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Using LinkedIn to connect and grow

Saturday October 7 2017

LinkedIn

An illustration of social media marketing. Many professionals use social media to learn, connect and find good jobs. FILE PHOTO 

SAM WAMBUGU
By SAM WAMBUGU
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Germany Kent, an American print and television journalist, said: “If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.” I agree.

Many professionals use social media to learn, connect and find good jobs.

To catch the eye of an employer, you have to be cleverly displayed on the path where employers meet.

LINKEDIN

You also need to describe yourself in words and phrases that would make recruiters stop, look, and want to talk to you.

As most products and services go online, so is recruitment.

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There are many online spaces you can display your expertise but none beats LinkedIn.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are great but are not designed for businesses, jobs and careers.

LinkedIn stands out and is especially created as a safer networking place.

NETWORKING
LinkedIn is a Microsoft-owned social network for the working world.

It has 500 million members from 200 countries worldwide. It is the world’s largest professional network.

The website focuses on business connections and industry contacts for employers and working professionals.

When recruiters, co-workers, old classmates, and other people Google your name and click on a link to you on LinkedIn, your profile page is what they will see.

They’ll learn about your work history, education, skills, interests, reputation, and other details you provide.

MARKETING
For many business owners and professionals, LinkedIn represents untapped potential.

There are plenty of future customers and connections to be made on the site — if done correctly.

You are not serious about your career if you or your business is not on LinkedIn, or it is sloppily displayed.

Your LinkedIn profile should leave no room for doubt about the kind of job you’re looking for and why you’re the best person for that position.

Furthermore, you should strive to be a thought leader in your field.

BRANDING

You must do what the experts do — share useful content and create original content.

Videos and blogs are the means to share content. The content should at least contain videos that you would share on YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media outlets. They should be short and crisp.

Write blogs and articles that present you as an expert in your industry.

When you do this, other members of your network will see your content and start associating you as someone who has something to contribute in your field.

PROFILE
LinkedIn groups — professional groups — are another really good way to get known and start building authority.

These groups have members with the same interest and will give you an opportunity to contribute as well as cross-pollinate your ideas with those of other experts in your industry.

It is uncommon for writers to pen about their own experiences on a newspaper column like this, but today I will.

I have some decent amount of training and experience. I by no means have special talents.

I have what I would refer to as a “reasonably good profile” on LinkedIn, although I don’t update it as frequently as I would like.

JOBS
Using my LinkedIn presence, I have received an average of five job requests from local and international employers every year, in the last 10 years.

My last two jobs, including my current, are international; based overseas — thanks to LinkedIn.

I didn’t apply for them. I was found by recruiters and invited for interviews. Many other people have done the same.

One thing to remember; by reviewing jobs posted on LinkedIn, you can get an idea of key words that employers use in your field.

Use the same key words on your profile so that when prospective employers search for your type of expertise, your name pops up.

That way, you catch the eye of potential employers.

The writer is an informatics specialist. [email protected] @samwambugu2

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