LinkedIn isn’t just a place to look for a job anymore. In fact, it is a great place to connect with colleagues, industry leaders, and other professionals in your sector. However, it can also be a daunting place if you’re unsure what you ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be doing. Especially over the past few years where more personal posts have become the norm and some controversial posts go viral.
There are many benefits of being on LinkedIn, ensuring your profile is up to date and being active on there. LinkedIn is a great networking opportunity as it will enable you to connect with other professionals in your industry and help build those business relationships. If you are also looking to build more of a presence and voice in your industry, LinkedIn is the perfect place to do this. LinkedIn can also be valuable for seeking new clients and prospects if that’s the sort of role you operate, which is why it’s even more important to have a professional profile.
It’s also a place where recruiters actively headhunt for roles which you may not otherwise come across unless they reach out to you. So don’t miss out on some fantastic opportunities that your peers who are on LinkedIn will have access to. Another good reason to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date is your online visibility. When was the last time you Googled yourself? If you have an up-to-date professional profile, this will be one of the first results that will then appear – so make it a good one!
Whether you’ve only being doing the bare minimum or if you engage with the platform every day and want to create a personal brand, we’ve put together our top tips for using LinkedIn for anyone working in Finance.
Reviewing your profile
- Professional photo and banner – Your profile picture helps put a friendly face to your name. Just make sure you’re wearing professional workwear, that it’s an appropriate setting (no Saturday night selfies!), and that it’s in the correct format e.g. good resolution. You can also upload a banner/header image to your profile which is displayed right at the top of your profile. This will personalise your page further and make it look like you’ve put in a bit of effort! Your company might have one that you can use, or you might prefer to create your own which could include your contact details on. There are websites such as Canva that have templates which can be easily edited.
- Headline and About section – This is where you can really stand out from all of the other Finance professionals. Your headline is the line that appears underneath your name. It can include your current role, your achievements, and any other talents. If you haven’t thought about your unique selling point (USP) before, now is the time. If you include specific keywords relevant to your industry or your desired role, this will increase your visibility, so you appear in searches.
The About section is arguably your most important aspect on your profile as this is where you can really highlight your professional experience in a concise and interesting format. For inspiration, have a look at what other colleagues have on theirs, or YouTube has plenty of advice tutorials about creating a strong and outstanding bio.
- Featured section – This is a great place to highlight your recent work or interesting posts you’ve shared. Make sure to update it regularly, at least every few months if possible.
- Listing your skills – You can add up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile, so make sure these are up to date with your most important skills at the top. You could also take LinkedIn’s skill assessment test to earn a skill badge if you fall in the top 30%. This is a great way of standing out amongst all the other finance professionals.
Top soft skills we’d recommend for Finance professionals include communication, problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and negotiation. Other must-have skills might include financial reporting, management, accounting, financial accounting, or accounts payable. LinkedIn will suggest skills relevant to you based on your profile.
You can then start endorsing your peers and colleagues by going onto their profiles and clicking on the specific skill you want to endorse them for. When you’re feeling more confident you can ask your connections to endorse your skills.
Growing your connections
Whether you want to grow your ‘following’ or just connect with like-minded people, make sure you’re connecting with relevant professionals so that they add quality content to your feed, as opposed to just adding anyone which will then clog your feed. Quality over quantity is worth remembering here as you will want to carefully curate your newsfeed by selecting the right people to connect with. LinkedIn’s algorithm will learn what content they should prioritise for you by the connections, likes and other activity that you carry out. We suggest aiming to connect with 25 new connections per week if you’re looking for growth. You can also personalise your requests to encourage someone to take notice of why you’d like to connect with them e.g. you’d like to connect with more Finance professionals in the industry. This way they will then recognise you in their newsfeed and see it as a good networking opportunity.
Recommendations are a great feature that will add authenticity to your page as it shows someone has taken the time to verify your professional capabilities and hopefully highlight what a pleasure it is working with you! This is especially important in the financial industry where it is important to build trust. We’d recommend giving recommendations to your colleagues, clients, or past colleagues first, as they will then be more likely to leave a recommendation for you. A good recommendation will include how you know the person, what the relationship was like, any specifics, and finally the recommendation.
LinkedIn has a wealth of Groups that are tailored to different industries and interests. There are many finance groups that you could join to seek advice or actively participate in the conversation. For example, there is Finance Club which has almost 2 million members, Accounting Finance Professional, and Finance & Accountancy Professional UK.
Don’t be shy – get involved!
Decide firstly what you’d want to get out of a LinkedIn post and let that direct the style of post you want to create. Do you want to connect with your peers? Contribute your expertise? Highlight your skills to headhunters? Think about the sort of content that you enjoy consuming on LinkedIn. It might be insightful, factual, controversial, conversational, or the latest industry news.
If you do want to be pro-active about growing your connections and reaching a wider audience on LinkedIn, we suggest you aim to post once a day, but we recognise this isn’t very realistic for a lot of busy Finance professionals, so perhaps aim for 2-3 times a week if possible. The most important thing is to stay consistent, so even if it ends up being once a week or month, continue to engage with your connections by liking, commenting, or sharing other posts.
Here are a few different topics you could talk about:
- Any awards/certificates/accreditations you have won/achieved (this could also be included in your Featured posts)
- Any challenges you’re facing, then ask how others deal with the same issue
- Any wins from the week
- Industry news but share your thoughts on the topic too
- Finance tips and advice
- Finance do’s and don’ts
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful, but if you’d like any further support or advice around LinkedIn or your accountancy and finance career, then please do get in touch.