How to use LinkedIn – a guide for HR professionals

Want to use LinkedIn to grow your network but not sure where to start? Read our guide for help

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Want to use LinkedIn to grow your network but not sure where to start? Read our guide for help

With over 700 million users, LinkedIn is a social media platform on the rise. While some people may use LinkedIn to show off their professional achievements and to attract employers, others use it to become part of a community and to build and grow their professional network. For both individuals and organisations, LinkedIn is a platform that presents many opportunities – organisations for example can showcase the company culture and recruit new employees – but in order to experience the opportunities and benefits that can come from LinkedIn, you need to know how to use LinkedIn effectively.

Read our essential guide to LinkedIn for HR professionals to learn how to set up a personal account and the basics of LinkedIn etiquette.

Starting out on LinkedIn

Like with any other social media account, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete with all of your personal details so that other users can put a face to the name.

Make sure to fill in your current job role and tag the organisation that you work for. If you are accredited by the CIPD as a chartered member or fellow, include FCIPD or MCIPD (where relevant) alongside your name – this shows other HR professionals that you are an experienced and qualified member of the HR community who they should connect with.

Fill in your work history so others can see your past experience and include more detail about yourself, your job role, and responsibilities in the ‘about you’ section so others can get to know more about you both personally and professionally.

When setting up your page, don’t forget to choose a high-quality headshot for your profile picture. With other HR professionals likely to visit your profile, you want to make sure your profile picture professionally represents you and the organisation you’re associated with.

Here are a few tips for a good profile picture:

  • Have a simple/plain background
  • Make sure lighting is good and that your face is clearly visible
  • Avoid a profile picture in a casual setting or with anyone else in the picture

 

LinkedIn etiquette

Once your page is set up, you want to make sure you’re using LinkedIn in the best way possible, and to connect with the right people (eg those in a similar job role or industry to you). Below are some dos and don’ts for you to follow on LinkedIn.

Do:

  • Connect with everyone in your organisation/team
  • Like, share, and comment on peoples posts – this interaction can show others that you’re paying attention to what they post and can open up space for conversations
  • Share posts from your organisations LinkedIn page – show your network what your organisation is posting to attract people to the company LinkedIn page. If job posts are being shared on your organisations LinkedIn page, reshare these posts to your own network as another form of recruitment
  • Post regularly on your own page – LinkedIn claims that 20 posts per month allow you to reach 60% of your audience, so you should try to post once per weekday
  • When posting on your page, include visual aids with the copy – videos, images, infographics make your own posts more shareable to others
  • Use hashtags on your posts – when users search for these terms, your posts will be visible in the search results. Hashtagged words are also hyperlinked – so if you see one in a LinkedIn post, click on it to find other posts that contain the same hashtag. Following hashtags is therefore a great way to monitor and join in conversations about topics that you’re interested in, such as HR

 

Don’t:

  • Spend irrelevant or spam messages to your connections
  • Forget to reply to comments and interactions – hitting the like button on someone’s comment on your post is a quick and easy way to acknowledge their interaction
  • Make posts too personal – LinkedIn shouldn’t be treated as your personal Facebook account for example. Keep it positive and professional
  • Don’t say anything you might regret – posts can be shared and screenshotted so don’t say anything you may later regret, or which could harm your career

 

Building up your HR network

As a HR professional, you want to make sure you are interacting and connecting with different types of people within the HR industry.

Do:

  • Follow different HR blogs and media outlets to stay updated on the latest HR news and follow some journalists or academics whose work you follow
  • Follow groups (you need to send a request to enter closed groups) that discuss HR relevant topics. Some groups to follow include Human Resources Professionals and Global Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
  • Let followers on your other social media platforms know that you are present on LinkedIn and they can also follow you there – this helps you build a strong bond with the same people across different social media platforms
  • Remember to post something of value for your network. Writing LinkedIn articles can help you share your thoughts and knowledge which your LinkedIn connections may look forward to (and they can then share your articles with a wider network)

Don’t:

  • Ignore connection requests or decline them simply because you don’t know the individual or organisation personally – by accepting the connection, you can grow your HR network to include people from around the world
  • Forget that you can also add a message for the recipient so that they have more information about you and why you want to connect with them

As you establish your account and follow more users, LinkedIn’s algorithms will suggest more, similar accounts that you might like to follow.

In order to grow your HR circle and connect with others, you need to have some presence on LinkedIn. Once you understand how to make the most out of your LinkedIn account, you can turn to other social media platforms like Twitter.