After a few days of compiling your job information, your LinkedIn profile is finally up to date. You’ve got a pretty good amount of endorsements; your headshot is on point and your summary statement couldn’t be better. That’s good enough, right? Wrong! Getting the most out of LinkedIn requires the same attention that you devote to your more casual social media platforms. Letting your account sit would be a huge disservice to your professional journey and your personal brand. Here are 5 ways you can use LinkedIn to develop your brand, expand your network and engage your connections.
1. FOLLOW KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS
If you’re on LinkedIn, chances are the leaders in your industry are, too. This platform is the perfect place for more professional exposure to inner workings of the companies and organizations you admire. Follow these company pages and individuals and stay engaged with their posts on a regular basis. Read and share their content and interact with others in the comment section; you’ll be amazed by how enlightened and connected you feel as a result. Even better, you may find one or two of your existing connections employed with your these companies, and have a more personal way to join their network. Following your favorite companies helps you stay in the loop about important developments within your industry. You’ll have plenty to chat about at your next networking event!
2. SHARE YOUR IDEAS
As your skills develop, your thoughts, habits and expertise change, as well. There’s no better place to document this journey than LinkedIn. Attending an industry conference? Write an article sharing photos and how the key points apply to your professional life. Just wrapped up a team meeting that left you feeling empowered? Snap a pic with your coworkers and share the importance of communication and collaboration in the workplace. If you manage a blog outside of LinkedIn, share updates with links to your page. Not only does creating articles have the potential to inspire others and spark further connections, but it’ll show potential employers how dedicated and passionate you are about your industry.
3. SHOW OFF YOUR SKILLS
Are you the type who doesn’t like to talk much about your job on Facebook? That’s fine, but LinkedIn is just the place to talk it up about all things career-related. That includes sharing your accomplishments – it’s not bragging, trust me. Sharing your accomplishments goes further than simply adding another skill and hoping for endorsements. In this case, content is key. Did you help your company secure an unbelievable account? Write a post about it! Did you lead your team to the top with the most sales in your region? Share details about how you got there. Sharing the ‘how’ behind the ‘what’ within your skills section increases your credibility. The more visual content you incorporate, the better.
4. FIND A JOB
Your local newspaper, job fairs and online job databases aren’t the only place to find the positions you want. Remember when I mentioned following your favorite companies? You might get lucky and come across their job postings! Some companies even allow you to apply directly from LinkedIn, using the information from your profile. If you want to broaden your search, LinkedIn has a ‘Jobs’ tab, where you can search by title, keyword, company or location. The best aspect of this tool? LinkedIn shows you which, if any, of your existing connections are currently employed with the companies you find! You'll be on your way to greatness in no time.
5. JOIN A GROUP
If you’re looking for a more personal way to keep up with news and trends, join a LinkedIn group. This is a great way to connect with others in niche markets within your industry. There are thousands of groups out there; you may find one related to your culture, location, company, industry, or all the above. Be sure to limit the number of groups you add to your profile. You’ll find that some groups suit your professional needs more than others. The right group has active participants and great content that feels right for your professional goals. Don’t forget to introduce yourself once you join!