Have you tried using LinkedIn to boost your career and didn’t make the headway you wanted? Or perhaps you’ve never seriously considered LinkedIn as a career progression tool?
Don’t worry – we guarantee that there’s plenty of value in your LinkedIn account yet, just waiting to be unleashed! The secret is all in the right strategy, tailor-made to help you achieve your LinkedIn goals and develop your career in the direction you wish.
In this Masterclass, we share our tried-and-true seven-step strategy for making LinkedIn an irreplaceable tool in your career progression journey.
STEP 1: BE GUIDED BY YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Your personal brand should permeate every touchpoint in your career progression journey. And that includes your likes, shares, and comments on LinkedIn! These passive forms of communication reveal an awful lot about your values and characteristics.
So, before tapping or typing, think about how your action is likely to be interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) by others and if it aligns with your personal brand.
STEP 2: UNDERSTAND THE “INVISIBLE LINE”
We encourage all our candidates to be themselves and champion authenticity above all else. But – and there is a but – remain mindful of what we call the “invisible line”. This is the delicate threshold between celebrating the initiatives, causes and debates you value, and making LinkedIn communications a little too much about you.
We find that the easiest way to navigate the invisible line is to ask how your post or comment adds value to your intended audience. If not so much, pop it in drafts for another day.
STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR INSPIRATION SOURCES
Listening to and learning from other professionals is crucial if we’re to mature as leaders. And that’s great news for LinkedIn users! The platform is bursting with inspirational people achieving great things by leading the charge on powerful initiatives and sharing successes.
Spend an evening or two checking out thought leaders, people of interest and groups that align with your values and career development goals. Follow those who really inspire, motivate and challenge you and make a point to pay attention when they post.
STEP 4: CREATE A CONNECTIONS SPIDER GRAPH
Even if you’re exploring a new discipline or sector (like Transport!), don’t count out your current network. Just look at it from a different angle. We can guarantee that your network community will include “connectors” – people who can’t directly help your career progression but will certainly know someone who can.
Consider researching your LinkedIn network for top connector contenders and drawing up a spider graph to visualise your next move.
STEP 5: BE PREPARED FOR QUESTIONS
LinkedIn rewards active, engaging users. Their algorithm favours quality, which means those who think carefully about their posts will appear more frequently in feeds. And, of course, when you put authentic, intelligent and engaging content into the world, you immediately make yourself valuable to an audience of potential new employers.
However, be prepared for questions. Communication is a two-way street and if you’re using LinkedIn well, you’re sure to stir up a conversation.
A word of warning from us though. Don’t get too caught up in the algorithm. Aim to be provocative – but not controversial – and never lose sight of your self and personal brand.
STEP 6: FOLLOW THOSE YOU’D LIKE TO WORK FOR
So, you’ve made excellent progress curating your LinkedIn personal brand and ideal community. Now it’s time to focus on potential employers – learning about their EVP and commercial priorities, understanding what your leadership could bring to the table, and evaluating the best way to reach out.
We recommend being subtle to start – following those you’d like to work for, customising your LinkedIn feed so you never miss their posts, and commenting where appropriate. And then there’s the direct outreach…
STEP 7: SEND MESSAGES WITH SUBSTANCE
With a LinkedIn career progression strategy underway, you’ll soon find people you’d love to start a conversation with. But before opening messages or pressing send on that connection request, ask yourself one question: “Will they be interested in what I have to say?”.
Sharing content – industry articles, research journals, trend whitepapers – that strongly aligns with the user’s specialism and interests, is a great way to make an introduction. Although being left on read can be a little demoralising, have faith that your efforts will pay off.
Now, go forth and put your plan into action (and remember to switch on Open to Opportunities)! If you’d like further support in progressing your leadership career, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to enquire about joining the Intuitive candidate network.