Your professor has one. Your friends have one. Everyone at your internship has one. So you went ahead and created a LinkedIn account. But now what?
Complete your profile. The most important part of LinkedIn is your profile. It’s what you use to connect with people in your network and how people find you. Oftentimes your profile is the only impression other LinkedIn users will have of you, if they have never met you before. Here are some essential tips to making sure your profile is complete:
- Upload a photo. LinkedIn says adding a photo makes your profile seven times more likely to show up in searches. Also, adding an image makes your profile more personal and users will more likely to contact you if they see a friendly face.
- Update your experience. Once you have filled out your work history, education, and expertise, make sure you continue to keep those sections updated. This will help to make you look more professional and help you remain an active user in your network.
- Add skills and keywords. The words that you use to describe your skills should target your niche. By using keywords that industry professionals might search for, you can increase your chances of your profile showing up in searches which will lead to more connections.
- Get recommendations. Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot of weight and can give users who view your profile a different perspective of who you are.
- Join groups. LinkedIn has groups that you can join, such as PRSSA! Groups allow you to enter into conversation with people who have similar interests. They can offer advice or answer any questions you have. Also the groups show up on your profile, so it can tell users more about who you are.
Stay connected. Just because you completed your profile does not mean you should ignore your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn has tools that make it easy for you to keep connected with people that you meet and allow you to meet new people in a professional way.
- Add people as connections. You can link your email account to LinkedIn and it will show you which of your contacts have accounts and send them all a request at once automatically. Also, if you meet an industry professional at an event it would be a good idea to look them up on LinkedIn to expand your network and continue your relationship beyond that first meeting.
- Keep the conversation going. Correspond with your connections, and check out who looks at your profile by clicking the link on the right side of your homepage.
- Use Answers. The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or help.
- Use LinkedIn Mobile (m.linkedin.com). You can always be connected to LinkedIn by using the mobile app to view profiles, invite new connections, and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.
With this brief run-down on LinkedIn you should be ready to connect with users and take full advantage of what the site has to offer. Once you visit the website regularly you will get the hang of how easy it is to connect with people who could help you with your future career.