Is your Linkedin Profile up to date?
It should be.
As you probably know, Linkedin is a professional place to connect with people; friends, colleagues, professional acquaintances, and more. It’s a place for people to see what you do, how you do it, and when you did it. Staying up to date on your profile is important because it keeps you professionally relevant and demonstrates your interest and knowledge of your field.
If you feel overwhelmed with the social networking site, here are the key areas I recommend spending some time developing.
If you feel overwhelmed putting in your past work experience, okay. At least have your current position and job description up to date so people can see what you currently do.
The summary should be some brief information about yourself, the skills you have, etc. Make this inclusive of your professional skill set, rather than just your current position. Keep in short and sweet – 3-4 sentences maximum.
Did you meet a new person at a party? Run into an old friend at a restaurant? Look them up on Linked in. I recently went on a trip abroad and met two people randomly on a tour. We all clicked, we Facebook friend requested, took pictures together… but I was also sure to connect with them on Linkedin as well.
Every once in a while you can also use the “People You May Know” area on Linkedin, which generates a list of people that you may know. Connect as often as you can.
Ask for recommendations after you’ve worked with someone for a while. Don’t be shy. Linkedin is the place to do it. Also, recommend people that you’ve worked with that you think are worth it. Be careful with recommendations, of course, but if you’ve had a positive working relationship and experience with someone, write a quick recommendation. The more your write, the more you’re likely to have written for you; it’s a two-way street.
Take 15-20 minutes per day or every other day logging into Linkedin, working on your profile, updating the information, making connections, and endorsing skills. The more you put in the more you’ll get out of it. You’ll stay relevant among others in your field, connect with potential employers, and have access to professional development tools. Next time we’ll get into posting and joining groups, but start with these first and you’ll familiarize yourself with Linkedin, making it easier and easier to use.