10 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
We recently wrote a blog post sharing five small yet worthy tips that college students and grads can use when creating their LinkedIn profiles. And once you have your profile established, there's so much you can do on LinkedIn to connect with others, learn more about an industry of interest, and even find a job. Here are 10 easy ways you can optimize your profile and reap all that LinkedIn has to offer.
- Make your intentions clear. When thinking about creating or updating an account on LinkedIn, consider the reason you have it. What do you hope to achieve by being on LinkedIn? Do you solely want to make peer relationship connections? Join specific LinkedIn groups? Find a job? B2B or B2C networking? If you make your goals clear from the beginning, then that helps ensure that the right people come your way.
- Don't sell yourself short. Like the summary section on a resume, the headline on a LinkedIn profile should describe your passion, talent, and career field. Use your headline to not just tell others about your job but dive a bit deeper into your skills and interests. Using specific keywords can help you appear when others are searching for potential employees with certain characteristics.
- Know it's okay to turn down LinkedIn connection requests. When I first jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon a few years ago, I remember getting bombarded with many connection requests from people in various industries. However, it's crucial to add people to your network that are not just of value but are in line and relevant to your professional career. Meaningful connections can open up a window of opportunities. Irrelevant connections won't do you any good.
- Don't be afraid to request to connect with people on LinkedIn. Have you ever met someone at a networking event that you wanted to connect with further? LinkedIn is great for that! Every time you cross paths with someone in your professional career, in addition to exchanging business cards, think about asking him or her if you can connect on LinkedIn.
- Join a group. LinkedIn groups provide the ability for businesses to connect with their customers and for professionals to build relationships with others within a similar industry. Joining a LinkedIn group will allow you to be part of a discussion that interests you, help you find great articles, and more.
- Get skills endorsements. On LinkedIn, those that know you can verify that you have certain skills, called an endorsement. When you have a skill endorsement on LinkedIn, it's a way for potential recruiters and others to not just see what you have to offer, but know that others you have worked with affirm your valuable skills.
- Stay informed. If you have an interview coming up or a valuable networking opportunity, LinkedIn gives you the ability to check out another individual's professional profile, see any new updates or changes, and find other information that you may be able to use as a talking point.
- Search company profiles. LinkedIn company profiles provide you with a snapshot of a company in which you may have interest. You will be able to see information such as their mission, what they offer, employee size, location, jobs posted, related companies, and more.
- Stay active. Even if you don't post consistently on LinkedIn, you can still stay active by "liking" posts, sharing articles, or leaving a comment. This will show others that you're engaged in learning about what other organizations are doing and finding out the latest news in your career field.
- Keep your profile updated: Life happens, but updating your profile keeps your network informed about what you're doing. If you change jobs, relocate to a different state, or even get promoted, let your network know. You never know what will come of it.
If you haven't yet set up a LinkedIn account, check out this video for some helpful tips. With any social networking site, maximizing its features fully can take time, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be a pro in no time.