Do you remember when Facebook was the new social networking platform? A place where you would input information such as “workplace” and “professional skills.” Social networking has come a long way since paper resumes, and business professionals are actively using all platforms to market themselves online today. There is one platform that, despite having more than 400 million members, people are not using to its fullest potential - LinkedIn. Currently LinkedIn is a top social networking platform and more importantly, the most popular social network for professionals.
LinkedIn was designed to have a Facebook connection feel but with a focus on career building. It allows members to connect with other professionals and share content. You can tailor your LinkedIn profile for career goals, accomplishments, and personal preference.
Are you underutilizing LinkedIn? Are you spending too much time on SnapChat and Instagram instead?
Check out our tips on how to professionally utilize LinkedIn as a social network:
Step 1: The Basics
Be sure your profile is 100% completed. Networking starts with other users seeing what you have to offer. Leaving out LinkedIn recommended information could prevent a connection between you and someone else. Don’t worry, the platform will guide you through the process. A complete profile is 40x more likely to receive opportunities.
Step 2: Not Your Average Resume
Usually, on our resumes, we are told to include background information pertinent to the jobs we are seeking. However, LinkedIn provides a user-friendly interface in which you are encouraged to include all your experiences. Why? Because that internship position you had 5 years ago could be a gateway conversation to something bigger. You never know what will catch someone's eye.
Step 3: Search and Respond
Whether you use LinkedIn’s app or desktop version, it is essential to check your inbox to see who is trying to connect with you. But, there is some legwork in it for you too. Start building your network by syndicating your contact list and connecting to users you already know. LinkedIn allows you to include a customized message. Use this opportunity to remind someone of the connection you previously had i.e. how did you meet or know one another?
Step 4: The “In” Crowd
There is a group to join for everyone! Take advantage of connecting with groups you identify with. It could be a school alumni group, organization, or a mutual association. Apart from joining relatable groups, you can view users who have recently checked out your profile. This may be the “in” to connecting with this person.
Step 5: Stay Connected
You’re growing your network, fantastic! Now, let them know who you are! Stay on LinkedIn's radar by regularly updating your status. It’s not just about who you know but who knows you! But that’s not all; LinkedIn in a mutual connection platform. Support others by engaging with their status updates, or sending tips and opportunities. You’ll be thrilled when you receive those in return.
Step 6: Guidance
LinkedIn is built off of professional networking and support - take advantage! Whether you are a student or someone looking to get into a career, it could benefit you to simply inquire with others. We don’t mean asking every connection for a job… Start the conversation and ask to speak to them (industry leaders, alumni, etc.) for advice or tips. Furthermore, if you acquire an informational call, formal interview, or plan to attend an event, do your research! LinkedIn has an advanced search feature that allowed you to learn about the background of the person or company you are meeting with.
Final Thoughts...Learn more about staying connected on LinkedIn:
- Customize your LinkedIn public profile URL and background photo.
- Create a Profile Badge for your personal websites to help grow your network.
- Add work samples via media input to the different sections in your LinkedIn profile.
- Convert your LinkedIn profile into a resume quickly and efficiently.
- When job hunting, use LinkedIn’s Advanced search feature which allows you to search for jobs by a multitude of business related keywords.
- LinkedIn allows users to Endorse their connections for skills describing one's strength.
- Easily export your LinkedIn connections to add to another contact platform.
- Syndicate LinkedIn status updates to Twitter for more visibility. Also, mention (@) people or businesses, where appropriate, to allow them to see your updates.
Now get connected and get your career started!
Have questions? Reach out to our career services or leave us a comment below. We will get back to you as soon as we can!
The Touro College Graduate School of Technology runs an active Career Services Center with a dedicated professional staff to assist students.