LinkedIn 101: The Basics (making it work for you…)

Do you have a LinkedIn account and no clue what to do next? Like any valuable networking tool, LinkedIn takes some maintenance and tweaking in order to reap the benefits. Even if you are not job searching now, don’t be left behind the eight ball for when you need to or want to chase your next career opportunity. Implement these 5 tips today to ensure you increase your career success.

1. Create a catchy headline that makes an impact. Human Resource Coordinator or HR specialist driving results for a retail leader. Which one sounds better?

2. Connect with one industry professional per month. Reach out to your past or current peers, business partners or managers and connect with them. Be sure you know the people you are connecting with, as it’s not good etiquette to link with someone you have never met. In addition to this, it’s also courteous to write a personal note when requesting a connection, rather than the standard LinkedIn “I would like to add you to my professional connections”. If you run out of people to connect with…time to do some networking.

4. Another way of connecting with like-minded individuals is to join a relevant LinkedIn group. Ensure you are actively participating in the group and post or comment at least once a month on a hot topic or industry trend. This will get you noticed and circulating within the ‘industry’ crowd.

3. Leave and request one LinkedIn recommendation per month. The easiest way to get a recommendation is to give one. Most times, your connections will return the favour. So, start recommending fellow peers and professionals and watch recommendations for yourself roll in. If this is not successful, actively seek recommendations. A tip is to seek recommendations from people who can contribute meaningful insight or provide feedback on your performance, similar to a career reference.

4. Post, share or re-post at least one news update each week. Again, it’s all about being active and consistent in your field. Post news worthy articles or links on your news feed that demonstrates your interests and also gives you an opportunity to share valuable information with your connections. It’s all about being a ‘value-adding’ connection.

5. Check your LinkedIn. If you’re not in the job market, checking in weekly should suffice; however, as an active job seeker, you should check your LinkedIn activity daily. This is the most important tip in our opinion! There is no point implementing any of the above if you are not actively participating on LinkedIn. If there is one social media site that you should join up to and then not leave ‘unattended’ in the social media arena, it’s LinkedIn. Be active, be present, be a contributor to your own career development. Check your comments, invites, messages and recommendations and be sure to follow up.

Keep an eye out for our next post that will discuss The top #3 tips that will enhance your job search efforts.

Posted in Career Advice, Job Seekers, Networking and tagged , , , .

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