Between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it may seem like there’s too much to keep track of. Adding Linkedin to the mix might be where you draw the line, but the truth is it’s important.
More so than any other social media platform, Linkedin is essential to your future, specifically your career. Using Linkedin to its full potential opens doors and connections that might not have otherwise been possible. Here are 5 tips on how to best use Linkedin:
Here are 5 tips on how to best use Linkedin:
1. Your Photo Matters
Your profile picture is the first thing people notice. It’s what draws them in, and it’s important to keep it professional in both content and quality. There’s nothing worse than a pixelated image—except for maybe a pixelated image of you and your cat. Avoid group shots. Don’t force people to play Guess Who! searching for your face. Use a clean, professional photo. Smiling is a bonus and much more welcoming than the brooding-staring-off-into-the-distance face. Save the cat photos for Facebook and Instagram, keep Linkedin’s professional purpose in mind.
2. Put it All Out There
The more you fill out your profile, the better. There’s no use in maintaining mystery. You want potential employers to know who you are—or at least as much as they can through a profile page. Blank spaces might imply that there is something to hide, or they can make you seem lazy. This is a professional networking site that, when used to its full potential, could land you a job. Putting in time and effort will reflect on you as a person, and as a hard worker.
3. Take it to the Streets
Yes, Linkedin is a site for online networking, but it’s important to take the relationships you build on the site to the next level. Form deeper connections by getting out from behind the screen. If they’re local connections, ask them out to lunch, or maybe just to grab a cup of coffee. It’s a cool way to get to know other people and encourage one another. You never know how these relationships might benefit you down the road. It’s important to remember that networking is all about give and take. Consider what you have to offer to these connections. It’s important to find a mutual benefit.
4. Recommendations are Key
Self-promotion can only get you so far. It’s important to have other people backing you up. It’s best to request recommendations from people who can speak to your work ethic such as managers, colleagues and even clients. People visiting your profile might look at these recommendations to see what others have to say about you. Having strong recommendations definitely adds value to your profile, and like I mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep your profile as full as possible. Take advantage of every facet of Linkedin, recommendations included.
5. Edit with a Critical Eye
Once you’ve got your profile all filled out, take a step back. Look at your profile objectively. Ask yourself a few questions: 1. Is there a clear career goal? 2. Do you have a good sense of who this person is? Keep the information pertinent. Don’t list every job you’ve had since high school. It’s okay to leave out the summer you worked at the Olive Garden. Make certain your interests, and the goal you have for yourself, are evident. There should be a trajectory to follow. Make sure they get a sense for who you are, specifically in your field of work. Take out anything that could be a distraction
Linkedin plays into the online nature of our society. It’s a logical next-step for social media as it relates to your career. Getting on board and taking advantage might be your best next step, especially if you’re just entering the workforce. It’s more interactive than a resume on paper, and affords more opportunity to the user. Take advantage. Let potential employers know who you are and why they need you. Sell yourself.