Whether you are new to LinkedIn®, exploring job opportunities, or a regular user, keeping a
professional profile and active presence is an essential component for success in business networking.
Your profile and activity on the social network acts as a marketing tool for your personal brand and
communicates a great deal about who you are. Unprofessional material, errors, or lack of upkeep
can leave a bad impression with those who view your profile, potentially hurting your chances of
developing a networking connection or landing a new career opportunity.
LinkedIn®, as a professional networking site, is not the place for casual/personal photos. The following are a few tips when selecting an appropriate photo:
Put some real time and effort into selecting a photo that is an honest reflection of who you are as a business professional.
LinkedIn® functions as a real-time source of information, so keep your profile as up to date as possible. You never know what opportunities may arise from a view of your profile, and you do not want to miss out due to information that does not best reflect your current skills, experiences, and abilities.
Just like in your resumé, you do not want grammatical errors to detract from your content or give the impression that you did not give effort and attention to your work. Proofread your content. Also, it is a good idea to have another person or multiple people review your content for errors.
The standard LinkedIn URL for your profile page typically includes many letters/numbers/symbols which make it difficult to access and include on things like business cards or your resumé. By going to your profile contact information section and clicking the edit symbol next to your current URL, you are able to update the URL to one of your choosing. Typically, it is recommended to use your name or some similar format.
As a networking site, the main purpose is to create connections. It is not overly helpful to have a LinkedIn® profile if you are not using it to build your network through linking with others. Use the "People You May Know" section to search through a listing of individuals that you may be interested in connecting with; use the search option to look for colleagues, fellow members of organizations you are a part of, or other professionals that you know; and after meeting with new networking contacts, find them on LinkedIn® and connect. Building a network of connections is not simply a one-time task, but rather an ongoing activity to be completed regularly.
LinkedIn® offers the option to write recommendations for those that you are connected with. Choose a few colleagues, direct reports, clients, and/or supervisors, and ask them to write a recommendation for your LinkedIn® profile. If applicable, you may also offer to return the favor by writing a recommendation for their profile. Remember, a couple of recommendations are sufficient; you do not need to have an abundance of them as it may begin to detract from your profile. Chose quality of recommendation over quantity.
Skill endorsements are a good way to stay connected with people on a continual basis. Make it a priority in your career to send out regular endorsements. By endorsing those in your network, you may often find that they return the favor, better highlighting your diverse background and skill set.
Many organizations have pages on LinkedIn® which you can follow. Often times, these organizations are posting helpful articles on their industry, news from their firm, or even available positions in some cases. Not only does following keep you informed about the organization, but it can also help build your connections. You might consider following The H.S. Group on LinkedIn® if you aren't already doing so.
LinkedIn® offers a wealth of different user groups that you can join to expand your network. Some groups are based on specific professions or organizations while others are based on interests or skills. By joining groups, you can be connected with others who share similar interests/careers, further building your network of connections, as well as gaining valuable information.
It can be easy to get in the habit of watching from the sidelines as the action takes place around you on LinkedIn®; however, it’s important to keep your presence from growing stagnant. Continue to build your network by connecting with professionals, following new companies, and becoming a member of groups. Also, join in the conversation by commenting on others’ posts, liking content, and even posting your own original content. A key component of being an MVP on LinkedIn® is regular involvement and interaction with your network.