5 important tips for LinkedIn users
With the almost sudden rise of the social media playing field and the immediate need for everyone to join as many as they can as quickly as possible, it is often a common mistake to overlook some of the most important social networks and their features.
Most “power users” on the Internet have a profile on all the major social networks and have reserved their own personal URL. The average user does not realize the potential and the impact that the web will have on important professional changes. I highly recommend reconsidering your internet presence. Is it just a silly MySpace page and an empty Twitter account? Before doing anything else, visit Go Daddy or any other major domain / hosting provider and reserve (if available) your own personal URL, starting with your first and last name (.com). Then head over to LinkedIn.
If you haven’t set up a LinkedIn profile yet, do so now. LinkedIn is a place where you can professionally connect with those with whom you have connected. It removes all the games, silly photo books, and other unnecessary and non-professional stuff from the scene, and provides a place to really build on your professional network. This is important on several levels, but first and foremost, it is fast becoming the first place companies turn for job vacancies and the most trusted source for submitting resumes. So whether you’re looking for a job or not, LinkedIn is an important piece of your personal online puzzle. Treat LinkedIn like a professional portfolio, your resume online and visible among a huge network of other professionals.
Here are some important tips for new and experienced LinkedIn users to help you get on the right track.
1. Complete your profile – LinkedIn offers a useful “progress bar” as you get installed that points you in the right direction. Focus on the important things like adding a full work history, importing contacts, adding education, listing awards, and one of the most common areas not addressed … adding a photo. Most companies and schools are available on a picklist within LinkedIn that helps you automatically connect with other people with the same credentials. Lastly, be sure to add a summary. This is like the cover letter and should detail important achievements and qualifications that will help you differentiate yourself from the rest.
2. Add professional experience in detail – Your experience is vital for a complete LinkedIn profile. Treat this like a resume and keep it short, but be sure to list the highlights or notable tasks that you were responsible for. Also, be sure to keep the dates you worked as accurately as possible for each of the companies you worked with.
3. Join groups – Groups are a fun way to connect with other people who share similar interests. Adding groups adds credibility to your profile and shows viewers at a glance what interests you most. Contributing by adding conversations or commenting on other conversations helps build your visibility within these groups. Proactive groups hold local meetings with highly informative speakers that also allow you to network with other like-minded professionals.
4. Link a Twitter account – This is a fact. LinkedIn asks you to do this in various places and at different times during your profile setup. This will allow you to easily connect a Twitter account that will function as an automatic status updater for your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Once linked, you won’t have to visit both sites individually to post status updates; If you post something on Twitter, it will carry over.
5. Get a recommendation – Receiving recommendations is one of the most important and beneficial features of LinkedIn. Like I said earlier, LinkedIn is becoming the go-to source for companies when posting job availability and their trust for job seekers through the service is better than if you just left a resume in person. LinkedIn adds credibility through recommendations endorsed by real people, because while anyone can add bogus recommendations to a printed resume, LinkedIn recommendations are written by real people that potential employers can reach.
There you have it, 5 simple tips to help you start or restart your LinkedIn profile. Make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile public so it appears in searches. Unless you are hiding something, keep it public. Good luck!