LinkedIn is often recognized as being the “Facebook for professionals”. There are 107 million total LinkedIn users reported in the United States alone.
Many contractors and construction employees hear the word “professional,” assume that LinkedIn is not for them and shy away from setting up a profile or participating in the network.
On a monthly basis, LinkedIn has approximately 187 million unique visitors to the site. As a B2B (business-to-business) site, LinkedIn attracts business people. These business people may include employers looking for new employees or customers looking for providers for services. They are looking for individuals who are capable of helping them solve their pain points.
Personally, each time someone places a cold sales call to my office I typically look them up on LinkedIn so that I can put a face with a name. It also helps me understand an individual’s background and history and gives me context for dealing with them until a relationship can be built.
As a member of the construction industry, whether you are a manager or a member of a crew, building your profile on LinkedIn will help bring you exposure for future opportunities. It can foster opportunities for future growth as well as bring opportunities for the company that you work for.
Following, are suggestions for members of the construction industry on optimizing their LinkedIn profiles.
Before you can implement these suggestions, you must have a profile! Signing up is simple. Go to www.linkedin.com and follow the prompts to get started.
Once you have an account, here are a few suggestions for improving your profile and getting more views.
- Upload a current picture – as I mentioned above, I look for photos so that I can see who I will be talking with. A picture gives assurance to someone viewing your profile that you are trustworthy and that you are someone they would like to talk to. Make sure that the picture is professional, in focus and clean. Avoid the beach picture or the one with you holding a fishing pole.
- Place a banner picture in your header – banner pictures can be used to showcase who you are and tell something about your skills. If you are a master plumber, upload a banner of some pipes or a rough out of a tenant space. If you are an excavator, showcase your latest track hoe. There are online banner programs that you can use to make banners for your site that you can find through a quick Google search.
- Create a summary of your background – here is your opportunity to provide a resume of your experience. List your knowledge, skills, and abilities for which you want to be known. Remain focused on your professional skills related to the type of job you do or aim to do.
- List your professional experience – provide a list of your prior employers. Describe your experience working for that employer. What skills and knowledge did you use in order to fulfill your job responsibilities? If possible, link your profile to previous employers. As always, be respectful—this is not an opportunity to bash prior employers, but to showcase your abilities and what you have learned.
- Choose skills you possess that you are looking to be recognized and endorsed for – These skills should match the type of work and position that you are looking to secure. Construction industry members should choose skills such as construction, management, or abilities that pertain to their specific industry segment.
As you build your profile, continue to reach out and share it with your network. Ask for referrals from past and present employers and customers. The LinkedIn profile can become your online resume for sharing your skills and abilities with future customers and employers.
If you are an owner of a construction company or a firm that services the construction industry and your company does not have a company page on LinkedIn, it is highly recommended that you create one. We will cover recommendations for developing a company page in a later post.
The biggest mistake that you can make with LinkedIn is not having a profile on the site. The LinkedIn network gives you access to an extensive market and allows you to showcase your skills, knowledge and abilities with prospective colleagues, businesses and employers.