So whether you’re a recent grad looking to score a sweet job in Silicon Valley, or an ambitious young entrepreneur simply looking to connect with potential clients, colleagues, freelancers, and mentors, LinkedIn can help you realize your professional goals.
Here are a few tips for letting LinkedIn work for you:
Rock the Profile
Ever seen those picture less, boring LinkedIn accounts? I have, and they sure don’t catch my attention. If you’re going to invest the time into creating a LinkedIn account, make sure it counts! Upload a high res, professional headshot that says, “smart, capable, ambitious”, (no Facebook profile pics) and fill out as many profile sections as possible. Now is NOT the time to spare details—this is your own personal webpage! Education, work experienced, skills, awards, and an eye-catching summary make for a “All-star
A great LinkedIn profile that no one can find isn’t worth very much. Create a customized LinkedIn url and link your profile to your personal website, e-mail signature, and Twitter account. By making your online CV an easy find, you’re much more likely to grow your connections. Check messaging app regularly, post interesting articles, and keep your profile dets up to date.
Make New Friends
Connect with people of interest. LinkedIn is a great place to make intros (contrary to popular publications, I’ve found that you don’t have to know them b/f). I search for professionals with “millennial” or “marketing” emphasis, and then send them a quick note on how I’d like to learn more about their career and initiatives. I’ve met some pretty great people this way. Connecting with connections of connections (say that five times fast) is a great way to build your #’s quickly.
Provide Valuable Content
Once you hit 500 connections, you get an invite to publish to LinkedIn Pulse. It’s a GREAT way to get your content out there to a greater age demographic. I just started posting to LinkedIn Pulse, but have actually made some great contacts just from my very first post. My goal is to post something on a monthly basis. I would recommend defining your personal “brand” before venturing into LinkedIn. For me, I post primarily on millennial topics—marketing to millennials, millennials reactions to different industries, millennial consumer trends, etc. Maybe your brand is providing valuable content to fellow freelancers, or following fascinating trends in wearable technology. Define your brand and focus your content.
Spread the Love
Skill endorsements are big. Law of reciprocity seems to dominate this area, so I try to provide skill endorsements for anyone I either know personally or have seen their work (online). 9 times out of 10, they reciprocate. Online recommendations are a fantastic feature. Forgot tracking down letters of rec from old college profs and former bosses; request online recs to be added directly to your profile. Online recs are short and sweet; great way to showcase your network + skill set.
LinkedIn is one of the platforms in which you’ll get out about as much as you put in. It can be a great way to land a dream job or find new clients, if you’re willing to put in the time involved. Don’t discount the impact a strong LinkedIn presence can have on your professional pursuits. Prioritize this social option and reap the benefits of being better connected, both on and offline.
About Hannah Becker:
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