What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform. LinkedIn can be used to find the right job or career opportunity, connect with likeminded construction professionals to build a network, learn skills you may need to succeed in your career and much more.
You can think of LinkedIn as the professional version of social networking. Similarly to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, you can organise events, join group, write articles, post photos and videos, and more. Rather than interacting with friends and family, you’re networking with colleagues, potential employers, recruiters and industry professionals – it is a great way to build up your professional portfolio and can help set you apart from the rest.
Who is LinkedIn for?
LinkedIn is for everyone who is looking to advance their career. It’s not just for CEOs or Managing Directors, although it is a great place to grab their attention – it’s for all levels of employee, from students and apprentices to self-employed carpenters and architects.
LinkedIn is a great place to display your professional qualifications and achievements, such as any NVQs and training courses you’ve completed, as well as notable projects you’ve worked on. So, if you’re looking for a new job or drumming up new business for your company, potential employers and clients can check out your LinkedIn profile to see if you’re a good match.
Additionally, colleagues and clients you’ve previously worked with can input recommendations which commend work you’ve done. This gives your listed experience and skills some extra flair; having fellow professionals say you display certain skills is a massive advantage.
LinkedIn top tips
Now we’ve got the basics out of the way, lets explore the top tips to make the most of your LinkedIn profile and build your construction network.
Upload a current picture
It sounds obvious, but having an up-to-date picture of yourself goes a long way – make sure it is professional, in focus and just of you. Avoid selfies, group pictures and pictures of you at the beach. A picture of you in a professional setting is perfect, whether that’s on site or in an office.
People like to know who they’re talking to. A picture gives assurance to someone viewing your profile that you are trustworthy and that you are someone they would like to talk to.
Write a profile summary
Under your photo is a space for you to introduce yourself to fellow construction professionals. This where you can talk about yourself, what you do, what your values are, what you can bring to a construction company, etc.
If you have little or no construction experience, or you’re a student, don’t worry – instead you can talk about what you aspire to be and what you are working towards. Also, make sure to include any relevant experience you may have in a particular field as this is what employers or clients will be particularly interested in.
Don’t forget about soft skills, too – this can range from playing football on the weekend to undergoing continuous professional development or extracurricular activities. It is all relevant. Just keep it concise, factual and as easy to understand as possible – keep the jargon to a minimum.
Put together a good headline
Your headline is arguably even more important than your profile summary – this, along with your photo, is the only thing people initially see if you come up on a search result.
By default, LinkedIn makes the headline your current job title and employer, and this is perfectly fine on most occasions. But if you are a specialist within your field, or are currently looking for a job it is worth including this. Something like ‘available for employment’ or ‘looking for a building role’ would suffice.
Get involved with groups
LinkedIn groups can be a bit of a hidden gem, but could also rank amongst the most worthwhile interactions you can make on the site.
If you’re a student there will be groups where you can get dissertation advice or find work experience opportunities. There will likely be groups for your specific occupation where you can network with others to share tips and working practices. And if you’re looking for a job, there are countless groups just for this, usually headed up by recruiters.
Have a search of terms related to your job and get involved with as many groups as you can.
Updating your status regularly is key to getting noticed – it is essentially free advertising for yourself or your company.
Images and videos tend to get the best engagement levels (likes, comments and views), but a well written post about your profession, company or the wider construction industry can be just as engaging. It will increase your connections to help build a wider network.
Unsure what to post about? Here’s some ideas:
- Construction projects and their status (e.g. ground-breaking, ribbon cutting, percent complete)
- Any special awards or recognition received in relevance to yourself or the company
- Any community service you or the company is involved with
- What networking or training events you are attending
- Industry related blog, magazine, or newsletter articles
- Share YouTube videos, again related to your profession or industry.
Add the projects you’ve worked on
There is a specific Projects section within LinkedIn, and it’s worth utilising this.
If you’re still in education or training, talk about specific modules you’ve completed or work or extracurricular activities you’re particularly proud of. In a work setting, if a project you’ve worked on has received industry awards or has made the news, you can link to the article(s) directly from this section.
The key is to emphasise the type of project important to your target employers to demonstrate your value as a prospective employee, whether it’s a specific area of expertise or an industry term common in your field.
Now you know the basics and are equipped with some LinkedIn top tips, head on over to the site and get started. You may find your perfect next role, link up with a prospective customer or just build a network of likeminded people – all of which are extremely valuable.