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Make Yourself the Most Valuable Candidate: Building your Reputation on LinkedIn

If you’re on a serious job hunt, it’s crucial that you’re using LinkedIn’s numerous tools to grow your reputation – particularly if you’re on the lookout for technology or media jobs.

Using the groups function is a great way of developing and increasing your network, while LinkedIn Answers can help position you as an expert in your field and show that when it comes to your sector, you really know your stuff.

Using Groups to Boost Your Profile

Perhaps the simplest and most effective way of giving your reputation and profile a boost is by using the Groups function. There are over a million groups on LinkedIn and these range in type from groups representing business sectors, personal interests, job-related groups, College and University groups, groups that represent trade organisations and groups dedicated to new business.

Those members using a free LinkedIn account can join up to 50 groups and in doing so are able to interact with other members as if they were first degree connections. There’s no need for a recommendation or to send an unsolicited InMail. By joining the group LinkedIn recognises that you share common interests and therefore allows you to make contact directly. This function means you can approach members who may be able to introduce you to others, give you valuable advice or even put a word in for you with their employers.

The key to building a good reputation within groups however, is activity. By taking part in discussions within groups, by commenting on posts in a meaningful way and by posting links and content you feel would be useful to fellow members you will position yourself as an expert and grow your network in a way that’s both organic and high quality. Other ways you can improve your reputation using groups includes:

  • Sharing content and news items
  • Cross posting your own blog posts
  • Participating in a meaningful way – join conversations and provide answers to member questions
  • Use the ‘jobs’ feature – groups are a very good way of finding specialist or niche jobs
  • Start your own group

LinkedIn Answers Can Help Too

Another great way of getting your LinkedIn account working for you is by joining in the debate on LinkedIn Answers. This is a powerful feature which acts as a forum for members to ask questions that are then open for experts to answer. By keeping an eye on Answers and posting responses to questions that are in your field of expertise, you can quickly position yourself as a thought-leader within your particular sector. Offering advice and showcasing your knowledge using the Answers platform can help you land a job or find clients.

All areas of LinkedIn demand a high degree of professionalism. Anecdotes should be avoided on Answers – stick to hard facts and data, and remember to use keywords where possible. Users can search the Answers platform using keywords so it’s wise to include the keywords from the question, in your answer. This should make the response and your expertise, much easier to find. You can even use Answers to funnel traffic to your blog or website, providing the information you’re linking to is relevant.

Spamming and the hard sell are definitely frowned upon on LinkedIn. Never harass someone in one of your groups, never bully them into talking to you and never post content that could be seen as spam – there’s no quicker way to make your reputation take a nosedive!

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