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7 ways contractors can make the most of LinkedIn

7 ways contractors can make the most of LinkedIn

With approximately 3 billion users, LinkedIn is the world’s number one business networking site, that’s why creating a LinkedIn profile should be at the top of any contractor’s ‘to do’ list. Here at Contracting Scout, we look at five ways that contractors can make the most of LinkedIn’s features to network, market themselves and win the contracts they want.

  1. Your profile: Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online, interactive CV. Using the information from your CV as the basis for your profile, you can also upload your digital portfolio, allowing potential clients to view samples of your work. Pay particular attention to your headline, which should clearly and concisely communicate your value to any potential end client or agency with relevant information, such as your industry and years of experience. For example:
  • Award-winning marketing consultant with 15 years’ experience in the international food and beverage industry.
  • Linux contractor with extensive experience of IBM Unix/AIX based servers. Works with SAN, NAS and Enterprise Backup Software to ensure high availability and recovery of servers.

In addition to the content, make sure you consider the visual impact of your profile. It’s easy to create a professional looking headshot with your phone camera, while many people don’t realise you can change LinkedIn’s custom blue background to reflect your branding or business sector, making you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Search bar: According to data published by LinkedIn, recruiters use LinkedIn’s powerful search feature to find contractors for specific roles. By clicking Advanced beside the search bar, contractors can find specific professionals, companies and jobs related to their field of interest. This should give you a good indication of the keywords and phrases to incorporate into your profile to ensure the content is optimised for recruitment searches.
  2. Connect & Follow: Just enter your email to sync your contacts with LinkedIn. Use the My Network section to get back in touch with old colleagues and anyone else you might think is worth having in your professional network. You can also follow relevant companies on LinkedIn so that their news and jobs will come up in your news feed.
  3. Recommendations: Your connections can also write recommendations for your profile and endorse you for specific skills. This feature can provide powerful testaments for prospective employers. For the recommendations to carry weight, you should ask for endorsements from people who you’ve worked with directly, identifying the specific project so that employers can match this with your job experience and employment history.
  4. Introductions: In much the same way that Facebook allows your connections to introduce you to other people, LinkedIn users can introduce their colleagues and clients in order to strengthen their network. This is particularly useful for contractors who are engaged in subcontracting work as it can have a reciprocal value.
  5. Jobs: LinkedIn will recommend specific jobs to you based on your current information. Contractors should take the time to fill out the optional job preferences to get better-tailored job listings, especially if they work in a niche market or work remotely, as LinkedIn recommends jobs based on criteria such as location. You can also search for jobs on their dedicated hub LinkedIn jobs.
  6. Groups and interests: A great way to meet new professionals to connect with is to join groups based on your interests or current profession. You can participate in discussions, often gaining valuable insights into your field of work. LinkedIn also has a publishing platform where you can share your own articles with thousands of readers; SlideShare for sharing presentations and info-graphics; and Lynda, LinkedIn’s educational platform, for developing your skills. Joining groups can also be a great way of learning about industry events where you can take the opportunity to network in person.

Find out more about LinkedIn for contractors from Contracting Scout

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