LinkedIn always seemed to me like this daunting monster of a platform. I confess that I had an account for about nine years before posting any professional content besides my profile photo and my name.
When I first created my LinkedIn account, I was concerned about posting any of my resume details because I was afraid that my employer at the time would stumble upon it and think (incorrectly) that I was actively looking for another job. I did not fully understand all of the benefits of having an account and that there was more to it than just job searching. In Series Three: LinkedIn, I will share five tips for creating a strong LinkedIn account, whether you are looking for a job or you simply want to network with like-minded individuals in your field.
- Select the Appropriate Profile Photo
Including a professional profile photo is important as it allows your “connections” to put a face to your name and get a better sense of who you are. Use a current, tightly cropped headshot of yourself in business attire. You are dressing for success and you want your photo to make a professional first impression on potential employers and recruiters.
2. List Your Core Skills
Whether you are a student or a member of the work-force, as long as you continue to learn, your list of hard skills will also grow and evolve. For this reason, I recommend updating your skills list at least once a year so that your most current and developed skills are always adequately represented in your profile to potential employers and recruiters. I suggest keeping your list to 3 to 5 core skills. You can then ask for further endorsement of these skills from your connections.
3. LinkedIn Feed
Your LinkedIn feed should highlight news, stories, and other information relevant to your field and give your connections the opportunity to comment and get involved with current industry topics that matter to you. Sharing content in your feed allows your connections to see what interests you and can help set you apart from other profiles. Look for news articles, case studies, and the latest research from reputable sources to share.
Increase engagement through commenting on other people’s feeds and the news they share. Write something thoughtful that relates to what others have posted, whether it be a congratulatory message to one of your connections for starting a new job or receiving a promotion, or commenting on a case study they have shared. Make sure you are clear, concise, and keep the comments constructive. I also suggest commenting on the feed of someone you admire professionally. The most important part of engagement is to make meaningful connections with other people in your industry.
5. Follow Industry Leaders
Industry leaders are the thought leaders of your field of interest. They are actively engaged in advancements within their industry and are recognized by others for how they contributed to its evolution. These are well-connected, influential people with a substantial amount of industry experience and insight. You can re-share relevant content these leaders have posted for your own connections to see.
Join me next week when I will be posting Series Four: Job Search Tips.
Until then, take care.