Last week, we gave tips on what NOT to do on LinkedIn. Now let’s talk about what you SHOULD be doing to get the most of this powerful networking tool.
Your LinkedIn profile can be a crucial part of advancing your career: a way to make quality connections, promote your skills and experience, and have a voice on topics relevant to your area of expertise. Get the most out of LinkedIn by following our suggestions for success.
Add Value to Connection Requests
Avoid using just the default connection request. Take a moment to personalize it with, for example, a reminder of where you met, or a connection you have in common, or something you admire about his or her work. LinkedIn connections are about quality, not quantity. You should be connecting with people relevant to your field of work and who could, potentially, further your career or connect you with someone who might.
As for connecting with people while you are actively job-hunting? It’s best to wait until after the hiring process has ended before sending connection requests to those you met while interviewing. If you got the job, obviously they will be your coworkers and connecting makes sense. If you didn’t get the job but still want to connect with someone you met, send a direct email thanking them for their time and asking if you could send them a LinkedIn connection request.
Everything about your profile should present you in the best possible professional light, especially the writing. Write concisely, proofread, and make sure there are no discrepancies between what you include on your resume and what you have on your profile. Then proofread again!
Crafting a succinct, yet descriptive and engaging, profile is a bit of an art form. Consider having a professional — such as Merrfeld Resumes and Consulting — review your resume and LinkedIn profile to make sure they are top notch and complementary.
Have a Photo (and Make it Good)
A quality, professional photo is essential to increasing views of your profile. It’s helpful for forming connections before interviews or after networking events — giving the other person a face to put with your name makes people feel more connected and remember you better.
Make sure it’s an appropriate and appealing photo. Close up shots, in which you are wearing appropriate professional clothing, are best — no family, friends, or pets in the shot, please.
Write A Summary
The summary feature is an important feature to take your profile beyond the information on your resume. Use it to express your personality and tell your professional story. Again, it should be well-written and relevant to your field — you may want to ask a professional for assistance.
Recommendations are a great way to show hiring managers (and your colleagues) how you have been received in the actual business world. Recommendations from professionals who have overseen your work, collaborators who appreciated working with you, and/or clients who were impressed by your services, can help you stand out from the competition. Reach out and request recommendations from people with whom you’ve had particularly positive work experiences — and offer to write them a recommendation as well!
Follow our tips — and don’t hesitate to contact us for a quick and easy Resume and LinkedIn review — and you’ll be seeing the benefits LinkedIn in no time!