Regardless of whether you are in Sales, Project Management, Finance, or early in your college career, LinkedIn can help all professionals achieve their business objectives. While most people outside of Sales and Recruiting are using it to find a job… there is more. Users can keep up on industry news, follow their favorite company, and easily keep up with their network. Strengthening your profile will help you get the most out of LinkedIn (AND help you find a job if you want, sheesh!)
1. Ditch that awkwardly cropped picture from your brother’s wedding that you went to five summers ago and replace it with a professional headshot.
Trust me, I know how challenging it is first-hand to resist the temptation of selecting your favorite shot from the photo-shoot you had with your dog last month, but trust me on this. LinkedIn is a social platform for professional networking so have a profile picture that is consistent with the site’s purpose and your goals. Having a picture humanizes you and increases the number of profile views (14 times to be exact!) and interactions with your profile.
2. Follow Influencers and companies to easily keep up with recent events and what is trending in your industry.
A whopping 62% of adults received their news from Social Media in 2016 and that number is only increasing – curse you millennials! LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for helping you consolidate information from business journals and M&A activity in your industry to keeping up with Elon Musk or Oprah. The best part is you can avoid endless scrolling to avoid all of the cat memes and self-recorded videos of people trying out the new dance craze. On an unrelated note, is whip/nae nae still cool? I’m asking for a friend.
Also, other LinkedIn users can view who and what companies you follow. This provides your connections insight into your professional interests and could help continue to cultivate your network. If you are feeling froggy, try joining a LinkedIn group as well!
3. Start interacting more on the site by commenting on articles or make a post of your own on a topic you are knowledgeable in.
Oh, I went there! Everyone has something to contribute and creating your own content online will help solidify your own personal brand. If you are uncomfortable or uninterested in publishing your own blogs, start sharing pieces that you enjoyed reading. Help promote the networking event you are attending this month or a recent press release about your company. These actions could spark up engaging conversations within your network. It is encouraged that you initiate those conversations as well. If you read an article that you really enjoyed, make a brief comment highlighting your favorite part. I have had a ton of insightful interactions that all started in the comments section of a thought provoking blog.
Social media now and forever will have high impact on your career and professional life, so take advantage of it and start engaging today. Your network will grow, along with new opportunities.