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How to network effectively on LinkedIn

Lots of candidates have asked us recently about how to network effectively on LinkedIn. Given that face-to-face networking events are unlikely to be starting up again any time soon and the high volume of professionals looking for new opportunities, there’s never been a better time to learn about connecting with recruiters and employers online.

LinkedIn can be an awesome tool for growing your professional network: as well as helping many hopeful applicants to find the right roles, it’s also proved useful as a platform for our clients to meet new contacts and even potential business partners.

This Distinct guide outlines some tips from our recruiters on how to stand out and get your LinkedIn profile in front of the right people. If our clients’ recent experiences are anything to go by, this post should help you to refine your approach and achieve your online networking goals.

 

Top tips for networking on LinkedIn
 

With the right approach, networking online is a breeze and can even be a really enjoyable process. We’ve pooled together our ideas to come up with some top tips for networking on LinkedIn and making valuable connections.

1. Optimise your LinkedIn profile

The first step should always be to give your LinkedIn a refresh. Think of your profile as a shop window for your personal brand. Choose your profile photo wisely (and remember, LinkedIn isn’t as informal as your other social media accounts). 

You also want users to be able to find you easily, so you need to provide signposts such as a headline with your industry, role and location. Adding links to your work in the about section of your profile can help you stand out and get your portfolio noticed.

In addition to this, make sure that you fill out as many profile fields as possible, including:

- Work experience
- Education
- Certifications
- Skills
- Accomplishments (e.g. successful projects, awards, and test scores)
- Interests

If you’re not sure whether you’ve provided all of the info you need to get found on LinkedIn, don’t worry – there are plenty of free online review tools that will highlight the areas where your profile could be improved with a few simple steps (take a look at Resume Worded’s free service, for example).

The same rules apply to your LinkedIn profile as with any type of CV writing. When describing your work experience or current role, be as specific as you can rather than using general phrases like ‘this role has improved my communication skills’. State your responsibilities and give examples of how your work has helped former employers to achieve their organisational goals.

 

2. Start conversations and follow them up (but don’t spam your connections!)

Whilst LinkedIn can help you to find the right people and make connections, it’s important not to pester other users if they’re not interested in talking. Use it as a platform to identify potentially valuable contacts – and definitely keep making new connections – but avoid being too aggressive with the number of follow-up messages you send.

 It’s useful to note that recruiters have particularly large networks, so if you are using LinkedIn to actively look for a new job then a meaningful follow-up message will go a long way in helping you to stand out.

 

3. Avoid the “spray and pray” approach

Any LinkedIn users reading this will have seen examples of the “spray and pray” approach (adding connections on mass and sending out hundreds of generic, templated messages with no customisation). Similar to the un-customised spam emails we all get every day, this is unlikely to be successful; instead, pick your connections wisely and spend your networking time efficiently.

 

4. Create engaging content (and engage with others)

From short videos to blogs and long-form posts, content creation can draw users to your profile and provide a chance for you to connect. Putting content together might not be part of your day job, but you can still share your opinions and ideas through a post. Engaging with other peoples’ content can also kick off conversations that turn into opportunities, so never be afraid to get involved with discussions in the comments.

 

 


5. Keep it polite and professional

Closely connected to the last point, always be polite when you’re networking on LinkedIn. Even if a debate gets heated or you’re disappointed that someone’s stopped replying to you, try not to get worked up – keeping things professional is key. 

Take the example above regarding commenting on other people’s posts, it may be seen by more people than you think! Always keep your personal brand in mind.

 


 

This guide has explored some top tips from the Distinct Recruitment team on how to network effectively on LinkedIn. If you’d like to discuss any of these points in more detail or you want to know more about how we can help you, we love to talk, so please get in touch.

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