LinkedIn is considered the social networking website for professional people in all occupations and industries. And there is a difference in personal and professional networking! LinkedIn helps move your networking efforts into a strong community of professional contacts. Putting LinkedIn to use extends your current network into that of trusted contacts. Try out some of these tips and see how your professional connections grow!
Tip #1 – Use a picture. People will remember you much more if they can see what you look like on your LinkedIn profile. The picture will be used on your posts. We are a society that gets 93% of its verbal cues from body language. I realize a picture doesn’t move, but it helps your contact or future LinkedIn connection to recognize you. Use a current, professional picture.
Tip #2 – Use the status – This is the place to add links that could inform your network of important industry trends or notify your connections about an award your department received. This is a great place to indicate to those around you that you are engaged and active. You connections do want to be informed of your progress and accomplishments.
Tip #3 – When making a connection, make it personal. Don’t just hit “connect”. Take the time to put a thoughtful sentence or two directed specifically at the person to whom you are requesting a connection. Then, when you get the connection, thank that person for the connection. Then you are off to a good start in actually professionally networking with your new contact.
Tip #4 – Compete the Summary – this is where you can add anything you want to tell a compelling and interest story of yourself and you career. Use the keywords that are hot buttons for you and talk about your accomplishments and how you deliver value to your clients and/or colleagues.
Tip #5 – Security/Privacy Settings – Click on “Privacy & Settings” and browse around in this area. Find this by hovering over you photo at the top right and a drop down menu will show you options. Take about 10 or 15 minutes to browse this area to see what others can see and what they cannot. Make your choices about what you want your public profile to look like and what others searching your profile and network to see.
Bonus LinkedIn experience tips: LinkedIn has a ton of information being passed around just like the rest of the social media platforms. Much of it is valuable, helpful information. Once you get your profile set up, you can join groups which are specific to your industry or interest. Don’t be shy, make a comment on one of the groups. You can also “follow” companies to keep current with a client, competitor or future employer.