#1 Add your peers
The first step is to add your peers - these can be your classmates, your colleagues from a part-time job or anyone you volunteer with. The best way to begin to build your online network is to connect with people you know. If it is suitable, you can ask your connections to give you a recommendation or to endorse the skills on your profile. Make sure you know this person in a professional capacity - it could be someone you work or volunteer with, as well as people like sport coaches or mentors.
#2 Follow relevant companies & engage with their content
Think about the industries you are interested in and research companies that are relevant to what you want to do in the future. Then make sure you are following those companies, big and small, so you can start seeing their content.
To make yourself stand out, make sure to engage with their content by liking, commenting or reposting to your own profile. Make sure that what you have to say is relevant to the topic and on brand - don’t comment on an article if you haven’t read it, for instance, and always watch your grammar!
#3 Sending connection requests
When it comes to sending connection requests, it may seem daunting. We suggest not adding every single person you come across but instead take time to consider who to add. Always send a connection request with a personalised message explaining who you are and why you want to connect.
A great way to start could be to try and connect with apprentices, interns or those early in their careers as they are more likely to respond than CEOs of big companies. However, remember that not everyone will connect with you - they may not have the time or may not use LinkedIn regularly. Do not follow up if they do not respond, just move on and try connecting with someone new otherwise you risk looking pushy.
#4 Building rapport
Once you’ve connected with someone, it is important to build upon your relationship with them to make the connection worthwhile. Make sure to send a follow up message after they have accepted your request.
There are lots of different ways to build a relationship over LinkedIn including commenting on their posts, sending them interesting articles and asking for advice or tips. To make sure you are not pestering someone, make sure they reply to your message first before sending them anything else.
#5 Keep it professional
LinkedIn is a social media platform, however, it is not like Twitter and Instagram - this is a professional space. Make sure to always check your spelling and grammar and ensure that everything you are posting or commenting on is appropriate and on brand. Employers regularly check your LinkedIn profile if you apply for a role, so make sure that anything you post you would be happy for a potential employer to see.
The more you use LinkedIn, the more confident you will become at sending connection requests and building up your network. We hope our tips have helped to get you started!
Remember - your network will not be built overnight. It is a slow process that takes time and effort but it is really worth the work put in. Even just setting aside 30 minutes a week to work on your LinkedIn profile can help build your network and boost your employability.
If you would like to continue to build your network by attending an Uptree event, make sure to check out our events page for our upcoming networking events.