LinkedIn seems easy enough to use, right? Type in résumé details, upload a photo, send out a few connection invites and you’re rolling. Sure, you could go about using LinkedIn this way, but if you want to see more results, then you need to put in a little more effort.
For many new professionals, it’s job-hunting season and LinkedIn can become a great tool not only to search for positions but also to make connections and be searched for.
Here, you’ll find six ways to make the most of your LinkedIn presence during your search:
1. Profile photos — Think of your profile photo as a first impression. What would you like this photo to say about you? Remember, LinkedIn isn’t for sharing memories with friends; it’s for connecting and building relationships with other professionals. Your photo should be of you, and only you, looking your best. While professional headshots are always a plus, it’s not a must. Grab a co-worker on a day you’re looking business-ready and have them snap a photo of you.
2. Connecting messages — One of the biggest mistakes that LinkedIn users make is sending a connect request and not editing the generic automated message. Yes, it’s easy to just press send. However, you’re more likely to be accepted if you share the reason why you want to connect. If you’ve worked with the person, then comment on your experience. If you’ve never actually met the person, then tell them why you’d like to connect with them. If you don’t have a reason to connect, then refrain from sending the invite altogether.
3. Frequent updates — LinkedIn is a live version of your résumé and if you use it correctly, then it will showcase pieces of your portfolio. As you wrap up a job or start a new job (or if your current position evolves), then take the time to update your page accordingly. Updating as you go helps keep your résumé relevant and grabs the attention of your connections and future employers.
4. Embellishments — LinkedIn is a great résumé tool; however, many people tend to overlook a very helpful feature. Under “summary” and “all positions,” users are able to add media ranging from documents to photos, links, videos and presentations. This gives viewers a direct link to your work. Bolster your list of experiences with examples, such as a campaign that you created and launched successfully or a link to your blog.
5. Quality not quantity — The goal here is not to see how many connections you can make, but to make connections that are beneficial on both ends and to make connections that will last. While 500-plus connections can be a good thing, it goes to waste when there isn’t a professional purpose behind it and there isn’t any follow-up or growth in the relationship. After you’ve connected, be sure to follow up every now and again. You may even want to take the conversation offline and meet for coffee in person.
6. Consistency — As with any social media outlet, it pays to post frequently. However, we tend to find ourselves busy on other platforms and neglecting to post on LinkedIn. Besides staying up-to-date on your job experience, make it a point to share an update or publish a post. Upload a link to an article you found interesting or share an article that you wrote. Another way to stay active on LinkedIn is to scroll through your feed and jump in on conversations that your connections have started or by wishing congratulations to someone who landed a new job or promotion.
Originally written for PRSA Tactics.