As a professional, if you are not making use of LinkedIn, you are missing out. This is a powerful platform with more than 120 million members. If you just read that and instantly felt left out, that’s a perfectly natural reaction. It’s frustrating to know that millions of others may be getting a head while you are stuck in a rut, all because you are not making use of your resources. The good news is that whether you are just now joining LinkedIn or if you simply haven’t used the platform to its full potential, you can change this quite quickly.
First Things First
The most important thing you will do is take the time to fill in your profile as thoroughly as you possibly can. By doing this, you increase your visibility and provide the site with the information that it needs to make appropriate recommendations to you. This is also why being honest is crucial. This is a platform that will truly benefit your professional career, if you are honest about everything. Even if you are not currently looking to make a career change, it never hurts to network. Most people make the mistake of waiting too long to start networking, and by then it is too late.
If you are joining LinkedIn, it can be easy to dive in and become quite scattered. If you are already a member, you may be having one of these a-ha moments right about now. Your profile needs to be focused, and if it’s not, you have a little spring cleaning to do. More is not better! You do not need to belong to dozens of groups spread out across numerous industries and you certainly don’t need 50 skills listed on your profile.
If you spread yourself too thin, you come across unorganized and unfocused, and if you list too many skills, you look a little untruthful. The goal is that after someone has been on your page for not more than a minute, they know who you are. Does your profile provide this direct information without using a sitemap to get to it?
Ask for Help
There is a good chance that you are not even describing yourself in a way that is attractive to others. Perhaps you have skills listed that no one ever looks for anymore. All these are doing is cluttering your page, and makes you look outdated.
Ask your friends or family members to describe you. Take these descriptions and rewrite them. You may find that they use hot words to describe you and your skills that you ever even thought of. What if everyone else is looking for these words you have been missing them all along? This is what making the most of LinkedIn is really about.
Don’t Be Greedy
Sure, your profile is all about you, but sometimes a small note of gratitude to a mentor or a link to an inspiring article (not written by you), can go a long way. This shows that you are a team player, and you appreciate help. It offers the idea that you are not afraid to request assistance if it means getting the job done better, and it says that you are confident enough in yourself to be inspired by others.