It is recruiting season, and you may be pondering the secret to building your own professional network and seeking job opportunities.

This is where LinkedIn comes in. As the leading professional networking social media platform, LinkedIn is widely used by university students who seek to build business connections and professional networks. 

You may don different personalities for different occasions; the ‘LinkedIn personality’ is one such façade. But how do you go about forming this personality? The secret is credibility — when trying to expand your network on LinkedIn, portraying a “real” personality on the platform is key for people to trust you. Bear in mind that building your LinkedIn personality does not mean creating a brand new you, but rather enhancing your professional image and credibility based on who you are in the real world.

Building a wholesome profile

Step one is to have a professional profile picture with an appropriate background photo. This visual trick grabs attention at first sight. 

Below the picture is the headline. This is where people usually put in a few words to describe themselves, and LinkedIn recommends putting more information in there, since this is most likely the first content the potential network will read. 

Step two is to try to turn a bland summary into a story, drawing the readers’ interest and invoking their attention. Note that it is important to showcase the skills you can offer, and try to have corresponding credentials for them, such as official assessments and certificates. If you have publications, remember to share them in your profile to keep it up to date.

Step three is a trick for people who are just starting to use LinkedIn; sync your email address on the platform. This will allow LinkedIn to provide the profiles of your email contacts, which is a great way to start building your LinkedIn network.

Staying active and authentic 

LinkedIn etiquette is very important when it comes to how successful your networking requests will be. Make sure that you personalize each message, so that your connection requests seem more sincere. Furthermore, you should always try to respond to messages on time. 

Staying active on the platform by posting regularly also helps, since an up-to-date profile builds up credibility. Sharing views and sending out sincere messages are more likely to get others’ attention, as compared to being a generic figure. Some personal details may resonate with others, and this is why a lively personality will effectively help you expand your network.

Take full advantage of the networking platform by connecting mutual connections with one another. Your connections may return the favour. Most importantly, remember to present yourself in a professional manner. 

Why LinkedIn is becoming more important

Hosting over 800 million professional profiles, LinkedIn serves as the most accessible professional social media platform, and is thus essential for job seeking and expanding networks. By sharing professional achievements on LinkedIn, you open yourself to more opportunities. Over time, your profile will only get richer and more detailed. Eventually, your profile will not only be a showcase of your LinkedIn personality, but also your own personal brand, representing who you are in the  field and in your professional career.

Your LinkedIn profile acts as a second gateway for recruiters to get to know you. While your résumé and cover letter provide the essential information that recruiters must know, LinkedIn holds much more information that will create a lively figure for you in front of your potential employer. And this is what makes LinkedIn so powerful and revolutionary.