Remember when, as the end of your final year of university drew closer, you created a LinkedIn profile for the vague purposes of networking and finding a job? Hopefully you found a job (with or without the help of LinkedIn), and now your relationship with LinkedIn is mostly you visiting the website once every 6 months (after requesting a new password since you keep forgetting yours) and deleting the activity e-mails that LinkedIn likes to send once there’s a sudden surge in your level of activity on the website (Hi5 does the same thing). So familiar and so vivid right? I know because that used to be me until I started managing my company’s LinkedIn account and realized there is a lot of value to be gained by being active on LinkedIn.
(If you don’t have a LinkedIn account and you don’t see why you should get one, this is for you.)
I’m not saying you should visit your account every day, but here are some things to do to become more familiar with the website and how it works, who is on there, and what you can gain from it.
- Upload a profile picture – Profiles with pictures look more authentic because you’re less likely to be a spambot or impersonating someone. Make sure the picture you upload is clear, and has only you in it (no brainer right). Try and find or take a picture where you have at the very least a little smile so you don’t look constipated or in deep deep anguish. You could be standing or sitting (but don’t be slouching, and make sure you’re not wearing a t-shirt (unless your profession is selling t-shirts)). Also, no selfies please. Just, don’t.
- Make some connections – If you have 3 connections including your two siblings, you’re not alone. Either search for connections (friends, co-workers, colleagues in your industry) or let LinkedIn suggest some to you based on your educational/work history and email contacts. Connections are great because they expose you to a broader network of professionals which could include your next employer, mentor, or co-worker.
- Update your job history – Right after you tell your parents, your church, and your (soon to be old) co-workers about your new job, you should update your LinkedIn profile! At the very least, you’ll get some nice congratulatory messages.
- Revise your summary – Read your summary out loud and then change it. It’s probably overly formal and full of jargon. Yes, you are a motivated focused juggler looking for a long lasting job in a reputable firm that will lead to a highly successful career in the industry of your choice. Just because you have to be professional doesn’t mean you should sound like a robot. Who are you, really? What opportunities are you seeking? What can you do?
- Endorse your connections – LinkedIn has a feature where you can “endorse” someone’s listed skills and also recommend them based on their expertise/experience. I like this feature because it gives skills more credibility. Try endorsing someone’s skills (only skills you can really actually vouch for please) and who knows, that person might also return the favour and make your profile look more legitimate and will ensure you’re ranked higher in searches that include your job title and company name.
- Post a status update – It could be interesting article you read; a short course, workshop, or conference you attended; job achievement (promotion, presentation you gave, event you organized). This will engage your connections and clear the cobwebs from your profile.
Happy linking in on LinkedIn! Let me know how it goes!