I remember when it became taboo to not have a Facebook account. “Wait what? You don’t have a Facebook? How do you live?” Social media has secured its spot as a cultural staple. It was only a matter of time before it became relevant to professional networking, too. Just this month, I heard one of my friends react to another by saying, “Wait what? You don’t have a LinkedIn? That’s crazy.” LinkedIn is very important for maintaining a professional presence on the web. Here are some tips for how to leverage this social media platform as a networking tool for your career:
- Get endorsed for your skills. Having skills endorsed on LinkedIn is a great way to show your first-degree connections what you are capable of and that you have proven those skills to your colleagues. This is an aspect of LinkedIn that goes one step above and beyond what a resume can do. You can list your skills and continually get endorsed for them as you make more connections.
- Use the recommendations feature. As was just mentioned, your LinkedIn profile is like your online interactive resume. You can build a one-stop shop for everything employers want to know about you: education, work history, skills, and even recommendations. Without needing to ask, prospective employers can read about how highly recommended you come from past supervisors and acquaintances.
- Connect with colleagues old and new. Never underestimate the power of connecting with someone on LinkedIn. It should become a habit to add new associates on this platform! It shows that you are proactive and care for meaningful connections. You can utilize the connections you’ve made to make more connections, or to help get the interview. If you are applying for a new position, check on LinkedIn to see if you are connected to anyone who already works there. If you are, ask them to meet for an informational interview. As we know, half the battle of even getting interviewed for a position nowadays is about knowing the right people.
- Don’t underestimate posts. Although LinkedIn is a professional platform, it’s still social media! Posting about topics that are important to your professional aspirations keeps you engaged and up to date in your industry. It also shows your connections that you keep up to date with the world around you. This could either land you the job you’re hoping for or simply make you better at the one you’re already doing.
- Fill out your profile! It may sound silly, but an impactful LinkedIn profile is complete and informative. List your past employers, your education, your skills, and everything in between. If you’ve used LinkedIn before, you know that prospective employers are looking at your profile (because you will be notified when it’s happening). Many applications now ask for your LinkedIn profile URL. So, take the time to make your LinkedIn page packed with information that professional colleagues want to know about you.