As a recovering entrepreneur and student of social media, I am keenly aware that LinkedIn is not something that any professional should ignore.
LinkedIn is a powerful social selling platform and builder of Brand YOU. Whether you are selling yourself to a perspective employer, or ensuring that your network of colleagues and customers are close by at all times – LinkedIn is the rollodex, filing system and fax machine of our time.
LinkedIn 101: The Basics
Although an update to your LinkedIn profile may still lead to a flutter of water cooler gossip, and an emergency HR meeting to find your replacement, it has become a necessary social platform for any business professional, graduating student or anyone who will ever have a career of any kind. Period. If you are still ignoring those invites to connect, I invite you to turn your privacy settings on, grab a coffee, and take a look at the new LinkedIn. This is not your mamma’s job board.
A few tips before you jump at posting those congratulations on promotions and skill endorsements:
Don’t blind post. When updating your profile, you can opt out of alerting your network to changes. This is advisable if you are not looking for a new career, but simply updating your profile to ensure your experience and skills are up to date.
Update your profile. Your profile will get indexed in search engines, and people are looking. Use keywords that reflect your skills, post links to other social media channels that you frequent including; Twitter and YouTube and if you have a blog, start posting your content as a LinkedIn contributor. (see LinkedIn 2.0 below)
Join groups and share content. Don’t share any and all content. This is not Facebook. Be careful and purposeful about whom you endorse, content you share and comments you make in groups. LinkedIn has become an excellent community platform to share good content, learn and engage with other professionals.
Mind your manners. Random connections are not cool. I don’t accept connection requests from people I don’t know, or are not related to my profession – unless of course they write me a nice note to let me know why they are connecting. I guess you could call adding non-relevant connections the new “cold call.”
Add some personality. Also add relevant skills and experience to match your professional profile. This is not a resume. Ok so sometimes it can act like one. Instead use an online resume builder like DoYouBuzz.com to build your CV – then make that available to your network if you are job searching and of course available on your LinkedIn profile.