A solid LinkedIn profile is vital to finding a new job, but also to networking and gaining new business relationships. While LinkedIn can be a confusing website to navigate, it doesn’t have to be! Whether you are in agriculture, finance, real estate, sales or plumbing, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for you and your business. The first step to making the most of LinkedIn is perfecting your profile!
Make your profile public.
While it’s smart to make your other social media profiles private, LinkedIn is one place where having a public profile is a good idea! If your profile is private, only people who you are connected with will be able to view your profile. If you are looking for a new job or are just looking to network, no one will be able to find you unless your profile is public!
Connect with colleagues and friends.
LinkedIn doesn’t work unless you are connecting with people! Connect with your friends, family and colleagues. When you connect to new people, it will suggest others on LinkedIn that you may be interested in networking with. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on what your colleagues are up to in their career and professional life.
Include a professional profile picture.
Your profile picture is the first thing that people notice on your profile, so ensure that it makes the right statement. Your picture should look professional, but don’t worry about hiring a professional photographer. A nice iPhone photo with good lighting and a smile works great!
Highlight your previous work experience.
Treat your LinkedIn profile like your resume. Under the work experience section, make sure that you list all of your relevant job experience. Be sure to add descriptions to each of your jobs as well, so that recruiters and colleagues can get a feel for the experience that you have. Don’t be too wordy, though! Short and sweet is the key here.
Make sure all information is accurate.
Most importantly, ensure that all the information on your profile is accurate. Just like on your resume, lying or embellishing your LinkedIn profile is never a good idea. Everything on your LinkedIn profile can be easily fact-checked, so do yourself a favor and double-check it!
Follow the right people.
When it comes to networking and making connections on LinkedIn, the key is following the right people. Whether it be important companies, leaders in your industry or local businesses, you can curate your LinkedIn experience by who you follow. People post everything from business tips to personal updates to company news; there’s always something interesting happening on LinkedIn, if you’re following the right people!
Another great way to network on LinkedIn is to join groups. You can see if your college has an alumni group or find groups based on your industry or other special interests that you may have. Groups allow you to interact with colleagues, peers and even industry leaders that you may not otherwise meet or be introduced to.