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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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