By Lynne Gowers on 24th September 2014

How to best use LinkedIn to gain freelance work

In this digital age in which the majority of the population owns a smartphone, an iPad, or/and a laptop, being present on social media really is important, not only for personal reasons, but for your career too. However, there are some people who make serious errors on their Facebook and Twitter profiles that can jeopardize their employment status.

It’s best practice to just assume that anything to do with your work shouldn’t be posted – a quick Google search of ‘I lost my job because of social media’ will explain all. However, in general the world of social media, namely LinkedIn, can be very useful when it comes to employment, especially if you are self-employed. Here we have some advice on how to use LinkedIn to your advantage.

Making use of LinkedIn to gain freelance work

It’s your digital CV

The beauty of LinkedIn lies in the fact that not only is it a free tool (unless you upgrade to a premium account) in which you can advertise yourself, it similarly works as a platform for companies to search for workers. This could be either in the hopes of offering someone permanent employment, or, in this case, looking for a freelancer for a specific job.

It is therefore imperative that all details of work experience and qualifications are updated thoroughly and in a way that is eye catching. LinkedIn is a fantastic way of showing that you have a specific skillset or experience, and the more attractive you can make yourself, the better. Make sure you are clear, concise and to the point- there is no space for ‘waffling’ here as there will be so many others with similar experiences and you need to ensure you stand out.

Also, use the skills section to your advantage by adding as many relevant skills you feel you have as possible. Don’t make any up though or exaggerate the truth as it will only come back to haunt you in the future should you be caught out.

Ask for endorsements and recommendations

With LinkedIn, former employers, colleagues and friends can endorse you for the various skills you state that you have on your profile. These will be suggested to your connections, further highlighting that you need to make sure the skills you update are relevant and true. Having endorsements shows that people have acknowledged your expertise in these areas and believe others should see how competent in these areas you are. This furthers your attraction to potential companies who are hoping to find a freelancer for a specific job.

Furthermore, you can actually receive recommendations on your LinkedIn profile in which the writer can go into more depth while describing their experiences working with you. Being self-employed, this is a specifically useful tool to have as it shows how people have found you as an employer or a freelancer and what you truly are like within a working environment or while completing a project.

Often if someone wants to use a service they will look on review and comparison websites to see which ones have been recommended and have a better reputation. Having endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn works in a similar manner.

Become an authority

Being a freelancer, it’s important to become as social and apparent as possible, and LinkedIn is perfect for this in the sense that there are a number of groups in which you can join that are relevant to your sector, role, skills and interests.

Make sure you become involved in the groups and make yourself an authority in your field by commenting and conversing with others. It puts you in good stead should any companies also be using the groups to keep an eye on issues and new talent within their industry.

Search for work

Being the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn really is a great place to search for work. You can refine search results by choosing the area, sector and type of freelancing job you would be interested in. Not only can you then apply for the role, the job description will have links to follow the company on LinkedIn, which shows your interest in them and also helps you keep up to date with what they are about and the way in which they work.

LinkedIn also uses your previous experience, interests and skills to suggest roles for you that you would either be interested in or for which companies want a candidate similar to you. These will either be emailed to you or appear on your homepage, taking away some of the stress that can often come when looking for your next job.

Written by Lynne Gowers
Disclaimer Although we attempt to ensure that the Information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the date of publication it may not be comprehensive, we accept no liability for the results of any action taken on the basis of the information they contain and any implied warranties, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement and accuracy are excluded to the extent that they may be excluded as a matter of law.

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